Archive for the ‘Jungle’ Category

Family Foundation ‎– Xpress Yourself (Original Don Mix) [1992]
August 22, 2012

Oh My Gosh! A total stormer from the Family Foundation with a break so filthy it should come with a health warning. Chucked onto that is a ton of crowd pleasing synth riffs and the prerequisite female vocalist, making this yet another beloved hardcore classic.

The release itself is a cracker, with four excellent remixes featured on the vinyl and CD releases, all with their own slight twist on the original. But to be honest, nothing comes close to this version, no wonder its the Original Don Mix, it towers over the others! The very definition of a classic this one!

Family Foundation ‎– Xpress Yourself (Ragga Rave Mix)

Family Foundation ‎– Xpress Yourself (Extended Vocal Mix)

Family Foundation ‎– Xpress Yourself (Jungle Techno Mix)

Intense – Prophesy [1995]
February 14, 2012

Another cracker from Rugged Records, this was the A side of the excellent “Chronicles of Intense Vol 1”. Nothing but solid rolling amens and dark basslines in this one, even if the beginning leads you to believe otherwise. In fact the track kicks off with some really great string atmospherics and a cheeky little breakbeat before the drop kicks in and off you go. A genuinely perfect Jungle tune. The amen work is absolutely flawless from start to finish, successfully managing to be choppy without being irritating. What a tune.

Earl Grey – The Lick [1995]
February 14, 2012

What a corker this track is. I had it on “Future Funk” (Its still in the Garage Dad!) a bloody excellent album of DnB and downtempo classics amongst other things. This is most definitely one of the stand out tracks on there, one of a core few really top shelf jazzy “Intelligent” Drum & Bass tunes. The track didnt really see a whole lot of club play, I think I heard it a few times in the chill out lounge at Goodbye Cruel World but for the most part, this is a track for the car or your lounge at 1am. The bass is pure and the break is clean and absence of any over the top synth work just make this a minimalist classic for me. Fantastic, The Lick indeed!

Adam F – Dirty Harry (Grooverider Remix) [1997]
December 20, 2011

You have to hand it to Adam F, full respect for Colours, its one of the genre defining Drum & Bass albums ever released. More so to have the good sense to use Grooverider’s remix of Dirty Harry as the one that makes its way onto said album. This really is 6 minutes of pure perfection. The introduction is the dogs, the easy wind up steppin’ business of the first 2 mins and into that cracking breakdown just sets the whole track up for some serious head nodding and shuffling. There have been a ton of remixes that do this original cut proud but nothing beats the original remix! To be honest, I cant actually say ive ever hear Adam F’s original, unsurprising considering how massive this track is.

Cracking remix from Decoder & Peshay

And not forgetting this excellent cut from Ganja Kru. I have to say, the break is the star in this version;

Earl Grey – Untitled [1995]
November 28, 2011

Corking Intelligent DnB tune from Earl Grey aka Paul Clarke and Ron Wells. While they released a stack of other decent releases, it is this first offering on Rugged Vinyl that will be their lasting legacy. It an absolute beast of a tune, jazzy enough not to become tedious but light enough that it can fit into almost any DnB set. Its got some great bassline work and the breaks are top drawer. Blissful slice of classic DnB.

Rood Project – Thunder [1994]
November 25, 2011

Legendary track from the man who would become Bay B Kane, Mel Tanur. Its got an even split of 94 dark Jungle and what would soon become “Intelligent” DnB, supposedly one of the very first. Regarless of its lineage, the quality of this track cannot be overlooked. The break work is top notch with Amens and a cheeky shaker break layered perfectly. Add those haunting strings and a rough as hell bassline and its easy to see why its such a winner. Bona fide classic tune.

From Discogs
This is my favourite drum n bass tune of all time. Many people seem to have forgotten it ever existed. It was ground breaking in many ways, I consider it to be ‘the first’ “intelligent” drum n bass track, a good few months before Bukem started doing the same sound. The track starts of with lush strings and female vox “ooh” “ahh”, etc… the intro is loooooong, before dropping into HUGE mashed up amen and HEAVY bass that might destroy you’re speaker if you’re not careful. Totally underrated and awesome.

Skanna – The Future [1993]
October 4, 2011

You know, there were plenty of overlooked Drum & Bass/Jungle producers back in the day. With DJ’s limited to hour sets, usually dropping 80% crowd favourites and sliding in the odd new release, you could often overlook some of the more cutting edge releases. Radio filled that gap for the most part, with many illegal stations playing out brand new dubplates every weekend. However, one thing I could never get my head round was how little exposure Skanna got. Looking back now, its easy to see, the tracks Skanna was pumping out didnt use Amen’s, they were a whole new kind of Drum & Bass. No wimp-like high hat driven Intelligent Drum n’ Bass here, no wobble basslines and insane Amen choppage. No, Skanna was way past all that. To be honest, considering this was written in 93, it would still have a place in DnB sets today, some 18 years later. I guess thats what he meant by “The Future”. This track and so many others from Skanna were so far ahead of the curve, it took the scene almost 5 years to arrive at where Skanna was.

Sadly, the Skanna name was replaced with Quivver and he started pumping out epic progressive house tunes. A crying shame to the breakbeat scene because his breakbeat mastery was without a doubt, one of the best. This is a bloody incredible track with multiple breaks layered atop one another. That wry synth riff grounding it in what could be considered the 93 sound, or perhaps the 2003 resurgence of hardcore sounds? The bassline is low and rolling, happy to let the breaks take center stage. Chuck in that moody piano and your well on your way. Instant classic and a crime this didnt get more airtime.

From Discogs C/O Hankin
Skanna’s old tunes are not ones typically heard being rinsed out on old tapes or even by many serious oldskool or DnB Dj’s. I don’t know why because after listening to most of them now i realise they are absolute classic in every way, maybe the thing here is that they didn’t quite fit in and to me at least sound very ahead of their time. You can definately hear people years later doing what he was doing in 93′ with the “intelligent/atmospheric” strands of DnB that came about later on.

Big respect to the man he was a true innovator in my book

Jack Ruby – Global Torrents [1994]
October 3, 2011

Wow, what a cracking Jungle tune from Jack Ruby/Knowledge Records. That bass is so warm and deep its like swimming in a warm ocean. Chopped up by that two step break and the amazing vocals that pepper the track and your well on the way to a winner. Definately stands out against many of its contemporaries of the time for retaining a good dose of soul and bridging the gap between the “Intelligent” DnB scene and the Junglists. Fantastic tune, it really is.

Doc Scott – Far Away (Fourteen Flavours of Funk) [1994]
September 2, 2011

Christ its been a busy week. However, ive been caning some old Jungle mixes while on the burn, featuring stone cold classics like this offering from Doc Scott. Laid back breakage, some great strings and a simple vocal hook. Sure, its pretty cookie cutter but thats why Jungle & DnB got so huge I guess. If there is a formula that works, use it!

From Discogs
This is without question one of the best 12″s I’ve ever heard in any genre. Doc Scott is a master of jungle. Though his output is limited, he takes great care to smash it with every release and this one is no exception. “Far Away” is a drum and bass epic, taking you farther away than you can imagine to another dimension of space travel and blissful relaxation. “It’s Yours” samples the famous old T LaRock track, and while it isn’t quite as good as “Far Away”, it’s still better than just about any other song in your record box.

Far Away on first listen has all the components of an anthem – The haunting vocal, the ’94 break and chord progressions. And it actually follows through years later! I listen to this and am reminded of how jungle used to be.

Unlike many that have said It’s Yours is boring. I love It’s Yours more, and not just because of the heavy Amen break! It’s fun to dance around to and I can see mixing this with any new track out on the market. I love that. And You’ll love it too.

Desired State – Dance The Dream [1991]
August 29, 2011

I cant believe its taken me this long to get this posted. Probably because there’s not really any way im going to be able to actual do it justice. It is, without a doubt one of my all time favourite tracks, solely because of how Mad P introduced the Top Buzz set that kicks off with this track. Up until that point, i’d not heard a Top Buzz set, didnt really know all that much about them. I was heavily into my Sasha, Tong and other uplifting house DJ’s. I liked a lot of breakbeat but found myself far more familiar with the few more high profile releases. I dont know who gave me this tape, it had to have been about 4 – 5 months after the night, around the middle of summer 1992 and it blew me away. It remains still one of my all time favourite hardcore mixes of all time. Trying to describe it is pointless, give it a listen;

You know that mix, the only mix where you know every single line uttered by the MC? Yeah, thats this mix for me. But I am not alone in this, hell the set is so good, they played it almost song for song at Fantazia Westpoint ON.THE.SAME.NIGHT. If ever there was a mix that cemented Top Buzz in the hearts of Ravers, I think this might be the one. It certainly did me.

So back to the track? What makes Dance the Dream so great? Well, its got that pitch perfect piano break, starts with a no-nonsense buildup and mashes it together with a monster break and bassline. The synth riff is Straight Outa Romford, cheesy shape-throwing awesome but not overused. Its all about the piano in this track and what a piano riff it is. This version sounds great as it is, better pitched up about 10% as it is from Top Buzz.

Pretty much exactly what they did for this remix to be honest 🙂

So there you go. Probably one of the first tracks that ever truly blew me away, in no small part to Mc Mad P and the Buzz.