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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

New Forms

Roni Size

1997

New Forms
Album Summary

New Forms is the debut studio album by British drum and bass group Roni Size & Reprazent. It was originally released on 23 June 1997 through Talkin' Loud, and later re-released by Mercury Records and Universal Music Group. The album was released to critical and commercial success, winning the 1997 Mercury Prize, certifying platinum in the UK, and often being cited as their magnum opus.New Forms was promoted by the release of its four singles, "Share the Fall", "Heroes", "Brown Paper Bag" and "Watching Windows", all landing on the UK Singles Chart and featuring vocals from Onallee. The album features production credits from Roni Size, Krust, DJ Die and Suv.

Wikipedia

Rating

2.58

Votes

10148
Genres
Electronica

Reviews

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Sun Jun 27 2021
1

Listening to this entire album felt like having a panic attack in the back row of an international flight. 2

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Wed Jun 23 2021
1

This is one that really shows the UK bias in this list. I don't think anyone (non-UK people, anyway) outside of drum and bass or DJ culture would consider this any kind of essential album - it's cultural relevance is pretty niche in the rest of the world - so I don't know how much it belongs here. That said, giving it a fair hearing, I didn't enjoy it too much. I could get into some of the beats but the overall style and production sounds very dated and I found most of the vocals kind of embarrassing.

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Thu Apr 08 2021
5

Very rare for an electronic/dance music album to win the Mercury Music Prize but it is completely unprecedented for a drum and bass album. I'd be surprised if it will ever happen again. This is one of the albums that put drum & bass on the mainstream music map. It's a wicked album, super pioneering, blending lots of different influences, particularly jazz and hiphop. You've also got to factor in the timing of it, artist-led d&b albums were not common in 1997. And it still sounds fresh! "In The Mode" might edge "New Forms" for tunage, but it is nowhere near as groundbreaking or influential. 10/10

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Sun Nov 14 2021
1

There is no universe or reality in which this is an essential album. It does nothing well and is not unique or memorable. 78 minutes of the same mediocre d&b beat over and over again.

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Thu Apr 08 2021
5

Was a really tough call between a 4 and a 5. On the one hand it’s a seminal album that has influenced a lot of the music that I like nowadays, with some classic d&b tracks in there. On the other, I felt it dragged a bit and some of the tracks went by without really making an impact. I’m also not sure I’d listen to this as a full album all that regularly, which should rule it out as a 5. But it’s difficult to ignore it’s legacy and influence. This is the most torn I’ve been about my scoring of an album yet.

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Thu Apr 08 2021
5

A classic. This album was one of the first DnB albums I heard and definitely helped send me down the path.

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Fri Dec 03 2021
3

Every song was easily a minute or two too long. I have a lot of drum n' bass, but the songs either need to ba shortened or another theme needs to be put in there. They were getting tedious. I appreciated him for what he was trying to do, but... man.

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Wed Mar 10 2021
4

When the drums started I was like "alright this is not bad." Hip hop but sorta jungle electronica-ish? Not bad to have on in the background while working (which I am doing now). I like New Forms... uh huh, uh huh, uh huh. Reminds me a bit of DJ Shadow, there's a darkness here that I like. Oh shit this is the 2hr album. I did enjoy it, but Jungle/DnB is very draining lol, but I was working and trying to stay awake so it worked well. 3.5 up to 4.

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Wed May 05 2021
3

Ok Roni, we both know I didn’t listen to the full thing, so let’s just shake hands on a 3

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Thu Dec 02 2021
3

I remember this sounding like the future when it came out. It still sounds fresh, but time has tamed it. Runs out of steam and becomes irritating in places.

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Thu Nov 17 2022
1

- First album I couldn't finish - Repetitive beats and not great vocals - Felt like I'd been listening for hours - Really questioning the validity of the Mercury Prize if this won

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Mon Nov 07 2022
5

Yeah, I'm definitely biased for this one. I'm a British guy who loves a lot of electronic music and was introduced to Drum and Bass at a young age. I can only imagine the effect it had at release, winning the 1997 Mercury Prize and likely being one of the seminal albums that brought DnB to a mainstream audience. It's impossible for me not to love this album. I just wish more DnB songs utilised a double bass. Favourite: Brown Paper Bag

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Wed Mar 10 2021
4

Familiar with the full vocal remix of Brown Paper Bag from an MTV comp called AMP2. Fondly remember watching AMP late at night and am generally a fan of this era of electronic music. 1 cd alone can hold an indulgent amount of music in 70+ mins but a double cd is alot to take in. Had to listen in two separate sessions. Though drum n bass is very "meaty" as far as electronic music goes, the higher BPMs over the course of a double cd can be exhausting if you're not on drugs. Like the upright bass sound. I think I prefer the 2nd disc from "Intro" on. Its more instrumental/atmospheric and has a wider range of moods.

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Wed May 05 2021
4

Without a doubt it’s a classic of the genre however drum & bass is now considered quite niche and has stepped in and out of fashion since its late 90’s heyday. New Forms is up there with Timeless & Modus Operandi and is maybe a bit more accessible, Heroes & Watching Windows being big singles. It’s the likes of Brown Paper Bag, Hot Stuff & Down where the surgically produced bass come to the fore. Hadn’t listened to this in a while and to be honest picked out a few tracks for the review. Still stands up!

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Wed May 04 2022
4

I used to love drum and bass but never really saw the point in Dance Music that you don’t dance to. This album bridges the gap somewhat with more hip hop influenced vocals, jazzy double bass and skittery live drums. I mostly enjoyed the half time triphop stuff like Watching Windows. It didn’t get nearly as much acclaim but Roni Size and DJ Die worked together again a few years later on Breakbeat Era, which I think really nails this style of more “listenable” D&B.

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Wed Aug 10 2022
4

Big Roni Size fan but had not heard this album end-to-end. I really enjoyed it and will probably revisit. This artist sent me down a big drum n bass rabbit hole back in the 90s that I still dive into from time to time. Love the jazz and (light) reggae influences, and the vocals, while not always my cup of tea, aren't overly distracting and in the case of "watching windows" really add to it.

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Thu Mar 16 2023
4

Brown Paper Bag is a stone cold classic and was one of several massive tunes from the end of that decade to facilitate the beginnings of a crossover to the mainstream for late-90s Jungle/D&B. A lot of the tracks are on the minimally-orchestrated/barebones side, and some are actually tosh, but some of them are standout and have a huge vibe to them. Definitely worth checking the 20th anniversary edition over the original release, as it includes hours of extra singles releases, B-sides and alternative mixes. Best tracks: Brown Paper Bag (the full vocal remix is better IMHO), Matter of Fact, Heroes (and the 2017 remix), Hi-Potent (originally released as the B-side to Brown Paper Bag 12" single, and you'll notice the iconic double bass sample in a less chopped up form), Trust Me (simple but brutally effective dancefloor classic!) (and the 2017 remix), Share The Fall (for those who like their jazzy beats chopped and sliced), Jazz, Ballet Dance (very Paradox/Seba/Fanu/Equinox/Pieter K/PFM/LTJ Bukem style), Western (which uses the classic "Let a Woman Be a Woman" break) (and the 2017 remix)... yeah, this is a solid slab of Bristol-infused Drum & Bass from Roni Size, Die, Krust and Suv from the late 90s, with some fresher takes on some of the tunes from the last decade. It's not a 5 star album, but it's a strong 4-star contender -- if only for the amount of newcomers it brought in to the genre, thanks to its accessible style and pop-infused sensibilities, which were still not as prevalent in the late 90s (most D&B back then was quite dark and moody).

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Mon Jan 24 2022
3

The drum and bass feels pretty dated. But they do some interesting stuff with it.

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Fri Nov 17 2023
2

Snoozefest. This album overstayed it's welcome so much, it put a tent up in my living room and left its feet sticking out the flap, muddying up my rug. Being boring is more sinful than being bad.

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Wed Mar 31 2021
1

power of the what now?! foreskin? no thank u champ. am i gonna be able to listen to this whole thing?! really not feeling it

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Sun Jan 01 2023
1

Why is this garbage considered music. Someone standing behind a computer pushing buttons while the crowd trips on Ecstasy. Never heard of Roni Size or Reprazent, and wish I never had. More worthless electronica shit that has no place on a list like this. What did this influence? This is the music aliens listen to while they probe your arse. Fuck electronica, and drum'n'bass. 9-10 minute songs with looped shitty lyrics, and wind chimes as a musical instrument. And why would someone turn Morse code (the most irritating sound on earth) into a song? Favourite song: Beatbox because it's only 1 minute long. It features someone trying to beatbox, but they're so bad at it that they just record a small clip and looped it to make it sound impressive, but it is actually shit. Least favourite songs: the whole fucking album. 1/5. There's an hour and 20 minutes I'll never get back.

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Mon Jun 28 2021
5

Wowwwww some jungle history. Incredible

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Fri Feb 12 2021
5

Super new millennium vibes, those drums were amazing

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Fri Jan 28 2022
5

Yes. I remember a couple of these tracks from release, and enjoyed at the time. Listening back now I'm pleasantly surprised at how cohesive, catchy and just plain good this album is. Gets five stars for freshness, even after 25 years.

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Sun Mar 13 2022
5

Epitomises a genre I love and that was uniquely British in its inception despite obvious influences from hip-hop, jazz etc.

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Mon Mar 21 2022
5

I don't need to review this. 5* all day long.

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Fri Jun 10 2022
5

Yes, this is great! I already know and love this album. Drum and bass is a style of electronic music I'm not massively familiar with. I guess it's mostly a singles-oriented club genre - but this one is an ambitious, fully-realised album that also makes you want to get on a dancefloor. I love the cerebral ambient moments combined with thumping energy. I love the basslines, which I guess are often being sampled from jazz/funk/soul records? I actually think the shorter version (which was originally the 1CD/cassette release) works amazingly in a single sitting, but I'm not opposed to hearing the whole 140-minute double album anytime! 5*

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Thu Aug 04 2022
5

Forgot how much I loved the songs on this album - reminder of the 90’s and whilst at Uni

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Mon Oct 31 2022
5

4.5 stars. Probably not the first drum'n'bass record to have heavy jazz sounds and influences, but certainly the landmark album (and a 2CD behemoth at that!) establishing what is still a very active subgenre and world of music. Classic.

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Wed Nov 02 2022
5

Excellent drum & bass album. It felt rather repetitive at first, but I got into it once the more familiar tracks kicked in, and on the second listen it all fell into place nicely.

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Wed Nov 02 2022
5

This album on computer speakers: 2* This album on headphones: 5* and that's the way I first listened to it at the time, so I go with the 5*

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Thu Dec 08 2022
5

Boom! Yes! As a child of 90s Britain, time was that you couldn't adjust your stereo without landing on a pirate drum n bass station. I'm sure the purists will hate this album but in the genre they don't come bigger than Roni Size. Iconic

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Fri Apr 14 2023
5

Офигенный drum and bass альбом. Уверен тогда был классикой

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Fri May 26 2023
5

This is a stone cold 5 if you don't know you don't know. Brown paper bag alone transformed so many raves. This is what 90's music should have been instead of generic indie.

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Mon Apr 26 2021
3

Kinda cool, but nothing crazy

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Thu May 19 2022
3

Very conflicted here. I like this - some of it very much - but it just goes on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on...

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Thu Jun 30 2022
3

There was drum and there was bass

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Wed Apr 12 2023
3

A decent drum and bass album by Roni Size. It perfectly encapsulates the sound of the 90s, with the repetitive drums and high hat synths with underlays of record scratching that were often heard in many 90s movies. Best: Brown Paper Bag Worst: Mad Cat

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Sun Sep 03 2023
3

Best Song: Railing. Makes me feel like I'm wearing neon wraparound glasses and absolutely thrashing in an abandoned parking garage. Worst Song: Matter of Fact. This kind of music only works for me insofar as it is unabashedly in-your-face. Here it attempts to do this wishy-washy background thing, which just comes off as annoying. Overall: I liked some of the boomboomclaps and not other boomboomclaps, but I lack the vocabulary to describe what makes some better than the others. As a listener naive to this genre of music, it initially felt like it had an exciting speed and energy to it but I found that I quickly acclimatized to the speed and was left finding it too repetitive.

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Sun Mar 12 2023
2

This is outrageous, this is contagious. This is outrageous, this is contagious. So futile.

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Tue May 02 2023
2

Un calvaire historique, la police n'interviendra qu'après 2h20 de tapage nocturne. La nuit de sommeil est par conséquent d'ores et déjà foutue.

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Sun Jan 28 2024
1

This shit gives me anxiety. 1/5

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Fri Jun 02 2023
5

Music at it finest, Roni and the gang represent with this tour de force. Before this DNB was just anither EDM genre. Tgey took it to new heights and indeed forms. Absolute banger also concided with being a teenager in Bristol never forgot going down Versatility ahh the days.

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Fri Jun 02 2023
5

Instant 5 stars. I love drum and bass and I love Roni Size.

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Wed Jun 07 2023
5

Love D&B. I'm happy to see some representation of non-rock music in this list for once. This album rules, there's a reason it's one of the seminal albums of the genre.

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Thu Aug 10 2023
5

ooooohwweeeee. I used to like this album, but hadn't come back to it for a long time. Now I have a much wider knowledge of drum & bass, and a better sound system, it is banging in new ways for me!

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Fri Oct 27 2023
5

perfect drum and bass album. whats not to love?

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Tue Dec 19 2023
5

I didn't know this existed but this music flows so well and is very groovy. I can listen to this all day

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Wed Dec 27 2023
5

Pioneer Electronic producer and amazing double cd. 5/5

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Wed Jan 17 2024
5

This was my style in the early 2000's

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Thu Feb 01 2024
5

after looking it up, this album was his debut album from Roni Size & Reprazent and it won the Mercury Award for best album of the year in the UK. It went five times platinum and was one of the most commercially successful jungle albums of the 90s. I can see why - this album is unbelievably creative and uses unbelievable sound design and creativity in the creation of each and every track.

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Thu Feb 22 2024
5

These long albums are killing me but I really liked this one

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Sun Mar 03 2024
5

oh, how obsessed we were with this in school. I had a cd so i was asked to bring it to every house party. masterpiece!

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Mon Mar 11 2024
5

Going into bat for ‘New Forms’. It’s an awesome record. This and ‘Timeless’ by Goldie are the two great drum and bass records from the era and in my opinion haven’t been bettered. ‘New Forms’ blew my small teenage mind as I tried to understand what the hell a break beat was, and why it wasn’t four on the floor. Its sound was expansive, and it was full of jazzy licks, but it also had songs with vocals. And I loved it. It was accessible to the masses and that’s why it was so universally acclaimed and popular upon its release winning the 1997 Mercury Prize and going platinum in the UK. Yes, it’s long at over two hours, and I’ll admit the second disc is probably not quite as strong as the first, but man this still slays. Equally at home on the dancefloor, or at home while you nod your head and stroke your chin to its hypnotic rhythms, ‘New Forms’ is one of the very best electronic dance music records of all time.

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Thu Mar 14 2024
5

A stone cold classic - lots of nostalgia for this - I'm cheerfully listening to the full 4cd reissue version and it doesn't feel like too much of a good thing. Re-listened to it recently, actually, as there was a minor kerfuffle in my friend group when we discovered that the version we'd all been familiar with (on a single CD) isn't even the whole album!? There were a bunch of extra tracks we'd never heard of, and looking at discogs most of the versions were on 2 CDs or 4 LPs - I guess we were all poor students back then, so bought the presumably cheapest option... Fave track - could be quite a few of them, but I have to side with "Railing" for a line of lyrics that's lived rent free in my head for decades now: Do you think that you can hang tough, when the rhythm gets rough and the DJ says "I think you've had enough"? 😎

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Thu Mar 14 2024
5

Outstanding. Railing really sets the scene and just as you think this song is getting even better you're already a minute into Brown Paper Bag which in itself is exceptional. New Forms, Let's Get It On, and Digital keep the ball rolling. Heroes is a fun track and Watching Windows has been a favourite of mine for a long time.

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Mon Oct 05 2020
4

Awesome background music but super long

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Wed Dec 02 2020
4

Cool vibes, a little on the experimental side for me, but would be good background jams for a hangout.

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Fri Feb 26 2021
4

Album très intéressant. Drum and bass, rap, RnB, tout y est.

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Sun Feb 21 2021
4

Like this, much stronger at the start than the end where it gets a bit non descript. Nice nostalgia

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Mon May 03 2021
4

Strong but why is this SO long

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Thu Apr 08 2021
4

Was between a 3 and a 4 but have rounded up for the Ket song, which I’ll now be sneaking into playlists at appropriate times 😏 a classic album which has grown on me over the years

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Thu Apr 08 2021
4

Seminal, timeless, silky smooth d&b bangers. A few of the tracks did feel a bit samey

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Thu Apr 08 2021
4

It's between a 4 and 5 for me and it's such and inspiring album for me. But i'm going with a 4 because I know that there are albums that have influenced me even more than this. Buuuuut it is amazing and on top of it I can hear how a lot of of stuff is made and even had (and still have) some of the same vintage synths and samplers that it sounds like have been used on it - which adds to it for me.

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Thu Apr 08 2021
4

sounds a litttle dated now, but really good innovative stuff

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Fri May 28 2021
4

Weird funky beats sounds dope. One of the better albums so far!

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Wed Jun 30 2021
4

Classic. Songs a little overlong at times though, with not quite enough progression and development. Worthy album on the 1,000 list just for ‘Brown Paper Bag’ alone.

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Wed Jun 30 2021
4

Remembering why it was nominated for a Mercury Music Prize

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Mon Aug 09 2021
4

Al principio del disco me vino a la mente "Las chicas superpoderosas", jaja, pero pues fluyó bien, me gustó la energía que emana y yo creo que sirve tanto para drogarse como para estar trabajando chill sin tener que ponerle mucha atención a la música. Canciones fav: "New Forms", "Mad Cat", "Heroes". 8/10

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Fri Sep 03 2021
4

House of Darkness basement banger.

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Fri Sep 03 2021
4

Gorgeous. Just so, so gorgeous. Beautiful melodies. Flawless beats. Like making sweet, sweet love to a box fresh sex doll.

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Fri Sep 03 2021
4

good. dead long, very out of place sat at my desk on a wednesday afternoon.

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Mon Oct 18 2021
4

Gets an extra star for Brown Paper Bag

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Sun Dec 19 2021
4

Uhuhu. That's some serious music.

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Thu Feb 24 2022
4

Intense, du bon electro comme tout les albums sur cette liste. Ca doit etre bon pour courrir franchement, mais pour travailler. Un peu intense. 4.15

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Sun Mar 13 2022
4

I am extremely surprised to see a DnB/Jungle album on here. The sound is a little dated now but I still love it. I’m probably eating this higher than normal since I love DnB

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Sun Mar 20 2022
4

Pretty good! Hadn't heard of this artist at all before

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Thu May 19 2022
4

This outdated raver stuff from the 90s brought back memories and put me on a carousel of nostalgia that I didn't want to get off of.

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Mon May 30 2022
4

Didn’t think I liked D&B but this is great chilled and upbeat at the same time!

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Sun Jul 17 2022
4

High energy yet chilled, interesting but long

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Thu Aug 11 2022
4

Took two listens to really get it, but once I did I loved it.

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Wed Aug 24 2022
4

omg, this album makes me anxious Almost 5 stars but -1 because the songs are too long.

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Wed Sep 21 2022
4

This is why I signed up for the album a day club--to discover different types of music that I wasn't familiar about and learning about how they fit into the story of their genre. I enjoyed this one immensely.

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Fri Dec 02 2022
4

Good stuff. Very nostalgic 90’s sound.

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Wed Jan 11 2023
4

Drum and bass. Me ha gustado. Un 4.

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Wed Jan 18 2023
4

Great drums and bass on this. Was good to study to

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Wed Feb 01 2023
4

Tremendo este, hip hopcito del bueno

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Thu Mar 23 2023
4

Some absolute bangers in here

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Fri Apr 07 2023
4

Loved it back in the day. Still great but has aged. Forgot how indulgent it is.

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Wed May 17 2023
4

Quintessential dnb pretty good, I get why people hate it though

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Thu May 25 2023
4

Drum and Bass Albums are always interesting, because it always sounds like a lot of going nowhere. But I don't dislike that. The main thing I do dislike is the length, which makes this album a little sloggy at times.

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Fri Jun 02 2023
4

Quality. I'd like it less if I didn't live in Bristol at that time; but I did: so I do.

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Wed Jul 05 2023
4

Until I heard this I hadn't thought about the lack of Drum and Bass. This is a great, if overlong introduction to DnB, with some proper classics in there.

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Wed Aug 09 2023
4

It exudes quality but does it have to be X hours long, where X depends on what version it is. I mean one of these is 5xVinyl

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