Tag Archives: Roni Size

Rockwell – User EP [Shogun Audio]

Rockwell’s work over the years has set him apart from many other producers; taking a quality-over-quantity approach and constantly seeking out innovation (much to the annoyance of some heads who clamour for more of his early sound), you always know you’re going to get something interesting from a new Rockwell release.

His latest work for Shogun Audio is no exception to this rule, drawing on various bass-music influences for an EP that is at one decidedly drum & bass and still almost completely spurning of its traditions. Roni Size collab Easy rips up the rhythm rule book, keeping the energy and sound palette ravey but refusing to settle into a stale groove. ’09 Track fuses classic dub and more modern dubstep influences for a huge halftime head-nodder, while Inventor recruits Flowdan for vocals on an infectious clash of bashment and jungle.

User rounds off the release nicely by reminding us that Rockwell still knows how to serve up an old fashioned roller, and a decidedly catchy one at that. Crisp breaks, warm bass swells and a weirdly manipulated vocal hook combine for an instantly recognisable track. More essential listening from one of the brightest names in the game; check out the clips below and hit up your favourite store to grab a copy on vinyl or digital right now.

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Classic Album: Roni Size & Reprazent – New Forms

When it comes to genre-defining albums, it doesn’t get much more legendary than New Forms. Propelling underground D&B into the mainstream musical limelight and snatching the Mercury Music Prize for good measure, the album delighted heads and newcomers alike, blending rapid drum programming with influences from jazz and hip-hop to form the perfect fusion of organic and electronic. Despite not setting out to make a crossover, Roni and the Reprazent gang certainly ended up with one.

Twenty years on, the album is getting a four disc deluxe reissue this month with the full original LP remastered, the full set of “Re Forms” remixes and most tantalisingly of all, a fresh disc featuring a live hardware mix of unreleased edits of the best tracks on the album. So how does it stand up after two decades? Pretty damn well it turns out.

The two discs of the original album have been given a fresh lick of mastering paint and are sounding just as exciting as they did in 1997, full of funky drum programming, enticing synths and classic hooks. Anyone who doesn’t get a shiver from hearing the guitar line on Brown Paper Bag just has no soul! The remixes don’t hold up as well to my ears (with a handful of exceptions) but they always felt like messing with perfection given the sheer quality of the original album.

The live hardware mix meanwhile is an absolute joy from start to finish; all of the album’s iconic tracks are there including some of the lower tempo beats and a number have been re-engineered to mash up originals and remixes, often to great effect. The new edit of Share The Fall featuring elements of Grooverider’s Jeep Style Mix proved a personal highlight amongst a thoroughly enjoyable bonus disc.

If you’re looking for the definitive version of an absolutely essential album then this is unquestionably it. Check out the first disc via Youtube below and hit up your favourite store to grab the deluxe package right now.

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One In The Jungle Archive

aOne-in-the-jungle

Anyone unfamiliar with the early history of Jungle / D&B would do well to investigate the now legendary One In The Jungle show. Broadcast on Radio One from 1995 to 1997 and spanning three series, the show gave Jungle a platform on the station for the first time and paved the way for the music to move from its roots in the infamous London pirate radio scene onto more legitimate broadcasters.

Some of the episodes have been lost forever but many have been salvaged from old tape recordings and a partial archive is available to download from http://oneinthejungle.co.uk/. Better still, many of the episodes are now on Mixcloud, and a few of the best are embedded below. Check it out, relive the memories, and feast your ears on the rise of a scene.

Roni Size & MC Dynamite – 03.08.95

Moving Shadow Special – 09.08.96

Ed Rush & Trace – No U-Turn Experience – 07.02.97

Future Forces – 05.12.97

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Classic Track: Roni Size – Brown Paper Bag

One of the most iconic 90s drum & bass tracks of all time, Roni Size & Reprazent‘s Brown Paper Bag was one of the tunes which transcended the genre as a whole and played a part in the massive upsurge in popularity that we saw in the late 90s and early 2000s. Featuring elements of the jungle sound that was beginning to take a back foot and the emerging sound of what we now know as drum & bass, and fusing it with the sounds of funk, jazz and hip-hop that made up the unique Reprazent sound, the track is truly a timeless classic – every bit as fresh today as it was back in 1997, and still capable of moving a floor like nobody’s business.

The video isn’t bad either, so check it out below and relive the glory days!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwI0gbGEyuI]
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