Underworld's U2 & R.E.M. Connections

Going toe to toe with the big boys.

In what some might argue is the 90's equivalent of cutting a track with both

the Rolling Stones and the Who in 1974, electronica mavens Underworld have

recently convened with both U2 and R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe.

The trio, who's

song "Born Slippy" was a highlight of last year's Trainspotting

soundtrack, are members of a mutual admiration society with Bono and the boys

and are plotting a collaboration. "They admire each other's work and are going

to collaborate on a still-unnamed project," said a source at Underworld's

label, TVT. "They've met and are in the studio...we'll see what happens."

The source said there was "no chance" Underworld would be opening any of

U2's PopMart shows though, even though they've been asked. The group is tied up

working on a new record. Underworld will, however, play a string of club dates

in the U.S. in August and September.

R.E.M. singer Michael Stipe has

already laid down his vocals for a duet with Underworld's Karl Hyde for a song

that will appear on the soundtrack to the Batman and Robin movie. Stipe

met with the Underworld crew two weeks ago in a London studio while in town to

oversee work on the 70's glam movie, Velvet Goldmine.

Finally,

Underworld, though. Rick Smith has remixed a song by Goldie for an anniversary

collection for the UK jungle label, Moving Shadows, which will be released in

the UK on June 2 and will be available as an import in the U.S. The

compilation, which celebrates the label's 100th release, will also feature a

remix of Everything But the Girl's "Before Today" by Underworld's DJ Darren

Emerson.