This list of songs is inspired by a list published by radio station, KEXP, from Seattle in 2010. For the most part, I will faithfully countdown from their list, from Song #500 to Song #1. So, when you see the song title listed as something like: “KEXP: Song #XXX”….it means that I am working off of the official KEXP list. If I post the song title as being: “KTOM: Song #xxx”….it means I have gone rogue and am inserting a song choice from my own personal list of tunes I really like. In either case, you are going to get to hear a great song and learn the story behind it. Finally, I am not a music critic nor a musician. I am a music fan and an armchair storyteller. Enough said! Let’s get on to today’s song.
KEXP: The Top 500 Songs in Modern Music History.
Song #360: Born Slippy: NUXX by Underworld.
Are there any truer, deeper bonds of friendship than those experienced by drunks at closing time?!
In those moments, when the words, “Last call!” threaten all that you hold dear, banding together with the like-minded among you always brings a certain type of comfort. Someone named “Buddy” or “Pal” or “Sweetheart” or “Babe” becomes your best friend at that moment, as you suddenly find yourselves out on the street and into a world of danger or adventure, where the only thing that matters is being able to continue that boozy buzz that fills your brain. I haven’t had many of those moments, myself but, I can recall, one time, having pancakes at 4:30 in the morning at The Golden Griddle restaurant, across from Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, with a group of people I met at a house party. I have no memory of who any of those folks were but, I do recall the amazing feeling of liberation I felt being with them as we ran amok in the empty streets of the city as the world slept all around us. For me, that one time, it was tremendously empowering to throw off the shackles of my everyday life and be somebody different. But, for some others, the opposite is true. That feeling of being disconnected from society, at large, is one that they feel most days. Unfortunately, for far too many, alcohol can be a cruel taskmaster.
The song, “Born Slippy: NUXX” by Underworld, is one of the most famous electronic dance songs ever made. It was released in 1995 and was meant to simulate the experience of alcoholism. The song was written by a man named Karl Hyde, who is the vocalist for Underworld. He was battling alcohol addiction at the time and didn’t feel that anyone had accurately captured that feeling of living a fragmented existence, as he was. So, he wrote, “Born Slippy: NUXX” which is a song that combines fast, pulsating beats with slower, dream-like transitions, all tied together with a series of stream-of-consciousness-type phrases and slogans. The effect of this alchemy of elements is disorienting and exhilarating, at the same time. When it was released, “Born Slippy: NUXX” was hailed as being one of the freshest takes ever on an electronic dance music rave song. It is a song that tries to make communion out of isolation and sense out of madness . With the passage of time, critics have come to rate this song as one of the best of the entire decade of the 90s.
But, what truly elevated this song and took it to another level was its inclusion on the soundtrack to one of my favourite movies of all time, “Trainspotting”. “Born Slippy: NUXX” plays in the climatic closing scene of the movie and acts as a racing heartbeat as the action unfolds. “Trainspotting” is about a group of Scottish heroin addicts and is, at turns, funny, dramatic and heartbreakingly sad. The soundtrack is excellent! Music is interwoven with many memorable moments in this movie; of which, the closing scene, with “Born Slippy: NUXX” is the best. I will share a live video of Underworld performing the song at the Glastonbury Music Festival and, for any Trainspotting fans, I will share the final scene (along with “Born Slippy: NUXX in the background) that you can enjoy again. ***Obviously, the SPOILER ALERT rules apply for those who haven’t seen the movie and who may wish to at one point.
In any case, without further delay, here is Underworld with their iconic song, “Born Slippy: NUXX”. If you want to experience something completely different but, at the same time, something incredible then, please, check this song out! See you on the streets some day, my Buds!
The link to the video for “Born Slippy: NUXX” by Underworld, can be found here.
The link to the closing scene of the movie, “Trainspotting”, featuring the song, “Born Slippy: NUXX”, can be found here.
The official website for Underworld, can be found here.
Thanks to KEXP for helping to inspire the writing of this post. The link to their official website can be found here.