Album review
New Forms
Roni Size & Reprazent Crew
Mercury Records
Double CD

Tracking list

    Disc 1

  1. Railing
  2. Brown paper bag
  3. New forms
  4. Let's get it on
  5. Digital
  6. Matter of fact
  7. Mad cat
  8. Heroes
  9. Share the fall (Full vocal mix)
  10. Watching windows
  11. Beat box
  12. Morse code
  13. Destination
    Disc 2

  1. Intro
  2. Hi-potent
  3. Trust me
  4. Change my life
  5. Share the fall
  6. Down
  7. Jazz
  8. Hot stuff
  9. Ballet dance
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : 5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4

These CDs showcase the productions of the Reprazent Crew, the Bristol Sound of Roni Size, DJ Die, Suv and DJ Krust. The sound is entirely as you would expect knowing the eclectic style of Roni Size & Reprazent Crew. The dynamic pace of jungle, but plenty of influences from reggae, soul, jazz, hip hop and even more. The music in these CDs is really ground breaking. Roni & Reprazent were themselves as much surprised when they received a prestigious British music award ahead of artists like Spice Girls, jungle is getting really bigger and bigger.
"Railing" is the intro by MC Dynamite, considered to be one of the UK's top MC's and his timing on this groovy riddim shows why. "Brown paper bag" with it's catchy riddim and wonderful in & out the mix vocals by Onallee features live acoustic guitar and bass, and already rides the airwaves of a lot of UK and Dutch radioshows. Onallee and MC Dynamite are part of Reprazent's live crew, performing with a real drummer, bassist and guitarist.
Bahamadia's rapping on "New forms" is the closest "(w)rapping around a beat" I have ever heard. No female rapper (and I doubt any male) has ever shown such skills in timing, it really is unbelievable, and majestically countered by Onallee's singing. "Lets get it on" has a slow moody intro before tearing up the dancefloor. "Digital" is once again highlighting the vocal capacity of Onallee over a nervous keyboard layer on top of the riddim. "Matter of fact" is a song in which the highly paced hi-hats percussion do the largest part of the job, as a tapestry for some moody almost bluesy keyboard sounds.
"Mad cat" is an interesting track because it has a kind of loungy jazz riddim, provided by live drums and bass, real groovy song. "Heroes" is another soulful track with Onallee swinging over a typical Reprazent riddim, but the next song is even better, "Share the fall" is a real killer, drum'n'bass roughness in perfect harmony with soulful vocals and a groovy vibe. "Watching windows" again featuring Onallee is a strong track, followed by "Beatbox", as far as I know the first combination of a jungle riddim with a human beatbox (and yes, it works). In "Morse code" irritating morse beeps ride on top of a sample and live drums and bass to full effect. "Destination" is a magnificent song using Everthing But The Girl's "Each and Everyone" to build something maybe even more cathy than "Brown paper bag" to close the first disc in style.
The second disc kicks off with a short breakbeat "Intro", before exploring the combination of acoustic guitar and live bass further in the very jazzy (listen to the drum patterns) "Hi-potent". "Trust me" is pure jazz-funk drum'n'bass, it makes you feel good, uplifting groovy riddim. "Change my life" is another example of pure Reprazent style, the groovy bass, the well placed drum rolls, the soulful female voice, the great horn sample, all so tight and into the groove. The rougher reprise of disc One's "Share the fall" is as much a treat as the full vocal mix.
"Down", "Jazz", "Hot stuff" and "Ballet dance" aren't just another four songs. but should be seen as another four pearls in the crown of today's king of jungle. I think Roni Size & Reprazent proved with this album they certainly are *the* force to be reckoned with, for more of their great tracks, take a look at the review on this site of the Various Artist album : "V Classic Recordings".

If you want to explore the depths and heights of today's jungle, here's your guide.