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Various Artists

Urbal Beats 2: A Definitive Guide to Electronic Music

Release Date: 05.05.98
Record label: uni / polygram tv
Genre(s): Rock


Urban Energy
by: tom reiter

Urbal Beats 2 is the second electronica compilation album brought to you by the people at Urb Music.  It is a double CD, the first being a compilation of newer electronica music, the second is an archive of music that began the current sound in urban music.  Even people who are not really involved in electronica will recognize many of the artists that are featured on the album since the mainstream is now being exposed to this type of music.  Many of the songs are remixes, which is good to see. It contains a wide variety of the different styles of electronica, from rock n' roll influenced to the hip hop influenced.

The first song "Rock The Funky Beat," by Natural Born Chillers, is a good opening track. It is high energy (as is most urban music) and gets you into mood right away; it makes you want to hear more.  It has more of a hip-hop feel to it. The second track, "Treat Infamy," by Rest Assured, is a different style.  It is more of techno/house track.  About a minute into the song, it switches feel.  It slows down and uses a familiar sample, one from the Verve's "Bittersweet Symphony."  Then it switches back to the techno style again. DJ Hype then remixes Prodigy's"Smack My Bitch Up."  As his name would imply, the song is given more energy. It has a drum n' bass feel now and is a bit faster.In the fifth track, electronica meets rap when Prodigy remixes Method Man's "Release Yo' Delf."   This is a good demonstration of Prodigy's talent, since they remixed it keeping the hip-hop element.

While Fatboy Slim has their own rock n' roll dance track on the album ("Going Out Of My Mind"), they also remix "Renegade Master" by Wildchild.  This song is a dance/hip-hop track, complete with "Go, go,go, go...." being chanted in the background on the upbeat.

Hive brings yet another style of urban music with their track "Ultrasonic Sound."  This track uses a heavy metal riff laced with drum n'' bass drums.  The result is a hard edged, high energy song.

These tracks are only a sampling of all the goodies that can be found on this album. They show how diverse the world of electronica/urban music has become.  The whole album will keep your energy up and your body movin', therefore making it a kickass party disc.