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Return to V

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Album Review

Not only a seminal producer in drum'n'bass, Roni Size also led the mainstream assault with excellent vocal crossovers like Reprazent's New Forms and Breakbeat Era's Ultra-Obscene. The first earned him the Mercury prize and the second stands as the best blending of aggro drum'n'bass with dedicated vocals ever heard (apologies to Lamb). Two years after a tracks-only record (Touching Down) that easily satisfied his fan base, Size returned as a commercial force with the "100% Vocal" Return to V. V Recordings, the hardcore label run by Jumpin' Jack Frost and Bryan Gee, was the home of Size's early classics "Timestretch" and "It's a Jazz Thing," so jungle fans could be easily forgiven for salivating at the prospect of another jungle landmark. Unfortunately though, Return to V isn't a back-to-basics record, and there isn't a single landmark to pick out from its 18 tracks. Size invited at least one different guest for each track, and the roster provides a look at the many styles influencing British club culture at the dawn of the millennium: hip-hop, R&B, ragga, jungle, 2-step, and house. The rub is that Size forces each of his guests into his technoid drum'n'bass format, fails to provide most of them with a hook, and relies on his production smarts — as well as a heavy coating of fuzz — to carry these tracks. The distance between ragga chatter Sweetie Irie and Marvin Gaye disciple Joe Roberts is neatly erased, which certainly allows for a unified album, but also one in which zero tracks stand out. Size dips out of jungle only once, for a solid hip-hop production with rapper Darrison as the feature, and rolls right over two world-class British MCs, Rodney P and Fallacy. (Fallacy is cut to exactly six words: "break it down" and "take it down"; fortunately, both of them have solo records of their own.) House vocalist Jocelyn Brown, who's been a musician for as long as Roni Size has been alive, is the only feature who escapes from this record with personality intact.

Customer Reviews

FANTASTIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!

o melhor album de drum and bass de todos os tempos!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
the best album of drum and bass

Biography

Born: October 29, 1969 in Bristol, England

Genre: Dance

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Bristol native Roni Size is one of the U.K. jungle scene's most respected names, with production credits spanning dozens of labels, projects, and releases. Although not as quick to rise to acclaim (either critical or popular) as peers such as Goldie or LTJ Bukem, Size's influence as a producer, label owner, and committed underground magnate figured him as one of the emerging sound's true pioneers. The breakout success of his debut album New Forms (including...
Full Bio
Return to V, Roni Size
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