Underworld – Second Toughest In The Infants – 4CD deluxe edition review

Underworld - Second Toughest In The Infants Deluxe Edition
Underworld - Second Toughest In The Infants Deluxe Edition

Ahead of its 20th anniversary next year, Underworld re-release their masterpiece, Second Toughest In The Infants as a deluxe re-mastered reissue in several formats via Universal on 20th November

(What’s The Story) Morning Glory may well have been the biggest selling album of the 1990s.  But for me, Underworld’s Second Toughest In The Infants was the most interesting, timely and ultimately, my favourite album of the decade. It caught Underworld at their most creative and diverse – exploring themes and rhythms unlike any of their contemporaries, and in the processing stretching boundaries and genre-defining boxes.  Similar to the mock metal band Bad News, with Second Toughest in the Infants, Underworld wasn’t sitting on the fence.  They were trying to burn the fence down; and who wants to sit on a burning fence? I think that says a lot!

Underworld circa 1996 - Darren Emerson, Karl Hyde and Rick Smith
Underworld circa 1996 - Darren Emerson, Karl Hyde and Rick Smith

Following on from the groundbreaking Dubnobasswithmyheadman, their debut album as a three-piece, with Darren Emerson joining Karl Hyde and Rick Smith, and following their new musical explorations, Second Toughest In The Infants takes giant leaps forward in every way.

My working definition of a ‘classic album‘ is a complete album with ‘all thrillers & no fillers!‘, timeless and one I never tire of listening to. For all those reasons, Underworld’s Second Toughest In The Infants is a classic album; one of my favourite all-time favourites of all-time.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6pouE8YmoQ

The album begins with a rush, ‘Juanita: Kiteless: To Dream Of Love‘, a 16 minute song that takes you on a fast and furious journey without hesitation. Rather like ‘Dark & Long‘ (opening track on Dubnobasswithmyheadman) on cocaine, if you will. The pounding beat gets stronger, heavier as it drives forward with each layer of rhythm as Karl Hyde’s filtered spoken words take a step back ‘Resonator, resonator, resonator, resonator‘. The track builds for six minutes before relenting. From here on, the track explores different rhythms akin to its own 12″ remix. All the time the power and driving beats keep ‘Juanita: Kiteless‘ alive and pulsing with adrenalin rush.

Listening to this re-mastered version of ‘Juanita: Kiteless: To Dream Of Love‘ leaves me with a feeling of exhaustion and shell-shocked delight, as it did 19 years ago.

Next up is ‘Banstyle / Sappys Curry‘ and a change in style.  Mellow with a skipping uptempo beat, taking a tip from the jazz ‘n bass style of the time, led by the likes of Roni Size & Reprazent.  ‘Banstyle / Sappys Curry‘ is a great rest bite after the impact and power of ‘Juanita: Kiteless’. If this is a concept album, then we have already entered a chillout zone.  The frantic beat gives way to a heavy heavy dub bass drop, and if the first journey was speed-induced, the room is subsequently filled with smoke!

Weighing in at over 31 minutes long, the opening two tracks have time to breathe and explore.  Rather than being suffocated by hampering thoughts of radio airplay or commercial verse/chorus verse/chorus pop structures that swallowed up some of their contemporaries.

Confusion the Waitress‘ continues in a lighter frame of mind.  Which only enhances the arrival of ‘Rowla‘.  Sequencer loop acts like a roll call to introduce a stomping four-to-the-floor beat and acid trance that filters and grows as it pulsates from the speakers into your head.  ‘Rowla‘ is a simple tune compared to the other tracks on the album.  But each time it builds you find yourself being dragged by its gravitational pull. Simple and effective.

After being completely mesmerised by earlier tracks ‘Cowgirl‘, ‘Rez‘ and yes of course, the original 11 minute (NUXX) version of ‘Born Slippy‘, it was difficult to comprehend that, within such a great album there would still be one track that, above all others would still manage to send shivers down my spine and simply blow my mind.  I still remember listening  to ‘Pearl’s Girl‘ for the first time.  But unlike other songs I loved of the same period, the power of this song remains the same and still completely resonates with me, today.  From its initial darker, moody intro, the track develops, building and opening, until that beat hits you full on for the first time. Hands down, at that moment, it was the most amazing sound ever to fill my head. CRAZY!CRAZY! CRAZY! CRAZY!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5GjVvlmg3o

Air Towel‘ follows in the wake of ‘Pearl’s Girl‘.  For a track that is the equivalent of following Alex Ferguson as manager of Manchester United or auditioning as lead singer of Joy Division after the suicide of Ian Curtis, the track works by moving the album in yet another direction.  Lighter, trippy and spacious; and with ‘Blueski‘ we are taken completely away from the dancefloor, electronic sequencers and beats.  Ramblings on an acoustic guitar sampled, filtered and looped in a dream-like sequence akin to a mantra for mindfulness; and finally we arrive at the final track.  ‘Stagger’ errs towards experimental.  Piano and Karl Hyde’s  vocals are drenched in echo to give a dreamy synth pop, closer to Hyde and Smith’s earlier 1980s incarnation.

With Second Toughest In The Infants, Underworld managed to explore new electronic landscapes and create a timeless album.  It was undoubtedly the pinnacle of their many glories; and at the same time they managed to develop and produce one of the best dance songs of all-time in ‘Born Slippy‘. Originally released in March 1996, Second Toughest In The Infants is Underworld’s masterpiece. It is the perfect hybrid of man and machine. It’s a record that crackles with the frantic energy of pirate stations half tuned on FM dials; one that strolls through grimy cities at night and ducks between dog tracks and neon-lit all-night stores. Lyrically, it’s Karl Hyde at his voyeuristic most ingenious; and although informed by the nascent drum ’n’ bass scene, minimalist composition and the European techno underground, Second Toughest In The Infants  only ends up sounding like Underworld. It’s a truly unique album – the sound of Rick Smith, Karl Hyde and Darren Emerson working at the height of their powers, utterly unaffected by the prevailing trends of the time and creating effortlessly peerless music.

The deluxe editions come packed with  remixes, non-album B-sides, and unreleased tracks. The fourth disc of the super deluxe edition traces the evolution of the group’s 1995 single ‘Born Slippy (Nuxx)‘ from early recordings through to the finished studio version. The super deluxe edition also comes with a 60-page book of artwork by  Karl Hyde & Rick Smith’s design company, Tomato.  The book also includes notes by Jon Savage.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOi8Gnq_z_U

Underworld – Second Toughest In The Infants
Super Deluxe 4 CD Tracklisting

CD1 (Orinigal Album)
1. Juanita: Kiteless: To Dream Of Love
2. Banstyle / Sappys Curry
3. Confusion the Waitress
4. Rowla
5. Pearl’s Girl
6. Air Towel
7. Blueski
8. Stagger

CD2: singles, B sides, remixes
1. Cherry Pie
2. Oich Oich
3. Puppies
4. Mosaic
5. Deep Arch
6. Pearl’s Girl (Tin There)
7. Pearl’s Girl (14996 Version)
8. Born Slippy (Original Instrumental Version)
9. Born Slippy Nuxx (Deep Pan)

CD3: previously unreleased material
1. Bug
2. Confusion The Waitress (She Said)
3. D+B Thing
4. D’Arbly St
5. 4 Crowns
6. Rowla A1806
7. Bing Here
8. Techno Thang
9. Pearls Ver2
10. Bloody 1

CD4: Born Slippy (Nuxx) – previously unreleased demos, live recordings, mixes

1. Nuxx A1796
2. Nuxx A2221 UW live (2 sets) Leicester M Dog 94
3. Nuxx A4712 Live @ Zap club Brighton Feb94
4. Nuxx A4733 UW live Amsterdam Apr94
5. Nuxx Liquid Room 94 A2254 UW Live Liquid Room 2 Tokyo
6. Nuxx from A1825
7. Born Slippy (Nuxx)

Underworld – The Second Toughest In The Infants Deluxe Edition was re-mastered at Abbey Road and will be released as a CD, a 2xCD deluxe edition, a double LP, and as a 4xCD super deluxe edition on 20th November, 2015 via Universal.

Win Ministry Of Sound compilation: Anthems Drum & Bass


Ministry Of Sound's Anthems: Drum & Bass
Ministry Of Sound's Anthems: Drum & Bass

Anthems is Ministry of Sound’s most successful series, that has so far been a glaring omission, so for this edition we’re taking on Drum & Bass.

This exclusive compilation draws together, for the first time, the key anthems, producers and artists that helped the music evolve from the streets of Britain’s inner cities into a worldwide scene that, today, still hasn’t stopped moving forward.

This 3 CD anthology of the biggest D&B tracks of all time include classics such as Goldie, Adam F, Roni Size & Reprazent, The Ganja Kru, Origins Unknown, Micky Finn & Aphrodite, DJ SS alongside mainstream tracks such as ‘Shake Your Body‘ from Shy FX, ‘LK‘ by DJ Marky and the infectious ‘Barcelona‘ from D.Kay & Epsilon plus likes of Dilinja, Pendulum, Ram Trilogy and E-Z Rollers.

Finally it’s time to bring the genre up-to-date with a selection of modern-day d ‘n’ b masterpieces including Chase & Status, High Contrast, Sub Focus, Wilkinson, Sigma and DJ Fresh.

For more information including a full tracklisting, visit the Ministry Of Sound website.

Win a copy of  Ministry Of Sound’s Anthems: Drum & Bass CD in our FREE COMPETITION

Buzzin Music has 5 copies of Ministry Of Sound’s Anthems: Drum & Bass CD to giveaway.

To enter to competition, simply answer the question below:

Who released the drum & bass classic ‘Super Sharp Shooter’?

a) Goldie
b) Ganja Kru
c) Roni Size

Submit your entries to comps@buzzinmedia.co.uk with the subject line: ‘Drum & Bass Comp’ (other subject lines will not be entered) with your full name, address & contact number.

This competition ends on 25th March 2015.  The editor’s choice is final.

Underworld reveal ‘Birdstar’ from ‘Dubnobasswithmyheadman’ 20th anniversary

Birdstar‘ is a demo from Underworld‘s ‘Dubnobasswiheadman‘ period. Many the track’s elements were subsequently used in other songs, right up until ‘Second Toughest In The Infants‘, and also utilised in a number of classic Underworld remixes, including Bjork’s ‘Human Behaviour’ and ‘Black Sky’ by Shakespears Sister.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvpjFvm2Vlw

Underworld: Dubnobasswithmyheadman 20th anniversary

Underworld will be performing the album live at the Royal Festival Hall 11th October 2014 following the release of the remastered album which will be released on 6th October 2014 in various formats & editions – CD / 2xCD deluxe / 2xLP / HD Blu-Ray / 5xCD super-deluxe.

“The most important album since The Stone Roses and the best since Screamadelica… a breathtaking hybrid that marks the moment that club culture finally comes of age and beckons to everyone” Melody Maker

“By writing ‘songs’—albeit playful, deranged ones—Underworld have come up with a solution for the facelessness that blights dance music.” NME

In January 1994, Rick Smith, Darren Emerson & Karl Hyde released their debut album – Dubnobasswithmyheadman – on independent label Junior Boy’s Own. They crafted songs from transcendent dance music. They were clearly a band – complete with frontman/guitarist – yet they made records where the constituent parts and players were often indefinable. Musically, they took elements from the European techno underground & Balearic clubs and fused them with spliced up beat poetry and strung out ambient sounds.

Underworld’s debut arrived as a fully formed statement of intent. Its’ nine tracks showcased the limitless possibilities of electronic music. Although born out of club culture, Dubnobasswithmyheadman defied the accepted genres of the time – equally suited to the dancefloor and the after party, it was as immersive an experience quaking through bassbins or headphones. Two decades on from its original release, it’s unarguable that Dubnobasswithmyheadman is one of the most influential British electronic records of all time; a signpost for everything from dance music’s easy relationship with main stages at festivals to the radio/globe-conquering EDM phenomenon.

To celebrate Dubnobasswithmyheadman’s 20th anniversary, the record has been meticulously remastered at Abbey Road for a deluxe reissue by the band’s Rick Smith. Revisiting the original MIDI files, Rick uncovered a wealth of previously unreleased material and rare alternate mixes that sit alongside the record’s original companion singles and remixes and offer a fascinating insight into the creation of the record. The resultant release is the definitive version of one of those rare records that truly deserves to be described as a classic.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KMPUjNSk58

To coincide with the re-release of Dubnobasswithmyheadman, Underworld will play the album in full at a unique show at London’s Royal Festival Hall on Saturday 11th October 2014. This show will offer fans a unique chance to see Underworld in one of the capital’s most iconic venues playing this classic album in its entirety for the first time. Tickets cost £35/£30 and are available from July 2nd.

Dubnobasswithmyheadman is the first release through Universal Music’s exclusive worldwide deal for the band’s iconic collected works. Work is under way on plans for forthcoming future deluxe, remastered editions of each of the band’s classic albums.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZoA6SSEuhWk

For more information visit www.underworldlive.com

Original album tracklisting:

1.DARK & LONG

2.MMM…SKYSCRAPER I LOVE YOU

3.SURFBOY

4.SPOONMAN

5.TONGUE

6.DIRTY EPIC

7.COWGIRL

8.RIVER OF BASS

9.M.E

Extra disc tracklistings:

Deluxe CD2:

1. ECLIPSE

2. REZ

3. DIRTY

4.DARK & LONG (DARK TRAIN)

5.SPIKEE

6. CONCORD (3 Comp75 id9 A1771 Aug 93A)

7. CAN YOU FEEL ME? (from A4796)

8.BIRDSTAR (A1558 Nov 92B.1)

Super Deluxe:

CD2 Singles 1991 – 1994

1.THE HUMP (WILD BEAST)

2.ECLIPSE (released as Lemon Interrupt)

3. REZ

4. DIRTY (released as Lemon Interrupt)

5.DIRTYGUITAR

6.DARK & LONG (HALL’S EDIT)

7.DARK & LONG (DARK TRAIN)

8.SPIKEE

CD3 Remixes 1992 – 1994

1.MMM…SKYSCRAPER I LOVE YOU (JAM SCRAPER)

2.COWGIRL (IRISH PUB IN KYOTO MIX)

3.DARK & LONG (MOST ‘OSPITABLE MIX)

4.MMM…SKYSCRAPER I LOVE YOU (TELEGRAPH 16.11.92)

5. DARK & LONG (BURTS MIX)

6.DOGMAN GO WOOF

7. DARK & LONG (THING IN A BOOK MIX)

CD4 PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED RECORDINGS 1991 – 1993

1.CONCORD (3 Comp75 id9 A1771 Aug 93A)

2.DARK & LONG(1struffid3A15512)

3.MMM…SKYSCRAPER I LOVE YOU (A1765 Sky Version id4. Harmone6 COMP43)

4.MMM…SKYSCRAPER I LOVE YOU (After sky id6 1551 2)

5.CAN YOU FEEL ME? (from A4796)

6. BIRDSTAR (A1558 Nov 92B.1)

7.DIRTY EPIC (Dirty Ambi Piano A1764 Oct 91)

8.SPOONMAN (version1 A1559 Nov92)

9.ORGAN (Eclipse version from A4796)

10.COWGIRL(AltCowgirlC69MixfromA1564)

CD5 LIVE JAM KYME RD (PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED LIVE REHEARSAL RECORDED IN THE BAND’S HOME STUDIO IN 1993)

1.MMM…SKYSCRAPER I LOVE YOU

2.IMPROV 1

3.BIGMOUTH

4.IMPROV 2

5.BIG MEAT SHOW

6.IMPROV 3

7.SPOONMAN

Rudimental – Home – Debut Album Review and UK Tour Dates

It seems an age since being seduced by the incredibly soulful voice of John Newman on Feel the Love a number one debut single for London band Rudimental. A steady flow of releases from the album Home have followed, all sounding good enough for me to be among the many eagerly anticipating their debut album.

It doesn’t disappoint. Featuring the singles Feel the Love, Not Giving In, Hell Could Freeze (free mp3) and the most recent stonking number one hit Waiting All Night featuring the wonderful voice of Ella Eyre.
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M97vR2V4vTs

Rudimental are a four piece collective based in London who have built a strong reputation on the live circuit as well as winning critical acclaim for the unique music they are producing. A kind of latter day Massive Attack the band appear to have no problem at all in attracting some top voices.

John Newman, Ella Eyre and Angel Haze are all new names to me but each has left a mark on me through their tracks on Home. Despite the trademark clashing live instruments and rapid beats, the soulful vocals from the various artists on Home invariably evoke an almost charming old school flavour.

It is hard to pick out stand out tracks as after a couple of listens the whole thing just flows like a personal playlist, but if pushed I would say Hell Could Freeze featuring New York rapper Angel Haze, a fantastic bitter sweet street record, and surprisingly, as I didn’t like it on first hearing Spoons featuring MNEK and Syron.

Just put it on and party!

Home is the debut album from Rudimental and is available in all formats now.

Home by Rudimental tracklisting:
1. Home
2. Feel The Love ft. John Newman
3. Right Here ft. Foxes
4. Hell Could Freeze ft. Angel Haze
5. Spoons ft. MNEK & Syron
6. Hide ft. Sinead Harnett
7. Powerless
8. More Than Anything ft. Emeli Sandé
9. Not Giving In ft. John Newman & Alex Clare
10. Baby ft. MNEK & Sinead Harnett
11. Waiting All Night ft. Ella Eyre
12. Free ft. Emeli Sandé

Additional tracks on deluxe version

13. Give You Up (ft Alex Clare)

14. Alien Bashment

15. Solo (ft Ella Eyre & Mark Crown)

16. Feel The Love Rudimental VIP (ft John Newman)

Rudimental are:

Piers Aggett, Amir Amor, Kesi Dryden and Leon Rolle.

Following a recent sold out UK tour Rudimental will be appearing at T in the Park, Global Gathering,Bestival and Glastonbury festivals, with more to be announced soon.

*NEW TOUR ANNOUNCED* OCTOBER UK HEADLINE SHOWS

8th October – Leeds O2 Academy

11th October – Newcastle O2 Academy

14th October – Bristol O2 Academy

15th October – Bournemouth O2 Academy

17th October – Birmingham O2 Academy

18th October – London Brixton O2 Academy

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You’ve Gotta Shine On and ‘Move On’ Sabijn

Jazz We Can - Sabijn

Every musician has a story to tell in their music and Jazz Singer Sabijn from Gent, Belgium is no exception. Life has a habit of giving us lessons on living each day as if it were your last, encouraging each and every one of us to turn lemons into lemonade and skillfully transform the shit into manure.

I feel priviledged every day when I meet and hear musicians pieces of art, as I know there is always a story behind every track. I am an inquisitive soul, so when given the opportunity to meet Sabijn having heard a remix of her track ‘Move On’ (Beatblenderz Club Mix) I seized the opportunity without hesitation and felt truly inspired.

I was immediately impressed how professional Sabijn was. She had her briefcase with ‘Jazz We Can‘, poster on the front and introduced herself with a smile and a posture of confidence. This lady has the  grace of Mae West and the formidable spirit of Muhammad Ali. The referee starts counting and this lady picks herself right up off the floor. I could see nothing could knock this lady out!

Sabijn’s parents divorced when she was 11 years of age, which is a tough blow when your a kid, which no doubt inspired her to become a poet, singer and also a stand up comic. We are all a product of our past and this lady chose the path of artistic flair to express her life story. Sabijn later decided to study music, then spent 20 years as a Teacher at a Music Academy.

Any great teacher wants to help inspire and encourage others and she did just that, but Sabijn had a dream that had been dormant but not forgotten for many years.

Tragedy has a habit of striking unannounced and Sabijn suffered a brain haemorrhage, which left her laying in her bed for 4 years. Feeling completely powerless and often thinking she was going to die, Sabijn could only lay in a bed with depression as her pillow.

Being a Personal Development Coach, I am fully aware how strength of character and the power of will and determination is a successful resolution for lifes dramas.  Following a slow recovery, Sabijn knew it was time to make a life changing decision to turn her dreams into reality! Looking death in the face most definitely has a habit of giving us a wake up and smell the roses alarm call!

Any lady that can smoke a cigar has the balls to get with the programme called life. Sabijn has a relentless dream to sing at The Blue Note in New York and she knew laying in bed thinking she was going to die was not going to fulfil that dream. Whilst laying in bed, Sabijn began to hum a tune, she then began to put words to the tune and then sang into a dictaphone. She finally sang and danced her way slowly out of bed.

Music is indeed an extremely powerful therapy, which quite clearly helps people to ‘Move On‘!

[ad#sabijn]

Sabijn went to New York earlier this year to begin the dream. Not everything went to plan, however, she met some interesting and influential characters including Ambassador Herman, the Consulate General of Belgium in New York and decided to take herself to Time Square and Empire State to give the public a free show. Heading in the right direction, and in true Sabijn Jazz We Can style, she has a gig arranged in New York in September and we at Buzzin Media have no doubt the Triad Theatre will offer her a standing ovation and New York an almighty Encore!

Sabijn On Soundcloud

Buzzin Media on Soundcloud

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