Very tricky one to answer (only on a couple hours of sleep too). So there are a few elements involved:
1) The rhythm tripping itself up.
2) The amount of variation; how much it feels like a loop and how long one turn of the loop is.
3) Rigidness; something sounds rigid if it has syncopation without variation in volume dynamics.
So the more avant garde end of jungle trips itself up a lot, but isn’t rigid and is probably very, very slightly swung. Also maybe is based around 2 bar loops or so.
2 step is very loop-based, it’s swung and doesn’t trip itself up too much. However it has rigid elements in the drums, even while the hi hats are very slinky and sexy.
More complex Grime is very rigid, isn’t swung and does trip itself up a tiny bit. Its very loop based though.
That Stenny track mvuent posted has parts where it trips itself more incessantly than 2step usually does.
I imagine broken beat is similar to 2 step but with more tripping up.
conceptronica sophie is similar to grime except not as clearly looped as grime is; more varied.
Autechre’s xylin room is very much about stumbling and tripping itself up.
the rhythmic feel immediately reminds me of late 2000s aphex twin. there is absolutely no discernible difference whatsoever.
I'm interested if there's something fundamentally British about 2step (despite its heavy US influences) that meant it never crossed over stateside. Cos with grime it was obviously at least partly cos Americans find British people rapping comical, but garage there wasn't so much MCing (on the records).
thinking of the third phase thing i mentioned—maybe it wasn’t strictly a matter of getting back whatever appealed to “the ladies,” it was also about recapturing some of the childishness of hardcore. for example ‘hurt you so’ sounds a bit like this. but now shinier and more polished.