Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Short Hiatus...

I'm flying to Azerbaijan on Thursday for three weeks around that area so there will be a short intermission. Maybe I'll try and buy some local tunes and post them up when I get back! Thanks for reading.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Freshen Up

Jungle is a funny thing. At Freshen Up last Sunday the musicians purveying it were markedly, even comically, polarised. Daddy Freddy, grown up in Trenchtown, looks battle hardened enough to merit a name change to Grandaddy Freddy, whilst the faces behind Junglist Alliance are extremely young and fresh. That is something I love about Jungle though, the many voices it has under a single umbrella label. It might sometimes result in slightly incongruous ideological interplay such as a Jamaican Rastafarian vocalist in his 40s exhorting a crowd of white 20-something students (plenty of whom were dreadlocked, though, but that's another story altogether!) to 'praise Jah' 'bun de sensi' etc, but perhaps that only mirrors Jungle's magpie musical nature.

I expected the smaller room to be more fully devoted to dubstep, but much of the music was the kind of stuff Zinc does on Bingo or Darqwan (Oris Jay) makes; a bouncy sort of beat perhaps best described as breakbeat garage. From 11-12 Deadman of Junglist Alliance played a rather nice selection of half-step dubstep, Loefah's Monsoon Remix and a couple of Digi Mystikz tunes amongst them. The sound was pretty nice, as the room was small and the bass ample. Local producer Rogue State was then up for an hour. I think he played a few of his own productions. It's really encouraging to see local musicians making dubstep beats and also interesting that their points of reference are firmly within the Jungle rather than Garage tradition.


Oris Jay (<) was perhaps the DJ i was most looking forward to in the whole line-up. He cut a pretty dapper figure in a natty Stussy tee and some cream Nike Air Rifts. Tunes were mainly on the upbeat tip. Bangers included DJ Distance's Traffic (or was it cyclops...), classic tune Said The Spider VIP and a Mark One production or two. The DJs on afterwards (Deekline and then RM Loki) continued the bouncy breaks vibe and the music got a bit cheesy and clean sounding for my tastes!


Throughout the music in the smaller room I popped into the big room to hear the Jungle action there. The shape lends itself pretty well to a club, with a back part full of chairs and rails to hold drinks. The emphasis for the evening was on vocalists really, rather than DJs. Daddy Freddy appeared alongside Jah Prento to rhyme over Chase and Status. I would guess that both have their roots in Ragga, with Freddy proving adept inna jungle, hip-hop or raggamuffin style. There is a hilarious video of him on his website going on Record Breakers and getting the record for being the fastest rapper in the world. He did a bit of super-speed rhyming but it didn't really sound like any cogent syllables i have ever heard! The two MCs were joined by another guy who seemed a bit strange. He sounded vaguely American I thought, and indeed looked somewhat like a used-car salesmen from somewhere deep in the bible belt.

And then Top Cat and Tenor Fly stepped up and did a showcase of around an hour. They are both good vocalists, and interspersed double-time MCing with some ragga style crooning. Top Cat did a nice little acapella about being kings and queens. All in all it was an enjoyable night, though i'm not sure I'm convinced by the quality of Corporation's soundsystem. It sounded a bit dirty in the big room. Must thank the promoters for guestlisting me too!

Friday, June 02, 2006

Articles 95

Here are some PDFs of some excellent articles on Jungle from the Mid '90s. Seckle on the Dubstep Forum provided them, so big up him. Really interesting reading; an interview with Goldie and a round-table with James Lavelle, Dave Clark, DJ Rap, Orbital, Mr C, Norman Jay and some other heads.