After coming up on Bryan Gee and Jumping Jack Frost's V Recordings, the Mercury Prize-winning, Bristol-based Roni Size then built his own Full Cycle label and released intelligent drum and bass from the Reprazent/Breakbeat Era collectives, including the seminal New Forms and In the Mode. With Return to V, Size returns to the sound of his early V work with (guest) vocal-laden stormers such as Sweetie Irie's distended, synth-singed toast "Rise." There's little bloat among its eighteen tracks, but also little ballast. "Want Your Body," "Sing," and "No More" are jazzy jump-ups, and "Time" and "Problems" expand Size's formidable production prowess to bristly clip-hop. But most of the cuts careen like precision mechanisms, hook-heavy chargers in the sinewy, syncopated tradition. While "V" certainly means vigorous, more would be needed to score a victory furthering drum and bass past the dance floor.
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