Review - Ultra Obscene

Artist: Breakbeat Era


God bless Roni Size. Not because he cut off those damn dreads of his, but because the Reprazent producer finally got wise and found himself a frontwoman -- not some sampled diva, but a real, live fire-breathing vocalist -- around whom he built his new drum & bass project, Breakbeat Era.

On "Ultra Obscene" Leonie Laws is one ass-whoopin' momma, more like an in-your-face Patti Smith-type than a chanteuse. She's so in the pocket on the title track, singing along to the bassline through every wiggily twist. On "Anti-Everything," Size and co-producer DJ Die put Laws' vocals into such an angry haze, the song sounds like Portishead held over a hot flame.

But Die and Size don't let Laws do all the work; they seem more determined than ever to prove they're still capable of making records for the UK dubplate mafia, pushing jungle out of its sample-dependent climes. "Late Morning" has live drum sounds and an electric guitar so live you can hear it hum. On "Rancid" Laws gives a taste-of-tongue-to-a-9-volt tone: "The junk in your words don't show in your face/ I'll wait for your face to break." Break the beat indeed.


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.