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A Hundred Days Off

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Album Review

As if they didn't have to prove they're still viable as a commercial and artistic outfit, Underworld's Rick Smith and Karl Hyde faced an additional challenge for A Hundred Days Off — prove to the dance cognoscenti they could withstand the loss of Darren Emerson, the producer who kick-started the band when he joined in 1992. Underworld's trademarked sound, however, is mostly a creation of Smith and Hyde, and present from the opener, "Mo Move," wherein a dizzying cycle of gurgling bass, crepe paper percussion, and sequencers sets off Hyde's lonely, adrift vocals. The album reaches an early peak on "Two Months Off," with a repeated synthesizer riff playing off a brilliant succession of harmonies and basslines, with a hypnotizing performance by Hyde over the top. From there, the album heads off into a succession of familiar tracks, either po-mo acid house blues à la Dubnobasswithmyheadman ("Sola Sistim," "Trim," "Ballet Lane") or minimalist, pinpoint techno ("Dinosaur Adventure 3D," "Luetin"). Surprisingly, counter to expectations after the brash youngster leaves the fold, A Hundred Days Off doesn't suffer from the oldster syndrome; the production is edgy and up to date as usual.

Customer Reviews

Song Missing

Why is the second song, "Two Months Off", missing from this album? What a shame since is was previously available through iTunes and is arguably the best track on this record.


Formed: 1988 in London, England

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Underworld became one of the most crucial electronic acts of the 1990s via an intriguing synthesis of old and new. The trio's two-man front line, vocalist Karl Hyde and keyboard player Rick Smith, had been recording together since the early-'80s new wave explosion; after two unsuccessful albums released as Underworld during the late '80s, the pair finally hit it big after recruiting Darren Emerson, a young DJ hipped to the sound of techno and trance. Traditional pop song forms were jettisoned in...
Full Bio
A Hundred Days Off, Underworld
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