First off this release comes with an excellent companion dvd featuring the artists. UR have always been low profile, almost secretive so it's great to put faces to the names and sounds. UR have been around a long time now and although the sound of this cd is varied the unifying feature is quality. In the early days there was a harder techno sound and a fair amount of 303 acid, the sound is now more of a techno/electro hybrid although as I've said the artists included have individual sonic identities. My taste has always favoured a more melodic techno as represented by The Deacon with his gorgeous 'Fuji' track but this is a filler free offering and one that rewards repeat plays. At first listen the tracks can appear simplistic but there's a huge amount of subtleties in the grooves which keep on giving. UR leader Mad Mike's contributions alone make this cd worth the money but it is a cheese free offering over all and bound to delight techno lovers. These tunes are such quality that they work well in most situations, primarily dance music but great listening experiences in themselves. An essential purchase, to my mind even better than volume 1.
Rather than be an ultra-modernist, uncompromising collection of sound experiments in the name of the Underground Resistance umbrella group, as the title might suggest, this collection sees the collective trying to charm and seduce the listener rather than soundtrack a teeth-grinding session.
No pummeling techno here, no DIY-dirtiness or teeth-gnashing, in-the-red waveform punishment a la the collective's early 90s days. Mad Mike's brief for the work here appears to be to distance UR from their original blueprint of Millsian brutality and instead revisit the style's 80s electro roots.
Disc 1 is closest to a manifesto, spoken-word futurism and and a bubbling electro that never opens up to full-throttled techno-aggression and, instead, sticks closer to the hi-tech jazz tag of the collective's first album. Fine, a little bland, but well made.
Disc 2's debt is split two ways: originators like Kraftwerk and Cybotron (principally on Geiger Counter) are referenced while many titles hint at an over-arching concept in the same way Drexciya told a story through titles and artwork, suggesting that the album-length parents of these shards could well be in the progressive zone.
Maybe it's the old 'Conform to Deform' trick in play, but much of this appears a little too safe and as if the artists are pleased at being tuneful, even if that is at the expense of raw power, edginess and (sadly) relevance. I may find myself putting this on when I want some techno that won't freak out other people in the room (Jeff Mills and X10 were surprisingly punk rock in their ability to incite instant revulsion and shock) but is still a cut above the dreary-drift of Moby's coffee table sonic hugs.