In celebration of numbers that end in sequential zeros, I present the 8000th song played on the tunequest: Breakbeat Era’s sex change from the 1999 album Ultra-Obscene. This achievement comes as part of my Roni Size weekend.
I spent a good portion of yesterday listening to his sprawling 2 and half hour double disc New Forms. That was the record, along with The Chemical Brothers’ Dig Your Own Hole, that turned me onto electronic music when it used to be the “next big thing” (ie 1997).
Breakbeat Era, an experimental side-project of Size’s, is actually a bit of a disappointment compared to New Forms. It’s an attempt to infuse his trademark drum-n-bass with a pop sensibility be incorporating vocals and structure on top of the tracks.
On the whole, the results rank as decent, but the song New Forms from the album of the same name uses a similar philosophy to much greater effect.
Back in the day, Roni Size’s / Reprazant’s Brown Paper Bag and the accompanying video on MTV’s AMP remember AMP? were just the mind-blowing thing a musically-experimental shiftless college student needed to expand his horizons. I credit both Brown Paper Bag and The Chemical Brothers’ Dig Your Own Hole with diverting my attention away from rock and focusing it toward the burgeoning electronic scene.
Considering the state of rock throughout 1997 and 1998 and where it has gone since, those acts may have saved me from much musical mediocrity, for which i am eternally grateful.
To this day, the sweet wobbly guitar riff that drives Brown Paper Bag, as well as the pulsing beats and the interjection of some subtly smooth rap continue to make this song compelling, even as my interest in straight-ahead drum and bass is on the decline.
From the album New Forms. Hear the song for yourself and enjoy the awesome video: