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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Second Toughest In The Infants

Underworld

1996

Second Toughest In The Infants

Album Summary

Second Toughest in the Infants is the fourth studio album by British electronic music group Underworld, and the second in their "MK2" line-up with Darren Emerson. With this album, Underworld expanded on their progressive palette, while developing their signature sound of abrasive beats and anthemic melodies. The name of the album derives from a comment made by member Rick Smith's six-year-old nephew, Simon Prosser, when asked on his progress at infant school (the level of schooling attended by four- to seven-year-old children in the United Kingdom). Second Toughest featured the single "Pearl's Girl". The re-issue featured the band's best known single, "Born Slippy .NUXX". The album was remastered and re-released on 20 November 2015 with deluxe and super-deluxe expanded editions.

Wikipedia

Rating

2.88

Votes

4170

Genres

  • Electronica
Reviews
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5

Second Toughest In The Infants continues the successful string of three masterpieces in a row that started with Dubnobasswithmyheadman and continued with 1999s Beaucoup Fish. This is brighter than Dubnobass but also edgier and harder in sound. The album cover art sets the general mood of the album. The shades of blue display its moody feel and its ambience. The splattering of different shades of blue on the cover and in the booklet displays the albums chaotic sounds. Extremely challenging & intelligent music. This is not for the narrow-minded.

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3

English electronic albums from the 90s be much shorter challenge

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5

Top tier. The dance act all other dance acts secretly wished they were. This album doesn't even have their two vest songs on either.

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4

Less dance floor fillers than Dubnobass but a much more diverse album with a great flow. From big breakbeats to slide guitar, drum ‘n’ bass and even a gentle psychedelic vibe, there is so much to admire and appreciate on this ambitious album. A long but effortless listen.

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4

This album has moments of straight techno which melt into new wave and atmospheric rock. At times, the album is danceable and at others, ponderous. The way that the music constructs and deconstructs is interesting and adds to the simmering quality of some of the tracks. Overall, really enjoyable if a touch too long

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4

La semaine dernière, je vous partageais les découvertes que j'avais faites au sujet de Jim Morrison. Je vous apprenais entre autre qu'il n'était pas décédé à vingt-sept ans comme cela a été relayé par la presse. Après une nouvelle sortie à la bibliothèque, j'ai fait de nouvelles découvertes dont une qui devrait particulièrement vous intéresser. Nous sommes le 26 avril 1986 dans une petite ville paisible appartenant alors à l'URSS. Comme tous les matins, les employés de la centrale nucléaire située dans ses faubourgs se rendent au travail. À leur arrivée, aucun problème n'est à signaler. Le jour est à la bonne humeur, les collègues échangent des sourires, l'un d'eux a même appris la veille au soir que sa femme était enceinte et se réjouit d'annoncer la bonne nouvelle à tout le monde. Seul petit hic à l'horizon, tous sont d'accord pour dire qu'il fait un peu frisquet dans le salle de contrôle. Wolodymyr, le technicien en charge de la maintenance, s'en va regarder l'état du chauffage et découvre que le thermomètre affiche seize degrés au lieu des dix-huit habituels. Le problème est vraisemblablement lié à un surplus de poussière dans l'un des tuyaux. L'opération nécessite donc un simple nettoyage à effectuer au niveau du radiateur central. N'ayant pas les outils adéquats à disposition, Wolodymyr appelle un dépanneur. Quelques minutes plus tard, un homme vêtu d'une salopette en jean et d'un crayon derrière l'oreille gauche s'annonce à l'entrée de la centrale (vous aurez reconnu Jim Morrison). Il vient réparer le chauffage. Le service de sécurité le laisse entrer. Une dame est ensuite chargée de le guider vers la salle de contrôle où il rejoint Wolodymyr qui lui indique l'emplacement du système de chauffage Sa boîte à outil ouverte, Jim Morrison s'accroupit, attrape un câble, le sectionne avec ses dents, puis un deuxième, en intervertit trois autres et souffle ensuite très fort dans une prise électrique. Il ramasse ses affaires et s'empresse de sortir de la centrale. Une dizaine de minutes plus tard, le réacteur explose, entraînant ce jour là à Tchernobyl la plus grosse catastrophe nucléaire jamais recensée.

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3

Suite aux récentes decouvertes fracassantes de mon camarade d’écoute robpellemèle sur l’illustre Jim Morrisson, je me suis moi aussi enfermé à la bibliothèque afin d’effectuer quelques recherches. Ce que j’y ai découvert va complétement dans le sens des trouvailles de rob, mais laissez moi vous raconter. Nous sommes le 22 novembre 1963, quand Jim Morrison, équipé d’une salopette et d’un crayon derrière l’oreille (vous l’aurez donc reconnu, étant donné que je viens de donner son nom), sort de son domicile et s’installe au volant de son véhicule. Son itinéraire, il l’a bien étudié toute cette semaine, il se rend donc à l’hôtel où siège son client du jour. Arrivé devant l’hôtel, le client est bien présent accompagné de sa femme, et s’empresse de monter dans le véhicule après un « bonjour » poli et rempli de charisme. Jim commence alors à rouler doucement dans les rues de Dallas, afin de mener son client à bon port, sans prendre le moindre risque sur la route. En effet, Jim vient tout juste d’endorser ce nouveau métier de chauffeur privé, et après de nombreux échecs professionnels, il tient à mettre cette fois toutes les chances de son côté. Soudain, deux coups de feu retentissent, et des hurlements se font entendre. Jim se retourne, et retrouve son passager étendu sur la banquette, deux trous de balle sur la poitrine, sa femme paniquée. Ce passager, vous l’aurez reconnu – et ce malgré qu’il ne porte pas de crayon derrière son oreille – c’était John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 35ème président des États-Unis d’Amérique. Jim tentera bien de faire un massage cardiaque au pauvre John, en pressant fermement son poing sur les blessures béantes de ce dernier, mais cela n’eut pour effet que d’accélérer l’hémorragie, et d’ainsi précipiter un peu plus Kennedy vers son tombeau. Jim Morrison avait donc commencé à opérer bien avant de simuler sa mort en 1971 comme mon camadare robpellemèle l’a récemment découvert, mais que d’autre nous cache Jim Morrisson ?

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5

"Second Toughest in the Infants," is the fourth studio album by English electronic music group Underworld. This album released in 1996 and falls under the following genres: techno, progressive house, progressive trance. I am all about trance and techno, fueled thanks to late 90s/early-to-mid 2000s video game soundtracks, so I'm really excited to be jumping into this genre. This album opens with its longest track, "Juanita : Kiteless : To Dream of Love" at 16 minutes and 36 seconds. It is comprised of three tracks, per Wikipedia, "...which features all three parts intersecting each other at various points during the piece; hence, the use of colons instead of slashes..." This song opens with techno beats that make you want to nod your head/reflect/go clubbing. Hauntingly harmonized vocals pop in at 1 minute and sound distinctly robotic/nonhuman. This long track has moments where you can feel a transition of power as the songs morph into one another, with really fun beats, piano, vocals, and repetition carrying it along. The next track, "Banstyle/Sappy's Curry," clocks in at 15 minutes and 22 seconds. It reminds me of a snythy, bloopy beat I would hear in Sonic the Hedgehog or Tekken Tag Tournament. Vocals come in at around 1 minute 45 seconds that are much less robotic and more human than the previous track's offerings. The ambient tone with funky guitar work at around 6 minutes was really enjoyable and took me away into a slight state of flux. I sense this album will become a new record to work to for me. By the end of this track I could not believe how wonderfully lost I became. "Banstyle/Sappy's Curry," is the perfect background song. The third track on this album, "Confusion the Waitress," opens with a steady drum beat, followed by synth notes and an added trance beat to the drumming. There's a lot of beepy noises and spooky "she said" vocals. This poor, confused waitress. Track number 4, "Rowla," offers more electric chaos. Bass/guitar tunes over a steady beat remind me somewhat of a heartbeat, giving this track a life of its own. There is some fantastic work happening in this song that sounds like lasers flying off into the night sky. I love it. Next up on this album is "Pearl's Girl" at 9 minutes and 36 seconds. This is a steady track with really cool electric noise over a steady beat. This track was also featured in Gran Turismo 6 on the PS3, which makes entirely too much sense. Track 6, "Air Towel," features more steady synth notes and percussion. There is some dancing of sound going on between my left and right headphone, giving this track a very cerebral sound. Just another great song to concentrate to. Track 7, "Blueski," is the shortest song on the album, at 2 minutes and 55 seconds. It's a pretty consistent track of repeated guitar pluckery. It doesn't have a beat, but it's still easy to move your head to. Short and sweet. "Stagger" is the final track on this amazing collection of ambient wonder. This track features more vocals and lyrics than any of the other songs on this album, with a snippet reading: "The naming of killer boy Everything's going west, nothing's going east straighten There's no need to be so uptight straighten Make up for all their messes I could listen to you all day What a laugh, cut me I bleed like you, ha ha" The meaning is vague, though it seems to invoke a feeing of confusion or inebriation. A fitting end to this album. I was so very pleased with this album. I felt my mind flow away in a river of thought during my time with this collection of music. I can't wait to listen to it again, and again, and again! Favorite track: Banstyle/Sappy's Curry Honorable mention: Rowla

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5

I've been primed for Underworld by a few soundtracks, and Second Toughest delivered. I'm not quite sure what to think of it: It's not quite perfect, but every track makes me itch to get inside it, tricky as that is. I had the same experience with Autechre, who I now hold in high regard but know little about. Does that say more about me than the band and the record? Likely, but the record is a great techno project, eight sonic crystals that could easily keep going and going and going (but would that ever overkill the runtime).

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5

I Didn't Finish Listening For Personal Reasons.

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5

Love underworld. I am a little bit surprised that we didn't have dubnobasswithmyheadman or Beaucoup Fish, but hey. I've listened to SGitI no more than a handful of times in the past decade, so let's put it on. As I sit here, I am becoming increasingly impressed. As the music builds, I find myself wondering about the Americans who don't have even the first clue about what "second toughest in the infants" might mean. It isn't all killer, no filler though. There's quite a bit of dull on here, and that does stand in stark contrast to dubnobasswithmyheadman. But it's good enough to get 5 stars, even if it is too long.

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4

Finally, my LAN is set up, day-glo Ethernet cables connecting the humming servers everyone had brought over, and everyone has found the patch to Starcraft allowing for local play. Thump thump thump thump diggy thump thump thump thump diggy goes Second Toughest in the Infants, as we enter a Mountain Dew-powered trance state...

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3

Starts slow and picks up at the backend, but also suffers from bloat heavily.

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1

This sounds like the background music to a YouTube video. Nothing of redeeming value here. And I don’t just hate techno cause I love kraftwerk

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1

Does anyone like techno?

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5

Classic beats taking you back to better times.

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5

Amazing work

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5

One of the best so far. Played it three times.

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5

Great beats. Perfect music to crank out work. High energy, nothing out of place.

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5

Great vocals and amazing production. Good variation in styles as well

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5

My jam

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5

Very cool electronic album. Very 90s. Now a fan of Underworld.

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5

One of my favourite EDM albums of all time. Untouchable from a production perspective, plus, Pearlsgirl is my favourite Underworld album too so 5 stars is a no brainer.

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5

AWESOME!!!!!

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5

What a great album (if you like trance/progressive techno, which I do)! This is something I would listen to when I am heads-down coding and love every second (of the music, not the coding). I'm giving it 5 stars since I still imagine I do heads-down coding. And I legitimately like the music. :)

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5

Great album

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5

Pleasantly surprised! I’ve had a lot of issues with 90s electronic music on this list, but this album was right up my alley. Felt like techno and house sounds approached with a prog mindset.

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5

Bad. Ass. Shame this is the only Underworld on the list! Fave track - "Pearl's Girl" is storming! "Juanita: Kiteless: To Dream of Love" is also awesome.

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5

Up against a deadline at work this morning and this is precisely what I needed to keep me motivated. All killer no filler.

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5

cool

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5

One of the best electronic music albums of all time.

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4

Havent listened enough yet

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4

This was fun. Their beats would do well at coachella

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4

I feel like this is fucking sick but it's like a lot of different elements that were put together for born slippy. I'm really liking it though for a concentration album

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4

Not bad progressive band

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4

I appreciate they don't try to sing much on top of it. Last several minutes of banstyle/sappys currys are real good. Rowla--finally really danceable music Pearl's girl is undeniable. That bass drum drum.

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4

I can hear the foundations of 2000s EMD and electronica in here. Liked

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4

How have I missed this one? Never heard of it. And I love drum and bass. It’s very good.

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4

Awesome electronic album, not sure the exact genre, I guess Euro house? or rave? Either way it's a fantastic album with great repeating rhythms and very slow progressions. Very long tracks with a lot going on overall, but it's entrancing. True Feeling: 4.1/5

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4

Super great for heads down music - aspects remind me of the matrix soundtrack

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4

I liked it, but it was too long for what it offered. That said, my favorite songs were the first two, 16 and 15 minutes each. I think I was feeling the music for the first half hour but by 70 minutes got tired of the minimal variety.

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4

Good techno sound. I like it! I had heard some of their other songs before.

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4

Iskreno dosta iznenađen ovim techno-nocturalno ambijentalnim izdanjem. Ma prva pjesma me je već uvela u album kako treba, a ostatak albuma je zadovoljavajuć. Atmosfera, beatovi, instrumentali su kvalitetni i mogu reći da ima jako dobrih prijelaza. Iznenađen sam iskreno.

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4

P good

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4

funky :)

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4

Bangin

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4

Liked this way better than Fat Boy Slim, a contemporary. Instrumentation was interesting enough, and the occasional lyric helps move it along.

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4

Enjoyed it but maybe a little long

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4

Lovely!

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4

I really enjoyed this, haunted, the perfect blend of electronic and acoustic elements

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4

Oh. Now this is cool. It didn’t keep same energy throughout but i liked it.

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4

Very good

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4

We get a lot of electronic music here on 1001albums, in all its forms. I actually like a lot of electronic music. My brother does it for a living, so I've heard a fair bit of it. But after a while, another techno or house album comes up and I can't help but let out a sigh. This one is really good, though. A full hour+ of really listenable and diverse music, from progressive house to drum and bass to a splash of ambient, none of it tiring nor ear splitting. The album starts out strong and never lets up. Beats are perfect, not hard on the ear for the most part. The compositions are smoothly sequenced and layered, with subtle little progressions that make each track more complex and interesting as it develops. Even the long tracks (which are series of songs that lead into each other), are a breeze to listen to. Lyrics are poetic, but on the abstract side. Vocal distortions, noise and guitar loops are used economically, to nice effect. It’s not all danceable, but there is a solid mix of the clubby and the more contemplative, which makes for a better overall listen. Bravo. Fave Songs: Banstyle/Sappy's Curry, Juanita : Kiteless : To Dream of Love, Air Towel, Blueski, Rowla

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4

It's hard for me to review techno / trance albums, but I really enjoyed this one. Never got bored with the long tracks. There's a lot going on in the first track, maintaining a mid-level energy. Second track is mellower, reminding of PS2-era loading screens, good for studying to. I like the echoey vocals, and how wild it gets in those last few minutes. Next track has a really sweet beat and gothic vocals. "Rowla" is a bit abrasive but still pretty cool. My favorite track is "Pearl's Girl." Crazy crazy crazy crazy crazy........... I love it so much. In "Air Towel", I really enjoyed the vocals, but I found the repetitive beat overstaying its welcome. "Blueski" is a bit of an oddball, but still pleasant. Thankfully this one did not go for more than 3 minutes. The final track, "Stagger", is my second favorite, which is more like synthpop, with orchestral vocals, mysterious lyrics, and heavy synths.

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4

Rating: 7/10

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4

Noice

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4

Muy bueno

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4

I saw someone else doing this, and decided to keep a score like this as well: Quality of Album: 9/10 1001 album list worthy: 10/10 Personal enjoyment: 8/10 Juanita ; Kiteless ; to Dream of Love is the intense and powerful opener you'd want on any dance album. Followed up by ambient breakbeat of Banstyle / Sappys Curry as second song it almost doesn't get better in the genre. And that's the first half hour already filled. On the bonus CD is the song Cherry Pie and that might be the best Underworld has ever released.

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4

Based on my music genre preferences, I would have rated this 3/5, but that would have brought the rating down simply because I don't as often listen to this type of music. For what it's trying to be – techno, progressive house, etc. – I actually liked it quite a bit. Super easy to listen to while working, for example. Not too hectic.

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4

Pretty good. Some forgettable lyrics most of a tracks are solid.

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4

pretty good, not really my genre but I can still appreciate the work that went into it, 7/10

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4

"Cryptic lyrics" doesn't really seem to convey how odd the lyrics in this album are. They feel like stream-of-consciousness lyrics mixed and matched in with odd choices which serve to add to the instrumentality. Overall I've found myself enjoying the rhythms in the songs, which have some rather nice beats to them. Specifically "Pearl's Girl" is great in this aspect. "Sappy's Curry", the second half of the second track in the album, in particular, hits a very neat note with the instrumentals and a wonderful backing rhythm that I found myself enjoying, and I wish it was a song by itself. Stagger also has a very good sound together with the voice work, and it was a surprisingly enjoyable listen. Overall a very odd album from a genre I do not listen to much, but overall enjoyable despite IMO a weak and extremely confusing opening track.

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4

the first track still has me 4 minutes in. though holy shit your first two tracks are combined almost a half hour!? Confusion The Waitress is a solid dub/jungle sound. Its a pretty inocuous album but I have been able to get some solid work done this morning.

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4

Blueski- love the guitar melody, great change of pace Stagger- great sound vocal combo This was honestly better than I expected

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4

3.75

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4

Have you heard Underworld? This sounds exactly like Underworld sound.

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4

Sounded like it belonged in The Matrix or a similar late 90's - early 2000's sci-fi type film. An overall fun listen.

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4

fun. loved air towel

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4

Gotta listen to the re-issue for that sweet sweet Born Slippy. NUXX. In my top five for songs to dance to: smoothly with the iconic opening chords, then all out crazy when the kick drum comes in. Singing along to the rambling stream of consciousness lyrics. Rez is also an all time great electronic track. As for the songs on the original disc, I'm not familiar with them, but the outro to Sappy's Curry had me up and dancing. Otherwise good background music, songs for soundtracks.

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4

Good stuff

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4

This album is really quite varied compared to most other electronic music of the time. The fact that they have a dedicated singer kind of sets them apart too. Very versatile sound. Electronic anthems. Favorite track is "Pearl's Girl," probably because it sounds the most like "Born Slippy."

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4

Cool cool

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4

First two tracks go insane. I like this a lot more than dubno. Less focus on the vocals make this great.

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3

This album makes me want to do pills

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3

6/10 FT: Pearl's Girl

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3

A few interesting moments but too techno for me.

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3

Electronic music, eh? Wants to be Moby? it was good, didn't get me excited though.

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3

Some really nice instrumental vibes here. Will return.

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3

Honestly all the EDM sounds the same to me. Maybe this is again particularly foundational but to me it probably could have been most anything in the genre.

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3

It's fine, but I don't remember much about it, here on Monday.

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3

I like house music but it's not my favorite to listen to in album form. I like Underworld but I've never listened to a whole album by them. This album was good background music, though I would say it's my favorite :)

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3

"Homeless trees gathering Outside your window bootleg babies call to you and lie among the mosquitoes That summers fever coming Cats are gathering outside your window" (Juanita/Kiteless/To dream of love) Fui a mirar cuánto del disco llevaba pensando que sería más o menos la mitad y estaba por la mitad pero de la segunda canción.

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3

interesting, but didnt feel a lot of cohesion in the album and fell off near the beginning

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3

The first song inspired me to work out, but the thrill faded fast.

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3

Some nice techno house, not much else to say

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3

if this didn't happen for me in 1996 it isn't going to magic itself now

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3

A grand ride! It really feels like proto-techno (and might be if I looked into the history). It seems purposefully inaccessible, but if given enough listen it sticks. Perfect for studying or gaming. Doesn't move me emotionally at all though.

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3

Decent electronica album, not something i would mind listen to again, nor would it be something i actively searched for.

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3

makes me feel like a cyborg, actually i quite like it (juanita / kiteless / to dream of love)

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3

I'm sure this album would score at least 1 spot higher if I still had a DJ set up to play it on. Pearl's Girl always sounded great in the clubs, but listening at home alone just doesn't have the same effect. Having said that, it still has me dancing around the place. It's impossible to keep your feet still to some of this.

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3

3, it was fine. To be honest I don't remember a thing about it a couple days later though...

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3

I feel like this album might have been better if there were no vocals on it at all.

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3

Actually really enjoyed this - and enjoyed the resulting Spotify recommended playlist too!

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3

Funcionou para ter mais referências de tecno/eletro.

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3

There are definitely times that the groove is infectious and you are thumping along with it, though it is strangely disappointing that the vocals are as uninteresting as they are. They seem to hold it back as opposed to elevating it. Overall an enjoyable listen.

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3

Van een nummer kreeg ik fysieke verschijnselen :). Werd er gestresst van. Verder prima.

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3

Heel bezwerend album, waar je wel je aandacht voor moet hebben. Het is dance maar toch ook weer niet. Eerste paar nummers vond ik goed, daarna kakte het wel wat in.

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3

pure edm each song is like 12 min not bad though

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3

Yeah not bad as far as electronic music goes. 3 🌟

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3

Rave on

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3

The combination of existential mood and imaginative melodic collage is taken up here. (6/10) FT: Stagger

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3

It was fine

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3

Meni mukavasti huomaamatta töitä tehdessä. Pitäis ehkä kuunnella vielä pari kertaa läpi, mut ei sit kuitenkaan ku levyjä rästissä ja ei se nyt niin mieleen kuitenkaan jääny

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3

Välillä rytmit veti hyvin mukaan ja sopi hyvin päivän tunnelmaan. Ei ihan huono

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3

Meh

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3

good driving techno

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3

Buen disco!

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3

Electro qui sonne pas pore mais 1h20, je me suis pas rendu a la fin. 3*

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3

Nice progressive house/techno from the nineties. Not sure I have much to say about this, though. The thing is, I can't help feeling the writers of this 1001 albums list are a little misguided when it comes to niche genres or anything outside the realm of mainstream pop/rock. It's not that Underworld was an act unworthy of notice. It's just that, if you take into consideration the IDM scene of the last three decades, stuff from the Warp roster--to take one precise example--is criminally underrepresented by Dimery and the likes. I've seen the whole list of those 1001 albums. Where are the great records by Boards Of Canada, LFO, Aphex Twin or Oneohtrix Point Never? And even if you go beyond the realm of dance music for a broader take on electronica, there's still bands like Broadcast, PVT or Flying Lotus to take into account. And this is just from one label here. In my view, some of the earliest acts I've just quoted are sounding less dated than Underworld, and I'm pretty sure they were far more influent. The problem with forward-looking genres such as techno or house music is that, ironically, they quickly become a thing of the past. It takes a very indiosyncratic vision and a keen sense of originality to escape such a trap. Not everyone can be as prophetic as Kraftwerk, with their layers of self-irony, gracious minimalistic arrangements, and songwriting chops infused here and there. As I said, Underworld was a very decent act. "Pearl's Gate", for example, is a well-crafted drum'n'bass cut. "Blueski" is interesting as an ambient experimental loop. "Stagger", with its pop inclinations, is a nice closer. And in expanded editions, you have the iconic keyboard-riff-meets-boom-boom-extravaganza of "Born Slippy" (of *Trainspotting* fame). But where would I listen to any of these songs now? In a club? Nah, not groovy enough. In a dance music festival or a rave party? Nope, those "steady beats"--as one reviewer named them to describe half of those tracks--sound *way too steady* for both today. And here's the most important question: would you listen to this in your living room? No way for me, and I'm pretty sure that's the same answer for 90% of y'all. I can listen to groundbreaking electronic acts from 808 State to Jlin from an armchair and not feel ridiculous at all. But I'd feel a little daft having my speakers blare Underworld in my living room to be honest. Maybe in 1996 I wouldn't have. But in 2022? On a sidenote: Karl Hyde's daughter is playing in the amazing Black Country New Road these days. It's nice to see that one of the Underworld founders has passed the torch of his passion for music to his offspring, even if said daughter is using such passion for a radically different genre. The British scene has always been a great place for talented musicians, and since the last five years or so, it's been incredibly lively (especially now that we're finally out of that awful "landfill indie" era). But the last edition of *1001 Albums To Listen To Before You Die* was published in 2017 and it direly needs to be updated now, in my humble opinion. If I had a say, I guess I would take out Underworld to make room for the next generation. And I'm pretty sure Karl Hyde himself wouldn't hold too much of a grudge against me considering *some* of my choices. :) [Number of albums left to review or just listen to: 977 Number of albums from the list I find relevant enough to be mandatory listens: 9 Albums from the list I *might* include in mine later on: 6 Albums from the list I will *not* include in mine (as I think many others are more important): 8 (including this one). Albums I might not be able to judge (some might end up on my final list if they're culturally important): 1]

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3

honestly I forgot all of it

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3

Solid electronica. I find it interesting that most of Underworlds drums/backbeat all sounds the same. 3.5/5

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3

This was creative, interesting, and unique, but WAY TOO REPETITIVE. It made it feel like each song was 10 minutes long. Worth a listen, not worth a return.

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3

With this being the only Underworld album, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Born Slippy…the only track I’ve ever known by them. Born Slippy is incredible for 105 seconds. Once the synths go away and it becomes drum and bass dominated, I lose interest. Those 105 seconds were magnificent enough to get me semi-interested in Trainspotting, which is a feat. On to the album at hand: Banstyle / Sappys Curry has a pleasant atmosphere then ends with a flurry of quick, energetic synth runs. Rowla is a howla. Pearl’s Girl is a step back for me while the last three tracks come back around. The relevant conclusion is that I’m a sucker for well crafted synths. I’m very much on the fence and it comes down to the genre. This album is more of a house/trance vibe, and it’s a very good album in that genre, which 20…even 10 years ago, I would have been more into. Today, I can appreciate the quality of this album, but I’m not that into the genre. So I round down.

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3

This reminds me of hanging out at truck stops and buying a bunch of ephedrine in the 90's then going to raves in Austin. Also, about that same time I thought Trainspotting was just about the best movie ever made. Though the music is dated and the tempo slides to the elevated mondo-ephedra side of the scale, there is still some good stuff in this. Though I'm sad to say that too much raving in the 90's has taken a toll and my heart only take this in 20 min. increments.

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3

This is a tough album to rate as much of it is meant to be consumed on the dance floor.

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3

Stagger tem umas ideias meio Neo

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3

Mumble core underworld with another album with a mixture of good instrumental driven and not so good vocal driven tracks.

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3

+++

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3

Yes

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3

Mid 90s electronic. I remember them from the Trainspotting soundtrack but never listened to anything else from them. Couple of bangers on there.

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3

One of the better albums I've listened here that goes for too long. Got a bit tired after Pearl Girl was finished. Great album otherwise.

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3

This is a real late 90s throwback. I'd only heard Born Slippy before, so this was nice to fill out my knowledge a bit. But overall I found it a bit repetitive and slow.

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3

16 minute songs - behave.

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3

I was the first toughest in the infants, because I am Nigel Spackman and I'm fuckin' solid

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3

i was not expecting this to be on the list, as to be honest i'd forgotten it existed which is bad form on my part as i used to have this on CD. i had also forgotten how long it is (giggidy). nowhere near as good as i remember, there are better underworld albums.

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3

I knew Underwolrd primarily from their hit Born Slippy and 8-ball, which I both always liked a lot. Never took a chance to listen to anything else. Although my enjoyment went a bit down further down the album I definitely want to give it another listen later

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3

Freur / Underworld (with or without Darren Emerson) is a great electronic band of course. But why this album and not Dubnobasswithmyheadman? Maybe the latter is on the list too, but once again you get the impression that the composers of the 1001 list lost grip on the list at some point during the nineties.. (go for the big canonic albums from the previous decades, but pick arbitrary albums from later decades) Anyways: played loud on a decent hi-fi set, this album still sounds as great as ever. Really tried to like it at the time. However, it misses the synth-pop influences that its predecessor still had, and when not played very loud, the album becomes a bit boring.

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3

A good listen, though I have to say I find the intro track to be the most underwhelming one. I did enjoy the album more with passive listening. Great music to concentrate, quite atmospheric.

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2

1996. Key Songs: Rowla

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2

Hypnotiserende techno beats, udmærket baggrundsmusik,

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2

Boring...repetitive....

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2

wasn't feeling it... didn't get far

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2

Needs some drugs.

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2

There is really no point in including albums like this. Their purpose is not from a songwriting perspective.

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2

No Born Slippy - no party

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2

Not a great fan

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2

Ok, pra falar a verdade eu nao prestei muita atencao

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2

Ok, but kinda boring

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2

Nothing noteable in here.

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2

Far far below the standard set by their previous album - all very dull really with only a couple of good tunes

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2

Wasn't great. Beat heavy and low on tunes.

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2

Šta sam čuo, ok niš spešl

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2

Songs were way too boring to be that long. A little change of pace here or there would have been nice. Almost a 1 honestly but not bad enough that I wanted to turn it off.

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2

It was okay, pretty average. Nothing really stood out for me apart from the first song. 2/5 stars.

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2

This is just entirely not for me.

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2

Not really into it. Very sleepy.

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2

Meh, lots of long repetitive songs, some of which were extremely annoying. I did, however, like one or two songs.

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2

well made album, but I found it kind of boring/repetitive

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2

I now only need the smell of smoke and stale beer to make my morning complete.

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2

Teveel van hetzelfde en het gáát maar door. Zenuwslopend op een gegeven moment. Op een festival is dit fantastisch, maar om gewoon thuis te draaien; nee.

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2

Nu maakt Underworld echte coole nummers, maar om dat nu zo thuis te gaan luisteren. Nee, dat kan ik niet zo goed.

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2

Far far below the standard set by their previous album - all very dull really with only a couple of good tunes

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2

no techno for me

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2

Gets super tedious. I almost feel like ambient music shouldn't have song breaks. Just work it right into the next song. Like Floyd would do. It's not terrible by any means, just goes on too long. It's like they made their point at 3 mins but kept going for five more.

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2

Droney and flat. not my thing.

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2

Meh I did quite like dancing to it, but also kind of bored by it the entire time

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2

Seemed like a standard 90s foreign electronic album. A couple of the songs were a bit long and were pretty easy to get lost in but the other songs were pretty hectic noise. Nothing my style. 3.7/10

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2

Boring BG music.

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2

Mmmmmmm not my cup of tea

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2

Only had time to listen to one track so far. Wasn’t expecting electronic music like this in the list tbh, but will finish it later

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2

The problem with frontloading your album with the biggest, most epic-length tracks is that you're going to burn out the listener right off the bat. Unless you're, I don't know, Kraftwerk, you shouldn't do it. Even Rush couldn't really pull it off... I find myself shutting off 2112 after I make through the title track, and that's a much better album than this. This album starts with two tracks that each clock in at over 15 minutes, making it a tedious exercise to grind through while checking this album out for the first time. There are some interesting ideas here amidst some dated textures, but the structure of the album has killed its forward momentum for some auditory dick-wagging.

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2

Not my thing, but it seems like they do this well

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2

Electrónica. Monótono. Cansino.

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2

Maybe it would be higher if they just dropped all the vocals

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2

Perfect album if you think On the Run is the best Pink Floyd song. 3/10

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2

4/10. Would've been better without any vocals I think, but overall fine.

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2

It shone in a few moments, but overall it felt very repetitive within songs and I in cohesive as an album 4/10

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2

Endnu et elektronisk album. Måske lidt bedre end de andre, men stadigvæk meget repetativt og meeeget lange numre. 16 minutter 😕 2,5 stjerne

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2

Electronic musiczzzzzz

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2

Nothing stood out to me on this album. Fine production but nothing to write home about personally.

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2

nothing great

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2

inte för mig

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2

Some of these tracks remind me of the background music that you would play in a scene where life around the main protagonist is sped up and blurry to denote the passage of time. Similarly, these tracks blurred together and nothing stood out for me. It was fine as background music.

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2

Boring.

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2

GABE HATTO MUSIC

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2

Not my thing

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2

1996, name and album cover, I'm going SCUNGY UK TECHNO. and boooooooom nailed it. Oh and it goes for over an hour, because of course. 2/5.

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Bit boring in places as the pieces are left for too long. Some sounds too much like the Born Slippy hit, others sound like bjork should bee singing them. I think there were better electronic dance albums during the 1990s.

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2

This didn’t do it for me.

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2

Ik voelde me ergens tussen verveeld en geënerveerd.. niet mijn ding. Maar vond het oké genoeg om niet het minimum te geven

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2

Very long and repetitive

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2

As an inhabitant of the underworld, I can confirm that we always listen to techno beats that could've been decent if they aren't overlong and unnecessarily repetitive. As for the "Second Toughest in the Infants". It's not really as brutal as it sounds. It's just something about a kid's experience in a nursery school in the UK. Of course, a good bunch of us know what kind of underworld nursery schools are.

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2

Es bueno pero no me agrada escuchar esta música

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2

I mean… it’s unique to say the least?

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2

This album felt like it lasted 45 years. I don’t remember ever starting it, it’s been so long. What do I rate it? How do I rate eternity? How do I rate an album that has managed to evade the bonds of time? Probably two stars.

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2

I don't hate it? Not sure if i like it either. tries too hard to be Aphex Twin at times sound extremely outdated somewhat hard listen: mid

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1

Thanks, I hate it

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1

boring - dont like

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1

nah dude. like jam band deep house no fuckin thank you.

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1

While not entirely horrific, it was still very unpleasant.

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1

I don’t think I enjoyed a single second.

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1

Kolejny albumik z gatunku nie znam, wiec sie wypowiem, bo kolejna techniawa elektroniczna rocznik 96, no i znowu wyspiarze w natarciu, pierwsza czesc plyty brzmi troche jak o wiele mniej ambitne juno reactor, mocne lubudubu do ktorego wplecione sa jakies wokalne wstawki, tak jak w poprzedniej rece elektryka, mondra muzyka do taneczenia, natomiast ostatnie trzy traki zrezygnowaly z atakowania basiorem i agresywnosci na bicie i sa raczej utrzymane w ambientowych klimatach, discog klasyfikuje plyte do gatunku deepowego housa, gleboki przekaz czy glebokie lubudubu, kto to wie, na plejke dodam kawalek ten z czesci ambientowej, no i to chyba jebyny trak bez jakiegokolwiek wokalu, co w tym przypadku jest plusem, kolejny raz wychodzi bieda skali pieciogwiazdkowej, bo nie ma porownania z albumem kanadyjskich desek, a ten sam gatunek, jednak az tak tragiczny zeby 1 mu dac to nie jest, wiec takie 3/10, a deski kanadyjskie by mialy wtedy 4/10

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1

Really boring

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Artistically speaking, in general, it's difficult to justify extending the length of a piece of music past the ten minute mark. That's even true with classical music, which obviously has more content than most popular music, which is why most sections in classical music rarely last more than ten minutes. The first two pieces on Second Toughest In The Infants are over 15 minutes and this is dance music, which by its very nature tends toward repetition and lack of content. But before I get into criticizing this artistically, let's talk about its intended function. Could you dance to this? Yes. It's hypnotic. None of the musical textures are nauseating, which has to count as some sort of accomplishment in the dance music environment of the last 30 years. I could imagine, in the right circumstances, say in a packed club, allowing myself to be swept away into the mindlessness of it all and gyrate endlessly in a sea of humanity. So, it succeeds on that level. But how about artistically, as a pure listening experience? The first song, Juanita, is pretty much a dead loss. The beats, rhythmic development, and sound world, while not actively unpleasant, are almost completely devoid of interest. The 2nd tune, Banstyle, is much better. It's built on a simple two chord vamp, which thankfully has a pleasant timbre. The rest is layered rhythms. Ever so slowly, the vamp shapeshifts into a single chord. Within this extremely limited scope, Underworld crams in an impressive variety of textures, both acoustic and digital. The effect is a little like looking through a microscope at a drop of water, teeming with bacteria. It's only a drop of water, but there's a whole world in there. I could see where this might work if you just wanted to zone out or let your mind wander, but it doesn't rise to the level of being truly interesting, like We's As Is. It turns out that Banstyle is the best that Second Toughest In The Infants has to offer. Confusion The Waitress and Rowla spin minute variations on 1 or 2 bar themes. It's reductive, maddening, and boring beyond belief. Second Toughest In The Infants isn't an album. It's an endurance contest. I give up. Underworld wins.

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1

Born Shitty

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Pish. Boring, generic patterns repeated ad infinitum.

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1

It’s over. Nobody listens to techno.

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1

ruim

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1

Not a fan. This is music popular in circles that do not include me.

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not my type of music

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