New Forms is a two cd album featuring the work of Roni Size and his group Reprazent. It was released in 1997. This album has received a fair amount of praise and rightfully so. It incorporates a number of different elements: Jazz, Funk, Hip-Hop, and Drum and Bass. You'll find samples of acoustic intruments, complex beats, and wonderful vocals all together in one package.

Because the album clocks in at around two and a half hours, it can be a little off-putting. However, that's the only complaint I have with the album. My favorite tracks are Railing, Brown Paper Bag, New Forms, Share the Fall and Watching Windows.

Listen to this album. Even if you're not an electronic music fan, you might find something you like in it.

New Forms, by Roni Size / Reprazent. (June 1997)

Aptly titled, New Forms set the stage and very much the pace for drum and bass over the following years. The lyrics to Railing were undeniably correct - "Something you've never heard before."

The album has a futurist industrialist feel, littered with cold, abstract noises and deep (I mean deep) bass rumblings. Simultaneously, however, it is somewhat of a musical introspective for the group; featuring the lucious vocals of Onallee, the sublime bass of Si John, and Steve Graham on accoustic guitar, the album contains elements of Jazz, Soul, and Rhythm and Blues. (albeit a little unidentifiable)

Roni on Share the fall: "when we wrote it we just wanted the lyrics to talk it as we talk it. The music is my history - the Bond soundtracked strings, hip hop stabs, James Brown drumming, diva style vocal. I'm so pleased with this, what we're doing now, as it's given us the opportunity to get the most of the music and we're lucky that Talkin' Loud have trusted in us and given the license to try something different." 1

And on Reprazent: "As an artist I'm doing my own thing. I'm not really watching what is going on right now. I think one of the things we do best is to do our own thing. We let people do their own thing. I can only tell you what we are doing next, but I do think we will start to see more diverse types of music within the music. It'll still be drum 'n' bass, but someone is going to do more rock, someone may try something else. I think we've just begun to understand that there are no limits. Anything is possible." 2

I think it's important to take note of the additional production credits for most of the tracks - "Krust, Die + Suv" say the liner notes. Ever heard In The Mode? (Size's second album) Notice how it completely pales in comparison? The three producers working in unison with Roni are the principal reason for New Forms' brilliance. Big ups.

It is probably worth mentioning that Morse Code, from the first CD, is possibly the greatest drum and bass track of all time.

Track listing:

  1. Railing^
  2. Brown paper bag+ (feat. Bahamadia and Suv with Steve Graham on guitar)
  3. New forms*
  4. Let's get it on (riffs by Vinnie and The Fat Man)
  5. Digital*
  6. Matter of fact
  7. Mad cat^+
  8. Heroes* (guitar by Tyrell)
  9. Share the fall*^ (full vocal mix) (sax by Adrian Place)
  10. Watching windows*+
  11. Beatbox
  12. Morse code^+
  13. Destination (incl. Ben Watt / Tracey Thom)
And the second disc, which I initially did not include as my Australian release was not a double-cd:
  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
  10. Electricks
* Featuring Onallee (vocals)
+ Featuring Si John (bass)
^ Drums by Clive Deemer

1 http://www.fortunecity.com/tinpan/faithfull/379/rsizeint.html
2 http://www.hiponline.com/artist/music/r/roni_size/interview/100218.html

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