Universal Stories of Dance-Volume 1: UK (2000)

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Released 18-Oct-2001

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music CD
Booklet
Menu Animation & Audio
Trailer-Visions Of Ibiza 1; Visions Of Ibiza 2; UK Garage Project
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2000
Running Time 66:04
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By None Given
Studio
Distributor

Warner Vision
Starring None Given
Case Soft Brackley-Opaque-Dual v2
RPI $49.95 Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
Spanish
German
French
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Universal Stories Of Dance - The History of Dance Told By The Future comes as a very nicely packaged dual case set, containing a DVD disc and also a Compact Disc (CD).

    It's probably easier if I quote the booklet that comes with the disc to explain what this is all about. That way, I won't make any mistakes when describing something which I know very little about.

    "The Universal Stories of Dance is a retrospective history of clubbing and dance music around the globe. This initial instalment (it is listed as Volume 1)  covers the development of the United Kingdom scene from the mid-80s onwards, to most observers the catalyst for the worldwide club music explosion that we have today. Synonymous with the Acid House explosion of 1987-1989 this underground cultural phenomenon became a full blown British national youth uprising, one on par with the Rock & Roll and Punk movements of previous decades."

    So what we have here is a DVD with 12 tracks from the period 1988 onwards and some visuals that have been put together to try and capture the spirit of the era from which they come from (things like mobile technology and drug references abound). The visuals are interesting to say the least. I think they would mean a bit more if you were really into the dance scene (I obviously am not). They flit around between pregnant women dancing to a guy trying to catch bubbles in his mouth. Interesting, but I guess it is the music that is the important part, and the soundtracks on both the DVD and the CD are quite good.

    Below is the track listing for the DVD only. See the Extras section for the list of tracks available on the bonus CD.

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Track Listing

1. Made In Two Minutes
2. Goodtimes (Original Mix)
3. Testament One
4. Smoke Belch
5. Papua New Guinea
6. Bomb Scare
7. Circus Bells (Original Mix)
8. Echo Drop
9. Seven Days (Original Mix)
10. Orange Theme
11. Aira Force
12. Silence

Transfer Quality

Video

    All the visual content is shown in the full screen aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced.

    Overall, the video presentation was very sharp and decently detailed. There are no shadow inconsistencies or any problems with grain or low level noise.

    Colours are bright and vibrant on occasion, muted and quite dull on others. Blacks are perfectly solid. There are no bleeding or oversaturation problems worth worrying about.

    There are no apparent MPEG artefacts and a real lack of any video artefacts also. A pretty clean transfer all round.

    Somewhat surprisingly, there are several subtitle options. I sampled the English version and found that they presented a chronological history of the club, rave and dance scene throughout. These are quite nicely done and do give a real insight into the history of acid music in general. I particularly liked the almost 'glossary' at the end that details all the different types of dance music that exist. I never knew there were so many.

    With a running time of only just over an hour, a single sided/single layered disc is ample. Therefore, there is no layer change to worry about.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    There are two soundtracks available, these being Dolby Digital offerings in 2.0 stereo, and 5.1 surround. I listened to the 5.1 soundtrack in full and sampled the Dolby Digital 2.0 mix briefly. The 5.1 track is far superior to the fairly lacklustre stereo-only effort.

    There is only a small amount of dialogue scattered throughout the songs. There are obviously no audio sync problems.

    The music is what this is all about, of course, and this disc doesn't disappoint. It is very well recorded and mixed, with a nice deep bass response on most of the tracks. Hard to fault.
   
    The surrounds didn't cop as much of a workout as I would have imagined from this soundtrack. They were used during most tracks, but at a lower level than I was expecting.

    The subwoofer was used extensively to provide ample bottom end to the driving beats. It was nicely integrated into the overall soundfield and by no means did it draw specific attention to itself. Flawless.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

CD

    A full 13 track CD is included in the package (making for super value). This compilation runs for over 63 minutes and has been compiled by DJ Jon Dasilva. The tracks featured on this disc are;

Cool&Dry Jack Frost and the Circle Jerks
Shout Jack Frost and the Circle Jerks
Acid Trax Phuture
Test Four Sweet Exorcist
Future FJP Liaisons D
Machines Laurent X
Nude Photo Derek May (Rythim is Rythim)
Dextrous Nightmares on Wax
It Is What It Is Derek May (Rythim is Rythim)
Dream 17 Annette
No Way Back Adonis
Slam Phuture
Can U Feel It Mr Fingers

Booklet

    Quite a detailed 12 page booklet, outlining what the discs are about and the inspiration that Nick Delves had for the visuals on the DVD.

Menu Animation & Audio

    Features footage from one of the tracks in the background. Audio is a sample played via a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.

Trailer

    Three trailers for other D-ROM products are available. The first is for Visions Of Ibiza Vol 1 and runs for 2:12 minutes, the second is for Vol 2 of the same title with a sample running for 56 seconds. The third is for the disc The UK Garage Project and runs for just over 1 minute.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This is a multi-region disc and is the same the world over.

Summary

    Not really my taste, I have to admit, but as a sampler or for playing at a party when you just want to get everyone in the mood for some dance, this is a great disc. Combining the visual element with the dance music is a great idea.

    The video is above average.

    The audio is well mixed, though the Dolby Digital 5.1 mix doesn't use the surround channels as aggressively as I would have expected.

    The extras may only be few in number but the addition of a full length CD with another 14 dance tracks is a great bonus that makes for a very good value package.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Darren Walters (It's . . . just the vibe . . . of my bio)
Monday, December 31, 2001
Review Equipment
DVDLoewe Xemix 5006DD, using RGB output
DisplayLoewe Calida (84cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationHarmon/Kardon AVR7000.
SpeakersFront - B&W 602S2, Centre - B&W CC6S2, Rear - B&W 601S2, Sub - Energy E:xl S10

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