The concept of the deluxe reissue is a good one, but record companies have learnt the art of repackaging the old stuff with little rarities or originals of appeal. Underworld couldn’t be further from that concept, as Beaucoup Fish is reissued in a 4CD set that is full to bursting with material from one of the most richly productive periods in their history. The original album stands up incredibly well, mixing cool ambience with driving beats that accurately capture urban cityscapes, alongside Karl Hyde’s tendency to drift in thought. The first half hour of the album continues to be an exhilarating listen, and few moments rival the transition from ‘Cups’ to ‘Push Upstairs’ as the stabbing synth riffs take hold. In remastered form the album works well, but fans will inevitably head for the other treats, these being outtakes from the recording sessions and a raft of quality remixes, headed by the superb Salt City Orchestra take on ‘Cups’ and ‘King Of Snake’s bruising encounters with the mixing desks of Slam and Dave Clarke. At the other end of the spectrum Underworld explore true bliss (non-album track ‘Please Help Me’, which breaks out into superbly marshalled cross rhythms) and the expansive ‘Ramajama’, another feel good Underworld burst of sunshine over dark beats. An essential package, reaffirming ‘Beaucoup Fish’ as one of the best dance albums of the 1990s.
Ben Hogwood
5 out of 5