Review: Reprazent featuring Roni Size Lakota, Bristol
Friday 20 June 1997
The problems of making the music work live have been triumphantly overcome. On a dry-ice-shrouded stage a drummer and a double-bassist propel the jungle break-beat pulse, flanking the four DJs crouched over VDUs and keyboards, wreathed in the drifting smoke like Wagnerian slaves. Out front, MC Dynamite barks out the raps and Onalee screams out soul-diva vocals. The diminutive Roni is more or less invisible save for a flurry of locks as he moves from console to console among his fellow DJs, Krust, Suv and Die.
But the sound, oh, the sound. Dirty great slabs of bass make your heart leap in its cage like a stun-gunned canary; skittering snare rhythms drill deep into the central nervous system, causing a St Vitus' dance of the lower extremities. Weird sound-samples and deconstructed jazzy riffs come and go, and although the beat enforces response, after a while the body relaxes into the half-speed bass rhythm while the mind apprehends the considerable subtleties of the music. The remainder of the evening passed in a glorious blur. Truly, Roni Size's dreadlocks may well be in communication with a mysterious and powerful force.
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