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Thread: Ambient jungle = best dance music ever

  1. #1
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    Default Ambient jungle = best dance music ever

    In the Woebot thread someone linked to a FACT interview with the man, where he says:
    Quote Originally Posted by WOEBOT
    The people who have steered the Nuum discourse are not necessarily Dancing People, and actually what made Ambient Jungle so special was that it was the greatest dance music ever. The separation between the bass/drum and those gorgeous arcs of ectoplasm was sublime on the dancefloor. Your head was in the clouds, your limbs in a rapture of clockwork.

    "As well the Nuum Guardians the Dubstep masses have favoured the Ragga and Dark stuff. It's ostensibly much "cooler" music. There is something a bit cheesy about Ambient Jungle, and for instance everything on Good Looking after 'The Dolphin Tune' and the subsequent Looking Good stuff unconsciously pushed that cheesiness a little bit too far."
    As a soft-cock from way back, I was pretty impressed by someone's willingness to say this. For all the talk of stuff like "feminine pressure" there does still seem to be this desire for shit to be (only) tuff / ruff / rude ... and I do reckon that gets pretty boring to dance to.

    Mind you, not a big fan of ambient jungle stuff myself... just thought it was an interesting point to think about.

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    I'd definitely go with this - from Atlantis down.

    Though 2-step would be neck-and-neck for the title til the end...

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    [sorry, this is OT, but how do you actually subscribe to the FACT podcast? i've been all over the site and they keep calling it a podcast but don't give an xml link. itunes is no help because the one thay have listed there only has a few episodes from the spring.]

    anyway, thanks for pointing that out. interesting - will 90s nostalgia include the rehabilitation of 'coffee table jungle'? (is that joy orbison tune the start?) i read an interview with fab and grooverider in '96 where they said that they were done with jungle because of the violence (their words) and if people called them names for trying to create a more pleasant atmosphere, then so be it. it's hard to argue with that. from that perspective, it's hard to argue in favour of 2step's effort to ease the mood but against a comparable effort, slightly earlier, in dnb.

    is the second half of that quote missing an "as" and comma in the first sentence? between the two parts, i'm a bit confused as to who he's talking about.
    Last edited by nomos; 14-07-2009 at 01:30 PM. Reason: speeling & punctulations
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    Quote Originally Posted by nomos View Post
    is the second half of that quote, missing an "as" and comma in the first sentence? between the two parts, i'm a bit confused as to who he talking about.
    Yeah I think so, should read "As well as..."

    I guess to some extent what you've mentioned is the flipside of the good / serious points being made in the thread about dubstep having lost it - the fun that comes with musical rudeness / brashness / whatever seems to as good as inevitably attract people who want things to get darker and darker until it's not fun at all anymore, except in a jokey horror-themed kind of way.

    Mind you, probably fair to say the softer side of things (just as inevitably) attracts crowds who are seeking solely smoothness /sophistication / prettiness, then the descent into fuzak begins and it's not really "fun" either.

    And on the third hand just "fun" is just as tedious too... handbag house, big beat, etc.

    Whoopee. Having brought this up, am not sure there's that much of interest to say.

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    i'd like to hear him defend all those Kenny G samples on all that 90s jazzy chillout jungle.

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    TAXONOMY ALERT!

    I wouldn't really call a lot of this stuff 'ambient' jungle at all... Later Good Looking stuff, Dave Wallace, Springheel Jack - yeah, but less so FBD project, most of the stuff on droppin' science...

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    Nomos - the FACT podcast isn't actually a podcast afaik.

    They are crazy young things with fire in their hearts! They can't be messing about with .xml links...

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    A significant part of my job involves explaining to academics and management again and again and again that without an RSS link a 'podcast' is just an MP3 you can download and not actually a 'podcast'.

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    FACT Magazine's Tom Lea ponders their latest podcast, yesterday.

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    I also mentioned this, and they are apparently dealing with the issue:

    Quote Originally Posted by tom lea View Post
    tell us about it. it was a proper podcast for a while, but something got screwed up. the dude who's sorting it for us is on holiday but he's back monday so fingers crossed.

    it's a mix every monday morning & friday morning tho, for reference.

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    the other day i found this cd in my old cd box, hadn't listened to it for aaaaages so i stuck it on and it was great.

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    I obviously came to jungle over ten years late but personally I think the best jungle sets I've heard (from Dreamscape packs etc.) mixed the ruff/dark stuff with jazzy/euphoric stuff, and the best atmospheric jungle tunes I've heard have managed to balance the 'dark' and 'light' elements to create this sometimes breathtaking tension.

    I was glad to read that Woebot quote, I find sometimes the consensus amongst dance music obsessives regarding certain genres/styles can have a complete stranglehold over my own perceptions. I'm as guilty of dismissing genres/styles as anyone, it's probably best to resist the urge though.

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    "She's So" is in my top three favourite jungle tracks so on one level I sympathize with Matt here, but as Droid points out if that's ambient jungle then that's defining the term broadly - as well include "The Angels Fell" and, for that matter, "Angel", "Renegade Snares", A Guy Called Gerald circa Black Secret Technology, "London Sumting Dis", Peshay's "Conscience"... And suddenly it seems like many of my favourite jungle tracks are ambient! (gratuitous props to my jam, Radical Sound's "What Is Love (VIP Mix)").

    I think what defines all of the above is the interconnectedness and interplay of the grooves and the atmospherics or melodies.

    Whereas, as Matt says, "ambient jungle" can equally mean tracks where the groove and the floaty melodies are relatively independent of each other. I'd put most Good Lookin' material in this category.

    A lot of that stuff is great but I think generally it's not quite as utterly compelling on a physical (i.e. dancing) level as the tracks I mention above. I think I know what Matt's getting at: I used to go to D&B nights a lot circa 2000 (I was 18 and trying to make up for lost time) and the more hypnotic/melodic/deep stuff totally grabbed me (as dancefloor music at least) in the way that Matt's quote suggests: you feel caught up in the music while your feet respond to the rhythms almost of their own accord.

    But with tracks like "She's So" and "The Angels Fell" it's like your head and body are both lost in the groove. These are tunes where the groove seems not to banish melody but too... instrumentalize it, subvert melody to its will. This isn't music that is tuff and dark, except insofar as its groove seems to invite yr body to go places it hasn't gone before.

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    Here's the tracklist for Woebot's mix, which that quote above relates to. Thought it might be of interest for those wondering how widely he's defining "ambient jungle".

    FBD Project: She's So (FBD)
    Code Blue: Angels in Dub (Dee Jay)
    Plasmic Life: Water Baby (Brain)
    Essence of Aura: Northern Lights (Moving Shadow)
    Jazz Vibes: Lucky (Strictly Underground)
    Jodeci: Feenin (LTJ Bukem Remix) (WEA)
    Complex State: Revival (Face)
    DJ Krust: Touch (Full Cycle)
    DJ Flynn & DJ Flora: Jungle Love (Full Cycle)
    The Invisible Man: The Bell Tune (Good Looking)
    Danny Breaks: Rollin' (EZ Rollers Remix) (Droppin' Science)
    D'Cruze: Lonely (Suburban Base)
    Roni Size, DJ Krust &DJ Die: I Remember (Full Cycle)

    ... Not much that fulfills the stereotypes of Good Looking, IMO.

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