Size is everything
Goldie has Metalheadz and LT] Bukem has Logical Progression. Both 015 are pushing the drum 'n' bass scene to its limits, but RONI SIZE has gone a step further. Words: Jim Byers
‘l'm buzzin‘ like mad. I‘m crazy. crazy buzzin‘.’ enthuses Roni Size. He's got every reason to be excited. Talkin‘ Loud is about to release New Forms. a phenomenal double-album by Size‘s Reprazent collective. which features Size himself. DJs Krust. Die and Suv. plus the vocal
talents of ()nnallee and 'I don't scale myseli‘. l just lOle’ American rapper Bahamadia. forward to my Sunday Size is also about to '
embark on an unprecedented tour with Reprazent. kicking off with their first ever live appearance at the Tribal Gathering festival.
Back in l‘)‘)3. Size and friend DJ Krust set up l‘ull Cycle Records. which has since gone on to rank alongside L'l‘l Bukem's Good Looking/Looking Good. (iolclie“s Metalheadz and Rob Playford‘s Moving Shadow labels. Size and Krust were also instrumental in the early days at Bryan Gee‘s similarly significant V Records imprint. Latterly. Size has made a name for himself in the remix trade. notably with his reworkings of Nu Yorican Sole's ‘lt‘s Alright I Feel lt‘ and Olive‘s ‘You’re Not Alone‘.
But. it‘s in his home-town of Bristol where Size‘s strength lies. As with Massive Attack in the early 90s. he has been central to the emergence of a strong local scene. Just as he has gained personal recognition
again.’ Roni sm-
72 THE llST 30 May—12 Jun 1997
afternoons in the i);":‘i'i"r that's cool. Then i‘ni
Roni Size: totally ruff and ragged
from his work. so he has also nurtured the talents of others around him like l).ls Krust. Die and Suv to create a collective \ibe that has been felt around the country.
If you thought drum 'n’ bass was just about high- speed. headache-inducing drums. think again. With the New Fur/21s album. Size has not so much added to the drum ‘n‘ bass blueprint as created his own. complete with new tempos. moods and instrumentation. The Size sound is not just about drums and basslines. it‘s about jazz. soul. hip hop. breakbeat and proper songs. 'l‘hough this is hardly a new concept — Reece. (ioldie and Bukem have all done the same — Size has taken it a stage further.
'I had a lot of goals with the album.‘ he e\plains. 'and I achieved some of them. What we've achieved is the production of a “sound' and that's what we were looking to do. To come with the next sound —- something that we could take to the ne\t level.‘
With the live show. Size is attempting to alter people‘s preconceptions of what drum about. He is e\posing yet another strand of potential within the drum ‘n‘ canon. l'nlike the conventional DJ and decks formula. lx’epra/ent will take to the stage nine-strong. complete with drummer. bass player. two keyboardists. sampler. percussionist. singer. an .\l(’ and at least four l).ls. .'\nd in case you‘re thinking that the idea of live drum ‘n’ bass isn‘t very appealing. Si/e has this to say: ‘We ain‘t gonna sound like a rock band or a fuckin' pop group or something. it’s gonna be totally ruff and ragged. man.’
Roni Size: not just your average bloke. ‘l don‘t scale myself.‘ he says. ‘I just look forward to my Sunday afternoons in the bath and that‘s cool. 'l'hen I'm ready to go again.‘
‘n‘ bass is
a n d
arty to r; .
Manga present Reprazent, featuring Roni Size, live at La Belle Angele, Sun 8 Jun. New Forms is out on 16 June. See Club listings for details.
Jon Pleased Wimmin
Glasgow: Cream, The Tunnel, Sat 31 May.
When Jon of the Pleased Wimmin played the Sub Club in 1995 he was on the first rung of the ladder. Since then he has become one of the DJ elite, playing around the world as well as ripping up dance floors back home with his current residencies at Cream, European Shame and countless UK guest spots.
As a remixer he's worked on a host of artists from Chris Rea and Erasure to Gina G, and charted twice with his own tracks 'Passion’ and 'Give me Strength’. Twenty-eight-year-old Jon, who now sports a more androgenous look than his former trannie to the max mode, tells us exclusively about his new band project 'The Shining'.
Hooking up with Elton (the Grid's former jester in residence) and Jerry Bouthier from Stress Records, the trio aren’t going for the screaming
house angle that might be expected.
'We were all just getting really bored of the same music, the same people, the same drugs,’ says Jon. 'We just wanted to do something as an antidote, something we would want to listen to when we got home. I've always wanted to write proper songs and it's a weird concoction of things. There are some quite groovy things in there, but it’s a big amalgam of things we like: Kate Bush, Vangelis and The Pet Shop Boys. lt's music for music's sake, not trying to fit into anyone’s niche. We're not going to be a group like the Chemical Brothers who do the same thing over and over again.’
So was this demanded of him in the past? ’Yeah I really felt I was being expected to do stuff that was hands in the air,’ Jon admits. 'Even though I’ve loved the records I’ve done, I don’t want to be doing it for the rest of my life.’ Due to contractual obligations with Perfecto Records the band are, as yet unsigned. Until then, his explosive DJing skills will more than keep us happy. (Rory Weller)
n. Jon Pleased Wimmin: explosive