Roni Size: 23.30
After Party: Golem
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. Size's influence as a producer, label owner, and committed underground magnate figured him as one of the emerging sound's true pioneers.
Born to Jamaican immigrant parents, Roni grew up in the Bristolean suburb of St. Andrews (home to Tricky, Massive Attack, and Smith & Mighty), where he learned the fundamentals of hip-hop through the area's sounds systems, house parties, and underground clubs. Expelled from school in his mid-teens and running game through his neighborhood until risk became greater than reward, Size started dabbling with house and reggae production in the late '80s.
He came to prominence in 1997 as the founder and leader of Reprazent, a drum and bass collective. That year they won the Mercury Prize for their album New Forms. Following their mainstream breakthrough, Reprazent had a series of festival appearances in the summer of 1997 (including Tribal Gathering).
He hooked up with labelmates DJ Krust, Suv, and DJ Die at the 1990 Glastonbury Festival, and the four stayed in contact, eventually forming Size's longest-running musical commitment to date: his own Full Cycle label. the Full Cycle sound is a subtle mix of jazz and soul with jump-up rhythms and worldbeat references spanning from Roni's Jamaican roots to '50s bop and the Motown sound.
Size subsequently teamed up with DJ Die and Leonie Laws in Breakbeat Era, before returning to Reprazent to record the second album, October 2000's In the Mode, which included guest vocals from Zack de la Rocha of Rage Against the Machine and Method Man of Wu-Tang Clan. In 2001, he returned to the studio and started working with Tali, who had recently arrived from New Zealand on her album Lyric on My Lip. In this time, he also produced Touching Down – released in October 2002. This, his first truly solo album, included 16 tracks segued into one hour's set. He came back to V Recordings in 2005 with the release of Return To V, which included vocal collaborations with artists such as Beverly Knight, Jocelyn Brown, Vikter Duplaix and Rodney P.
Roni Size resurrected Reprazent in 2008 with the release of a deluxe edition of New Forms on Universal. The reformed band included original members Dynamite MC, Onallee and bass player Si John alongside Yuval Gabay (Soul Coughing), D Product, Jay Wilcox and Pete Josef. Roni Size and Reprazent toured in some of the biggest festivals in Europe, including Bestival, Glastonbury, Lovebox (festival), EXIT and Rock Herk. As a result, they were among the nominees for Best Dance Act from the UK Festival Awards.