Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1084

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Review

Roni Size & Reprazent: New Forms (Deluxe Reissue) [UMC]

Ronnie Size: New Forms (20th Anniversary Edition)

9

6.5

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UK release date 10.11.2017

There was every reason to feel nervous about this new New Forms, being that Size tried first the ‘reissue’ trick back in 2008 – just over 10 years after the Mercury Prize-winning album’s original, game-changing release – and, in doing so, cut much of the album’s heart.

Heavily pruning standout tracks to key riffs and beats, whilst introducing middling bonus ones, risked undermining Size’s incredible legacy. It is with relief then that this new attempt at a reissue – we’re now 20 years on from his debut – connects contemporary audiences to a truly formative moment in drum & bass (and electronic music) history in all the right ways.

Sensibly, Size presents New Forms in 2017 over four discs. The original album is well re-mastered for one, highlights such as the slinky "Heroes", waspish "Digital" and, of course, "Brown Paper Bag" all intact and sounding as emphatic as ever.

A second disc unpacks a generous, unrushed selection of B-sides, and a third corals classic remixes that were largely only available on vinyl before – Photek’s deep ‘n’ sinister "Brown Paper Bag" and MAW’s expansive "Nuyorican Sou"l twists (and turns) to "Watching Windows" remain superlative.

For the final section, Size drops an exciting ‘anniversary’ mix on live hardware that sweeps majestically between unreleased remixes and re-edits, new material (for example, rave-edged roller Hold The Front Page) and highlights from disc one. A Size that properly fits today…

VIIDEO: Little reminder of Size's brilliance...
Words BEN LOVETT

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