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Ultra-Obscene

4.2 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 21, 1999
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Breakbeat Era ~ Ultra-Obscene

Amazon.com

Roni Size is a man with a mission: to bring drum & bass to the world by any means possible. With his first full-length, Reprazent's New Forms, Size ably took a few small steps for mankind--and a huge leap for the jungle nation. Taking the acclaimed Mercury Award was only the first step toward world domination, but Breakbeat Era just might be the key to unlock the public's ears to drum & bass. Armed with vocalist Leonie Laws--whose snapshot lyrics fit like a glove with the sharpshooting drums and bass--and with coproducer and boy wunderkind DJ Die, one wonders after a listen to this exceedingly catchy record, is there anything Size can't do? --Tricia Romano

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Past Life
  2. Ranoid
  3. Ultra-Obscene
  4. Bullitproof
  5. Breakbeat Era
  6. Time 4 Breaks
  7. Late Morning
  8. Anti-Everything
  9. Animal Machine
  10. Our Disease
  11. Max
  12. Control Freak
  13. Terrible Funk
  14. Sex Change
  15. Life Is My Friend


Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 21, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Interscope Records
  • ASIN: B00001QGL1
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #144,795 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's Breakbeat Era Store

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
On paper this sounds really promising--DJ Die (jungle phenom), Roni Size (junglist with shrewd pop/jazz sensibilities), and Leonie Laws (a brooding, forthright singer in vain of Shirley Manson of Garbage). In fact that is what "Ultra-Obscene" (which it is not really that obscene) sounds like--crossing jungle with the vocal stylings and lyrics of Garbage. Leonie has the perfect pop/alt cadence to sing over jungle, and her style is a welcome contrast to the typical diva-esque crooning over atmospheric drum 'n bass. Most of the time, it works wonderfully. However, the longlasting influence may from the catchiness of Size's and Die's stark and rich beats programming, that may seap into the mainstream music conscious.
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I'm surprised I had not heard of this album before, being a fan of Roni Size and most of the well known Bristol UK musicians. I was reading a critic's review of Roni's new 'Return to V' CD on another website and it mention this side project, Breakbeat Era as being arguably the best CD to feature Drum & Bass plus female vocals, even better than LAMB.

So I thought, no way, who can be better than LAMB, I mean who can top the drum assult on 'Cotton Wool'. So I decided to check this out. While there is no 'Cotton Wool' in Ultra -Obscene, and Lamb's Louise Rhondes' voice is far more lovely than Leonie Laws', I still enjoy listening and moving to this CD. What Breakbeat Era has over Lamb is character and attitude.

Programming by Roni Size and DJ Die is tight, with mysterious jazz basslines and jungle beats on all tracks, changing momentum and effects at the right moments. Leonie Laws comes across like a Femme Fatale, ready to kick butt and take on the world. She does not scream and nash her teeth, but states with conviction in 'Anti-Everything' that she was "..Raised a double agent" and "I'm ah walking Animal Machine and you ain't safe with Me" in 'Animal Machine'.

Her delivery reminds me of the commanding voice of Toni Halliday, the singer for Curve.

Spinning this CD is like watching an episode of Alias, or watching Brain De Palmer's 'Femme Fatale' or La Femme Nikita.

If you want attitude with your drum n' bass (or drum n bass with your attitude) then check out Breakbeat Era: Ultra -Obscene, which does not let up, straight up DnB, unlike Lamb who mellows occasionally. Though I still have a soft spot for LAMB, which I think is better that Breakbeat Era over all, because Louise is an awesome singer.

Breakbeat Era is a more exciting ride.
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By A Customer on November 16, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Any album, which contains songs that send shivers of pure delight through your body must be amazing. ULTRA-OBSCENE by Break Beat Era does just that. Oh my gosh, one second your being pulverized by the phattest breaks on earth while in the next your mind goes into sensory overload upon hearing the Ultra-obscenely awesome vocals of Leonie Laws accompanied by some of the most innovative D&B Bass lines ever! If you even mildly like DrumandBass, BUY THIS ALBUM. And if you don't like DrumandBass you will after hearing this.
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Format: Audio CD
I discovered DnB about 4 months ago, but this is the first Roni Size-related album I've purchased. I will be looking for more. I've been listening to the likes of Photek, Aphex Twin, and Squarepusher. I would say it's a DnB version of Death In Vegas, but this is so much more. The vocals are great, and fit the music perfectly, almost like sung beat poetry. This is an album I'll probably be listening to in a couple years, which is my mark of good music. I need a bigger stereo.
If I had to find something wrong with this album, I'd say that Lonie Law's use of slang when she sings.
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Format: Audio CD
This album is simply amazing. Its not for the dark steppers though. This is no "wormhole" if you know what i am saying but the tunes are fabulous. Leonie Laws vocals are flawless, and to believe that she came from a punk band! Size and Die prove that reprazent is still alive and well. The self titled song on this CD is a classic, the live bass feel adds something that is missing in the more popular dark drum and bass of the present. Buy it, and its cheap, its manufactured and shipped in the US as well as Britain so there is no need for importing!
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Format: Audio CD
This has been one of the most interesting CD's that I have purchased this year. I'm not usually too into Drum and Bass because I find it too repetitive, and it doesn't seem to go anywhere. I usually listen to artists like orbital, aphex twin, and others in those categories, but bought this CD because of the recommendation of a friend. The vocals went perfectly with the music. The album has a very unique style. It is definitely worth the money.
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Format: Audio CD
There are very few albums i have (and i have 400+), that you can listen to all the way through and not skip a track but BB-ERA is one of those few albums.
I am a fan of most of Roni Size's work and i love the way he is so varied combining Acid Jazz, Intelligent D'n'B, Hip-Hop, Breakbeat and Jungle into his albums. I fully recommend Both of his albums as well as his Through the Eyes compilation.
For me, this was a very highly anticipated album, but it fully lived up to my expectations (and then some). The best tracks on this brilliant album are tracks 1, 4, 6, 7, 13 and 15. Track 7 bucks the trend and is an out and out jungle track, (in fact one of the best i've heard). Apart from tracks 1 and 7, the rest all have vocals provided by Law. They, like Portisheads Beth Gibbons are a acquired taste, but i feel they blend in beautifully with the background music.
The music sounds very grimy, almost industrial and verge's on the darker side. I've heard complaints about the album being to similar but i like that there is a familiarity about it. I just can't wait for news on a new release. Its been 2 years.
I fully recommend this album, along with Lamb, Portishead, Dillinja and Aphrodite.
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