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New Forms

4.1 out of 5 stars 78 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 28, 1997
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Editorial Reviews

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For his debut album on Talkin' Loud/Polygram, Bristol, England's Roni Size keeps with the label's tradition of releasing grandiose, song-oriented dance albums. Size teams up with DJs Krust, Die, and Suv; MC Dynamite; and vocalist Onalee to weld the rough-and-ready sounds of British drum & bass to the soul vibes of their hometown. On New Forms, the jazz concepts laid out on his earlier singles are expanded into song form, with live instrumentation and full vocals. The album never fails to be interesting; there's serious musical credibility underlying every track, but New Forms, with its straightforward pop sensibilities, is clearly aimed at the listener. Fans of the Bristol sound will appreciate the "Watching Windows" and "Share the Fall" singles, whose subtle melancholy blends seamlessly with Size's trademark drum assaults. Despite its length (23 tracks spanning 140 minutes), New Forms remains perfectly balanced and eminently listenable. --Matthew Corwine
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 28, 1997)
  • Original Release Date: October 28, 1997
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Fontana Island
  • ASIN: B000001EYA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #264,147 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By The Pete VINE VOICE on December 5, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I bought this when it came out and - despite the fact I liked many of the tracks - I felt everything was overlong, repetitive, boring and all the other things people say about this CD. However, I just put it on the other day and it's like my ears have finally caught up with these guys! This is an absolutely awesome CD!
I'm not sure how to describe the sound of "New Forms", except to just call it drum and bass. It's got the feel of live instrumentation even when everything is programmed, however the way the tracks are built comes straight out of the techno genre. Overall, the sound is very spare and all about "less is more".
If you're having trouble, start with tracks like "New Forms" and "Digital" which include some vocals and rap. These helped me "get it" and opened the door to the instrumental stuff. If you think you're just going to slap this on your player and enjoy, forget it. It demands time on your part and that your ears stretch a bit to really hear how the songs move and change.
Brilliant and essential.
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By A Customer on November 28, 1999
Format: Audio CD
This album blew me away. Damn, if you listen to it loud and let the whole album play out, you'll get the best listening experience possible for this album. New Forms plays out like a continuous drum & bass mixtape. The songs, with their rich basslines and pulsing percussion, draw influence from jazz, soul, and hip-hop. Add some smooth vocals and a guest spot by Bahamadia and you have one solid album.
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By Xam on April 17, 2001
Format: Audio CD
This album deserves 5 stars, not 4. It is simply one of the best drum&bass (jungle) albums out there. New Forms was certainly one of the difinitive album in the history of the genre (along with Timeless by Goldie, and a few others). It served a major role in bringing American attention to the UK jungle scene, which has been quite big for a number of years now. It also helped jungle emerge as an art, be taken more seriously and not just thought of as dance/rave music. This is an extremely well-made album and it turned a lot of heads on to jungle. I couldn't believe the average rating for this album was 4 stars, so i felt it was my duty to write this review. If you want to get turned on to the new forms of music that have been emerging this is the pefect album to do so. Do yourself a favor and get this album!
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Format: Audio CD
This is a great album ignoring the somewhat pompous title. Jazz, blues, funk, drum n bass etc are hardly new. I agree with others that it is a little too repetetive and boring at times but hey what isnt these days. Those seeking a bit more jazz and fewer and slower beats might like to check out Bugge Wesseltoft and his equally pompously titled New Conception of Jazz which has real horns, guitars, a wider spread of tempos and is actually rather better than this apart from some iffy treated vocals (but then if it has to be called Drum N Bass to fit your personal lifestyle choice, keep the blinkers on)
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Format: Audio CD
Roni Size stakes a claim for being the top name in drum&bass with this Mercury Music Prize winning effort, also by chance a double CD set like the aforementioned's "Timeless". The sound is a different end of the genre though, utilising live instrumentation more, particularly the live bass, with the seminal "Brown Paper Bag" a good example.
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Format: Audio CD
Here we are, Roni Size's debut album that changed the drum n bass world to this day. This album has highlights like the timeless "Brown Paper Bag", the minimal "New Forms", and the hyperactive jump-up "Let's Get It On". "Digital" weaves a solid synth line and bass through a fast paced drum beat. The problem is that these stellar tracks are followed by a less-fantastic second half. "Heros", in my mind, is vastly overplayed, and we have bad mixes of "Share The Fall" (the better mix is on the second disc) and "Watching Windows" (the Ed Rush and Optical mix brings this to shame). On the second disc, we are again greeted with excellent opening tracks. There's "Hi-Potent," an excellent song with acoustic guitar and a cool slappy bass line, and "Trust Me" and "Change My Life" surprisingly keep a high amount of your attention with switch-up precussion loops and well-timed vocal samples that hold water. Like I said earlier, there's the original version of "Share The Fall", which starts off nice and spacey before throwing down some chopped up and fuzzy vocals again from the tender voiced Onallee. From here, the cd gets VERY minimal and jazzy with "Down" and "Jazz" (which are BEGGING to be remixed, by the way) and shoots up to the chilled-out, atmospheric euphoria of "Hot Stuff" which has a truly monumental woodwind sample. It gets very trippy on the opulent "Ballet Dance" and closes with the snare-y jump-up drum n bass insanity of "Elektricks".
What we have here are two drum n bass cd's with definite jazz influence. The structure's and arrangements are excellent. Although you may have to press the "forward" button on your player to hear the best tracks, none of the tracks are un-listenable and all of them have a good atmosphere.
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Format: Audio CD
This was the first Drum'n'Bass (DnB) album I ever bought, back in 1997 or '98. It's been close to 7 years that I've owned this album and I have to say, there hasn't been a month that I haven't listened to it at least once. This was my introduction to the (usually) wonderful world of electronica. I have to say, there's nothing like it out there, believe me, I looked low and high. Most DnB artists fall into nice, neat, easy-to-predict categories, but not Roni. He pulls from all sources (some logical and some totally out of left field) to create all sorts of feelings. Thematically, the songs are linked, but each track is a pleasant surprise to the open-minded listener. Spread across two discs, New Forms is a blend of raw energy and intricate beats.
Just about all of the tracks showcase Roni's ability to take inspiration from jazz, hip-hop, and whatever else and create something totally new and totally beautiful. I know beautiful isn't a term typically associated with DnB, but there's something wonderfully intricate about Roni's music. At first listen, I was excited by the energy of tracks like Morse Code and Electriks (the bonus track), but as I grew, the album grew with me. I grew to favor the more intricate and pensive tracks, such as Change My Life, Let's Get It On and Ballet Dance.
There's something on this album that I think most people should be able to relate to, both on a primal and an intellectual level. For jazz lovers, hip hop fans and everything in between, this is a great gateway album into the world of electronica and particularly DnB. But don't be surprised if you find yourself coming back to this gem for years to come.
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