Classic Corner Track 7: Roni Size & Reprazent “Brown Paper Bag”


…dont call it a comeback!


After a brief hiatus, DJ BRUAEL is back with a classic corner track at TheBeatCorner.


Today we are going back in time to 1997, a time when electronic music started building popularity and breaking into the mainstream, not just in Europe but in North America as well. Audiences were being challenged with the electronic nature of music being presented alongside established acts, and festivals started featuring electronic artists in their line-up. Electronic music was finally going to get the recognition it deserved.

Sound familiar? Haha yes thats right, 1997 closely mimics what has happened over the past few years with the “EDM” or Electronic Dance Music craze in North America and Europe, except back then it was called “Electronica” and before that there was a resurgence in 1988 when it was called “rave music” and even before that in the early 80’s when it was called “New-Wave Music”, or EVEN BEOFRE THAT in the late 70’s when it was called “Electro” or Electronic Disco.

The point I am trying to make is that the music industry is very cyclical, and things happen in cycles and patterns. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

As we have seen the rise of EDM over the past years, it too will pass only for “real music” to make a comeback, only for new and “innovative” electronic music to make a splash yet again. Funny aint it?

But that is the business, let’s talk about the music!

Drum’n’Bass music, also called Jungle Music in some circles, was a new genre that emerged in the mid 90’s, out of the UK’s rave scene. It used old Hip-Hop and Soul breakbeats (sampled drum rhythms and solos taken from records) and sped them up to a whopping 160-180 beats per minute (the original samples were probably in the 115-130 bpm range). Along with the massive bass and sub-bass lines sweeping through the songs, Drum’n’Bass represented the energetic and animalistic side of the electronic revolution of the 90’s.

Drum ‘n’ Bass is still around today and has evolved into its much more ADHD cousin, known as Dubstep.

To get a sense of how by simply changing the speed of old soul and funk breaks, you can find the origins of Hip-Hop, Big Beat and Drum’n’Bass, watch this clip of the “Amen Break” from the Winston Brothers (1969) played at regular speed, then sped up and then slowed down…

In the midst of the Drum’n’Bass frenzy came Roni Size & Reprazent, a 10+ member collective from Bristol, who incorporated live drumming and double bass into their music along with hip-hop verses and swag. Their debut album New Forms won the coveted Mercury Prize in 1997 (aka the “coolest and most innovative group in music” award) and changed peoples perceptions on what Drum’n’Bass and what electronic music really is.

One of the standout tracks from the album and their first single “Brown Paper Bag” is a perfect example of that spirit and reads as a CV for the band itself.

I am treating you with the full vocal mix of the track, so you can enjoy all the sizzling rhymes on this legendary track!

It is my pleasure to introduce to you, the Classic Corner Track of the Week, Roni Size & Reprazent with “Brown Paper Bag” (Full Vocal Mix)


Keep on cornering!



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