Selected by Dan
Following a disappointing cancellation at last summer' Fuji Rock Festival, Mercury Music
Prize-winning drum 'n' bass artist Roni Size and his Reprazent crew touch down at Ebisu
Garden Hall to present tracks off their new album, In The Mode (see CD Reviews).
Hailing from the same Bristol, UK suburb as Tricky and Massive Attack, Roni Size's rise to
fame took longer than that of his peers. Born to Jamaican immigrant parents, Size was
weaned on the sounds of hip hop and reggae he heard at the area's house parties and
Hooking up with DJ Krust, Suv and DJ Die at the 1990 Glastonbury Festival, the four formed
the Full Cycle label as an outlet for their emergent jungle experimentations. The
oft-duplicated Full Cycle sound was a deft blend of jazz and soul with breakbeats and
sophisticated references to earlier genres like Motown and be-bop.
Dubbing themselves Reprazent for their first major label outing with Universal subsidiary
Talkin Loud, the unit released the Reasons for Sharing EP as well as a variety of
vinyl tracks. But it was the surprise success of 1997's New Forms that propelled
Size to the top of the electronica heap, winning him the Mercury Music Prize.
After a relatively quiet 1998, Size returned with an entirely new direction in 1999,
refusing to capitulate to the demands of clubbers for a repeat of New Forms. His
new project, Breakbeat Era, featured DJ Die and vocalist Leonie Laws performing a live
brand of drum 'n' bass that took a surprisingly rock 'n' roll direction, dropping the jazz
influences for an edgy, almost punk sound.
The new album - escribed by Size as "hard and funky," features Wu-Tang Clan
rapper Method Man, The Roots Rahzel, and Rage Against The Machine vocalist Zack de la
plays Ebisu Garden Hall on December 15. See
listings for details.