'Second Toughest…' is the perfect hybrid of man and machine. It’s a record that crackles with the frantic energy of pirate stations half tuned on FM dials; one that strolls through grimy cities at night and ducks between dog tracks and neon-lit all-night stores. Lyrically, it’s voyeurism from the molten core of the dancefloor - a place where fragments of overheard conversations are hand spliced to fizzling, sparking rhythm tracks to create a strange, dizzying, inimitable form of music.
Although informed by the nascent drum’n’bass scene, minimalist composition and the European techno underground, Second Toughest… only ends up sounding like Underworld. It’s a truly unique album – the sound of Rick Smith, Karl Hyde and Darren Emerson working at the height of their powers, utterly unaffected by the prevailing trends of the time and creating properly peerless music.
As with 'dubnobasswithmyheadman', the reissue of 'Second Toughest In The Infants' sees the original album remastered for the first time (at Abbey Road). The extra discs feature non-album singles, B-sides and remixes from the time as well as a selection of previously unreleased tracks that provide a fascinating insight into the creative process around the record. The fourth disc on the super-deluxe version features the seven unreleased recordings that map out the genesis of 'Born Slippy (Nuxx)'. They take the iconic track from earliest embryonic studio version through to a final extended mix via several previously unheard live versions from 1994