18 Jul 2009

The Jungle's Edge

In bringing the jungle sessions to a close it would be a fatal not to say a little something about the nights out had by me and the rest of the Speirs Wharf Massive.

Stirling University offered few opportunities to regularly stretch our drums and basses. Paul DJ'd on a Wednesday/Thursday night at the student union and if we were lucky the guys at the local independent record store (can't remember the name) would put on a night in town.

So like most of Scotland we would head to Glasgow for some culture. There we could choose between the Art School, Elements @ Trash, Yang (Paul got some Djing time there too), downstairs in Bacchus and the Arches. That is where you really got to hear jungle in its real environment and dance dance DANCE!

There were so many great tracks around that time but one that really resonates with me was DJ Trace's Sonar. The mp3 below, like most mp3's of jungle does do it justice given digital's supression of the bass that vinyl celebrated. As soon as you heard the opening of the track you just waiting for that point 2 minutes into it when the bass would drop in and boil your intestines. I would recommend listening on headphones to try and feel the affect but really unless a large soundsystem is pulsing it through the air, it aint the same.

And for Aldo. You asked for Ed Rush and here he is. The likes Ed Rush, Optical, Andy C came from the dark corners of jungles but made some immense and very dancable tracks. Full loud cracks, metal grinding and machine gun breaks it was the sound that dominated the Glasgow jungle dancefloors. I was listening to some of my old records records from these guys and they sound so fresh. Mrs Pontiac hates them but that's what headphones are for.

Finally, the guys who brought jungle onto the wider public view. Roni Size & Reprazent made the, in my opinion, the only coherent jungle album with New Forms. But this wasn't some intellectualised attempt to go mainstream. The were were justy innovating at such a rate it was scary. As part of that their live show at the Arches in 2007 was the best gig I attended. The place was packed, everyone was up for it and the live performance including giant bass had everyone bouncing up and down and around and around. I am pretty sure I jumped so high I touched the roof. While the song it not a hidden gem Brown Paper Bag really sums up what they did for jungle. Still a great track.

So I leave the jungle memories with those tracks. Remember. Use your body as the bass and arms as the breaks.

DJ Trace - Sonar

Ed Rush - Sabotage

Roni Size & Reprazent - Brown Paper Bag

1 comment:

Matt said...

I was lucky to catch Roni at the QM in 04. I'd never been a big jungle fan and can't even remember what inspired me to go, but they knocked my socks off.

Thanks for the retrospective, I'm inspired to give these tunes another go.