KARL HYDE, edgeland
30 years after his first record, the boy Hyde goes solo, of sorts. "Edgeland" is a sunday morning record - taking its time and slow to reveal its pleasures. Unlike the Underworld albums, which ride on rhythms of unstoppable beats and drums, "Edgeland" is a completely different beast, measured, slow, elegant. Built on atmosphere, ambience, and a hangover (by the sound of it), the "Edgeland" is the place between places, an airport waiting lounge, the town beyond the town, and this is revealed clearly in the 71 minute documentary DVD that comes with the deluxe edition.
The DVD itself is light on Karl Hyde : his face is never seen, his voice occasionally hear, the interviews with the local characters and personalities of the town near his home (Dorking, Dartford, Barking, somewhere like that) are interviewed and deliver the life stories of people who live near enough London, but not near enough to matter to London. The outskirts. The edgelands. But the album itself is different, the sense of exhaustion that rotates over the album like a sun is clear and yet, abstract. When, on occasion the music rises, and melody takes over - "Shoulda Been A Painter", for example - and it soars, the kind of euphoric leap that Underworld at their best deliver. The rest of the time, "Edgeland" is a fine record, designed for listening, absorbing, contemplation, thinking, similar to the heavier, woozier, Underworld songs where the beats relax and the images wash over you in waves.