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Karl Hyde & Matthew Herbert Announce New Album
Christian Eede , June 14th, 2017 12:00

The Underworld frontman and veteran electronic music producer team up for an album featuring music based on scenes from stage show Fatherland

Karl Hyde and Matthew Herbert have announced the release of a new album called Fatherland (Original Music from the Stage Show).

The album is made up of music based on extracts from the script for Fatherland, a play written in collaboration by Karl Hyde, playwright Simon Stephens and Frantic Assembly's Scott Graham which will premiere at Manchester International Festival next month.

The play itself is described as a "show about the complexities and contradictions of fatherhood," offering" a vivid, urgent and deeply personal portrait of 21st-century England at the crossroads of past, present and future". The script for the show is based on recorded interviews that took place in Corby, Stockport and Bewdley in 2015 when Graham, Stephens and Hyde undertook a road trip connecting their home towns, collecting stories of fatherhood from family, friends, and strangers.

The album features versions of music that will be interpreted by the cast of Fatherland with the lyrics taken from the same original source material captured on the aforementioned road trip.

"Fatherland is all about the collecting and re-telling of stories," says Karl Hyde. "For the last thirty years, that’s what I’ve done with Underworld. I’ve sung verbatim the stories I’ve picked up from the street. Here was the possibility of having complete stories about people we knew, rather than found fragments from strangers.

“I invited Matthew Herbert to collaborate as I love his music and the way he thinks. He works incredibly fast – as do I. Early on, we decided we wanted to create our music from the sounds of objects that reminded us of our fathers and our childhoods. That could be a football bouncing or a set of car keys, a whistle or the sound of a car engine purring. Anything that evoked the idea of childhood and of our fathers. All of the sounds on the record came from digging up those memories.

Speaking about the project, Matthew Herbert said: "Working with sounds rather than traditional musical instruments allowed us ways not only into new textures, but also to add a layer of storytelling that I think is really useful in this kind of context. For example, we used a pick axe and spade to make the main organ/keyboard noise in 'Perfect Moment' that created both the odd harmonics that were useful in the song writing, and also helped us to remember the manual labour of our grandfathers. It's been rewarding collaborating with Karl and the team on a version of a musical that can accommodate these sounds that manage to sound both familiar and alien at the same time."

Fatherland (Original Music from the Stage Show) will be released via Dogboy on June 30, while the stage show will run at Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre from July 1-22.

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