Following the departure of DJ Darren Emerson, Underworld's Rick Smith and Karl Hyde vowed to "destroy the past" while crafting A Hundred Days Off.

Following the departure of DJ Darren Emerson, Underworld's Rick Smith and Karl Hyde vowed to "destroy the past" while crafting A Hundred Days Off. And while there's no shortage of Underworld's thumping dance anthems here ("Two Months Off," "Mo Move"), plenty of intriguingly strange sounds lurk in the crannies. "Little Speaker" junks its down-and-dirty bassline in favor of Steve Reich-inspired piano phasing before combining them together, while hand percussion and Middle Eastern tones nourish the dark, sexy "Twist." Smith seems to revel in the experimentation, particularly with the up-close vocalizing and warped acoustic guitars of "Trim" and the uncharacteristically subdued "Sola Sistim." But just as things veer toward dreamland on the instrumentals "Ess Gee" and "Ballet Lane," the pair reverts to the frenetic beats of "Dinosaur Adventure 3D" and the ominous synths of closer "Luetin."—JC