If the ratio of hype to actual impact determines an album's success, Roni Size's much-heralded 1998 opus New Forms failed to fulfill its revolutionary mandate. Jungle is still a selective taste, and apart from the occasional filigree on the radio or television, it remains relegated to clubs, chill-out rooms, and the white-noise background of everyday life in America. Oddly, however, Size's Bristol-based jungle collective the group did exceed all expectations on stage, where the sprawling group proved that even programmed dance music can be at least as invigorating as more traditional music. But while the rest of the Reprazent crew (Die, Krust, Dynamite MC, Suv, and Onallee) spun off to work on their own impressive solo projects, all eyes remained on Size, who waited an eternity in DJ years to reconvene Reprazent for In The Mode, another volley of stylish drum-and-bass. In The Mode indicates the importance of Size's gift as both a bandleader and a producer: Because his music combines so many different elements (hip-hop, dub, soul, jazz, rock, ambient, techno), his uncanny ability to juggle everything makes Reprazent go down easy, considering how uniquely frenetic the stuff is. "Lucky Pressure" twists trip-hop and soul like a balloon animal, while "In Tune With The Sound" enlists human beatbox Rahzel to provide his own percussive onslaught. "Who Told You?" boasts the thrust of Jamaican toasting and rap at the same time, while fluid contributions by such noted rappers and vocalists as Method Man and former Rage Against The Machine mouth Zack De La Rocha (on "Ghetto Celebrity" and "Center Of The Storm," respectively) blend in perfectly. Conversely, the hyperkinetic electro-funk of "Staircase" showcases Size's equally impressive ability to keep it simple. In The Mode suffers a bit from overkill, but that doesn't make tracks like "Banashapan" any less seamless. If Size's skill and attention to his craft can make his own achievements relatively invisible, close listens to the barrage of beats and minimal melodies reveal a science and strategy to his sound that can only come from artistic diligence.

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