Roni Size is a huge figure in the history of Drum and Bass. As part of the Bristol collective Reprazent, he released innovative, hip-hop inspired D’n’B which made good use of live drums and a double bass.
“Brown Paper Bag” is probably the best song to come out of that. The twanging double bass is engaging and seems almost exotic, with the drum breaks over the top scrambling to supply enough energy to keep up.
The MCing is a typical Drum n Bass style, and isn’t to ostentatious. The music is allowed to speak for itself.
The song is a classic rave tune, with its catchy bassline and rhythmic drums, but has layers of paranoid sound that give it a certain complexity. The spacious, electronic synths contribute to a vague unsettling feeling common to many D’n’B tunes.
The song was released on the critically acclaimed 1997 album New Forms. The album won the Mercury Prize in that year.