On the subject of speed in Jungle

Naphta

Junglist
Brokeman said:
On another note, Naphta from Dublin, eh? Big up yaself, cause you're doing some fantastic production work. When I was properly sick of Jungle but still DJing regularly, I hammered "One Squeeze" just about every set! Keep it coming, and shouts to all the Bassbin folks for pushing a true Jungle sound.
Big up... :) haven't put out anything in a while but I'm working on loads of new stuff... just disregarding most d+b c. 2005 and trying to make stuff that reflects all the amazing shit that first influenced me 10 years ago... everything from the more self-consciously 'musical' tunes from Goldie, Foul Play, Omni Trio, Photek etc. through to the rawness of vintage Trace, Hype, Dillinja, etc.

There IS a new generation of producers picking up the threads of influences like these in d+b today (labels like Offshore, Bassbin & Inperspective are best known for supporting em), but most are having serious difficulties getting onto wax - or rather, securing distribution deals with the trad d+b distributors for their more 'out-there' tracks i.e. the stuff that doesn't sound like Bad Company/Twisted Individual mid-range 2-step.

What I DO miss however, is the fearsome intelligence of AWOL-style rollers and tear-out tracks - the likes of old DJ SS, L Double, Shy FX, Pascal so on.... BREAKAGE is probably the producer who best reflects that in his music now (EQUINOX too, to a lesser extent) - and I'd hazard a guess that neither of them would still be making drum n bass at all (nor me) if it weren't for the determination of PARADOX in sticking to his guns down through the years..... however, all of the above pretty much pin their colours to the 96 mast in drum n bass - the period that they claim was the music's highest point, and in doing so, IMO, they tend to miss out on some of the colour and exuberance of 93-95.. on the mash-up of dark and light, of humour and gravity, and of willful freakishness with functionality.

Interestingly enough though, Paradox's recent material has seen him re-engage with the dancefloor a little more obviously than he was doing for some time... a move I fully endorse as IMO, he hasn't sacrificed what he does one bit in order to do so. Compare some recent 12"s to his 2 LPs on Reinforced... there's more emotional give in them than I heard from him for a long time... which leads me to suspect that the self-consciously 'experimental' fringe that producers like him are often seen to represent need not necessarily be so - at least it need not necesarily be so self-conscious about it.

More often than not, 'resistance' movements in a music type or scene start out from a position of protest - lamenting the absence of something from the music that they once loved. In the case of Paradox, Breakage, Equinox etc. (and me), it was the drums - the disappearance of cut-up breakbeats from drum n bass. However, give them an opportunity to have their music accepted and used - socially, and I think that the reputation for po-facedness that the d+b resistance is usually labelled with ('trainspotters'/'chinstrokers'/'snobs' etc. - these are the usual critiques levlled by 'the scene' at Djs and producers like us) can melt away. It already has to some extent, and the few-and-far between d+b nights like Bassbin's 'Refuge' and Inperspective's 'Technicality' that showcase these styles have demonstrated that.

People like us are under no illusion - drum n bass gets its power and urgency from its potential deployment in a dancefloor context... hence we want access to that environment.. which is why we don't to settle for backroom lounge status simply because what we make and play is a little more demanding than yer average d+b number. We were around in 94/95 - we saw thousands of people going apeshit to this music. Maybe we won't be able to achieve anything remotely comparable again now that the element of surprise has disappeared, but that hasn't stopped us from trying! :)

Hmmm... how did I get here?

Ahh yes.... point that would prob interest Blissblogger... none of the above nu-skool producers that I've cited have much time for old jump-up/rollidge - chiefly cos it ain't 'musical' enough.. but also, I suspect, because that music was seen as belonging to a different social group in the UK back in the day - the wannabe gangstas and rudeboys who ended up bringing so much trouble to the scene. A class difference? To some extent, yes - or so I believe anyway. Speaking for myself (i.e. based outside the UK) I heard it all - ambient artcore, ruffneck tear-outs, moody minimalism - as different strands of the same music - and accepted it on that level - without any particular pre-conceptions about the make-up of its UK audience... hence my fondness for late Sub Base like Ill Skillz, for early Joker records for instance, or for Bristol rollers, Dope Dragon and the like. Anyone any thoughts on this? Does my non-aligned freedom-to-choose/lack of cultural specifics liberate my relationship with the music?

Sorry for straying off-topic here..!
 

dubplatestyle

Well-known member
this is a pretty good off-topic! (big up yrself naphta...i didn't connect the name until right now.)

i've said this before, but i'll say it again: i still can't really understand why that late jump-up stuff (the self-consciously wobbly/goofy stuff like urban takeover/zinc/prisoners of technology, etc. thru to the more militant dope dragon/late-era flex/etc.) never blew up in america. since all the kids at late 90s dnb events i remember were copping their style from hip-hop anyway, it seemed a perfect fit. (i do wonder how many of the current wave of u.s. dnb fans are also metal and nu-metal fans. quite a few i'd suspect.)

i think stylistic range is really important in dnb. it's what was lacking for so long. but now that you have dj's (heh, how telling is it that i originally typed "producers") playing ed rush tunes and high contrast tunes and calibre tunes and ram tunes all in one set and you realize that the range of <i>textures</i> on top of the breaks isn't the important part...the range has to come on much more structural level, the way the tunes themselves are constructed.

and obviously i totally agree about the chopped, more "left-field" (blargh) end of the scene working in a dancefloor context, but then i would, wouldn't i?
 

Naphta

Junglist
dubplatestyle said:
and you realize that the range of <i>textures</i> on top of the breaks isn't the important part...the range has to come on much more structural level, the way the tunes themselves are constructed.
Very much so. As the essential framework upon which tunes were built became more and more standardised (intro, drop, build-up, breakdown, roll-out etc.), drum n bass began to reduce its interaction with other music genres - to limit it to a a kind of stylistic borrowing of technique - for example, the crude kick-rolls borrowed from prog house and trance that d+b has been caning for a while... or the filtered disco loops that were big a few years back.... none of these stylistic borrwings threaten to actually alter the structure of the music in any way - in fact, they are generally not allowed to.

I should take time here to give props to Peshay's pretty awful but goofily amusing 'Jam It With Me' in which he rips off a huge section of soca (? I think) and just drops it straight into the middle of his track at a different tempo. Sadly once it stops the track just kicks back in with a reliable old Amen and doesn't really make much more of the disruption, but the fact that a disruption of the linearity is allowed to take place at all in contemporary 'mainstream' d+b is kinda remarkable.. I guess it's telling that it's singular enough to merit a mention.
 

Naphta

Junglist
dubplatestyle said:
i've said this before, but i'll say it again: i still can't really understand why that late jump-up stuff (the self-consciously wobbly/goofy stuff like urban takeover/zinc/prisoners of technology, etc. thru to the more militant dope dragon/late-era flex/etc.) never blew up in america. since all the kids at late 90s dnb events i remember were copping their style from hip-hop anyway, it seemed a perfect fit.
Good point. I'm not sure, but I suspect that d+b had moved into its industrial phase (techstep, neurofunk) before that stuff has a chance to catch on in the U.S..? The active marketing of cheesy d+b MCs at the ineternational market has only begun in earnest fairly recently, and I reckon a lot of them must be snapping that they missed the boat.

(i do wonder how many of the current wave of u.s. dnb fans are also metal and nu-metal fans. quite a few i'd suspect.)
Fucking loads of em. If there's one thing worse than most UK d+b, it's most US d+b. Really really ugly stuff.
 

soul_pill

Well-known member
What I DO miss however, is the fearsome intelligence of AWOL-style rollers and tear-out tracks - the likes of old DJ SS, L Double, Shy FX, Pascal so on....

The new Bizzy B stuff?
 

Naphta

Junglist
soul_pill said:
What I DO miss however, is the fearsome intelligence of AWOL-style rollers and tear-out tracks - the likes of old DJ SS, L Double, Shy FX, Pascal so on....

The new Bizzy B stuff?
Yeah, good call..! I haven't heard too much of his new stuff yet, but it's a welcome return to the fray. I hope he doesn't divide his attention solely between self-consciously retro Amen mash-ups and 2005 Wobble though.... there's nothing worse than hearing people do that token gesture retro thing - Jungle was very much about a vibe and a state of mind, and just cutting up an Amen and rinsing a ragga vocal doesn't always do it justice by a long shot. For me, a definition of Jungle has to include tracks like the Origin Unknown remix of Hype's 'Mash Up Da Place', or Shimon's 'Predator'... Pascal's 'Killa Sound', L Double's 'Bass 2 Dark', Leviticus 'The Burial' and so on... I really really hope that nu productions from old skool junglists like Bizzy B and Remarc can somehow reflect that..
 

soul_pill

Well-known member
I think you will like the new Bizzy B eps... He keeps it deep & dubby (with bass as the foundations), but it's HEAVY & lightfootedly aggressive and very un-produced sounding unlike the Breakage stuff (which I love) - closest comparison would be Equinox I suppose - Ital Lion/Stagger type thing...
 

soul_pill

Well-known member
But then again, I'm probably the only one here who *loved* the Joker label when all else was going techstep/neurofunk.
 

Naphta

Junglist
Narrr, I totally dug Joker up until the latter day releases... lots of the earlier stuff was excellent, but that deliberate singularity of intent - that rollin focus - got kinda stupefied once the beats started solidifying into the minimal 2-step format.. much like Bristol or Ganja Cru/True Playaz, I reckon they lost the Jungle Juice once they figured everything had to sound 'futuristic' (i.e. non-organic) in response to the Virus sound... it didn't come naturally to them. Same with Remarc - when his beats started to sound colder and more techsteppy (that freaky almost 80s gated reverb effect on the drums), it wasn't long until he too seemed to lose interest...
 

bassnation

the abyss
Naphta said:
Yeah, good call..! I haven't heard too much of his new stuff yet, but it's a welcome return to the fray. I hope he doesn't divide his attention solely between self-consciously retro Amen mash-ups and 2005 Wobble though.... there's nothing worse than hearing people do that token gesture retro thing - Jungle was very much about a vibe and a state of mind, and just cutting up an Amen and rinsing a ragga vocal doesn't always do it justice by a long shot. For me, a definition of Jungle has to include tracks like the Origin Unknown remix of Hype's 'Mash Up Da Place', or Shimon's 'Predator'... Pascal's 'Killa Sound', L Double's 'Bass 2 Dark', Leviticus 'The Burial' and so on... I really really hope that nu productions from old skool junglists like Bizzy B and Remarc can somehow reflect that..
the breakage thing bores me to be honest. don't get me wrong, i love an amen mashup as much as the rest of you, but it neglects the other things about 'ardkore which i loved, particularly the future hardcore vibe you used to get with a lot of reinforced artists such as nebula II. if people are going to go retro, then wheres the darkcore / futuristic vibe? no-one seems to be doing this and this is by far my favourite period from jungles development.

in fact i might do a new old skool mix featuring this kind of vibe soon.
 

Naphta

Junglist
What about the Breakage remix of Doc Scott's 'Here Come the Drumz'? The one that got him in loads of shit in London? Kinda on that dark futuristic tip I would've thought... of course, in general, Breakage's big Jungle-source inspiration is roots reggae rather than hardcore or rave. I know what you mean though - sometimes some of the new cut-up d+b is almost too.... polite or something...?
 

bassnation

the abyss
Naphta said:
What about the Breakage remix of Doc Scott's 'Here Come the Drumz'? The one that got him in loads of shit in London? Kinda on that dark futuristic tip I would've thought... of course, in general, Breakage's big Jungle-source inspiration is roots reggae rather than hardcore or rave. I know what you mean though - sometimes some of the new cut-up d+b is almost too.... polite or something...?
i meant "breakage" as a genre, the new amen mashups sorry - not the artist. probably using the wrong term there!

but yeah, i've got the breakage remixc of here come the drumz. its good, but too fast! i prefer the stone cold remix from the original, those drums are so funky.
 

Naphta

Junglist
Ahh, 'breakage'!!! Yeah, there was much discussion and agonising over genre names over on the d+b resistance HQ forum (Subvert Central) a year or two ago... I argued that as with the drum n bass/ happy hardcore split in 94, another split would be a good and necessary thing... and that a separate identity would require a different name, 'drum n bass' now having crapped all over itself once too many times.

Unfortunately I was out-voted and hence the confusion for punters re: what exactly links a tune by Equinox with a tune by Twisted Indidual? (answer = nothing except tempo)
 

soul_pill

Well-known member
Then again, I find I'd rather play a tune by Twisted Individual than Equinox et al sometimes... especially the more polite side of 'choppage' like the jazzier inperspective stuff (polska + F+N 12"s). Twisted's label 'Up Yours' has some wicked tracks I think. Verging on toytown gabber. The thing about dnb nowadayss is it just isn't Jungle. It shouldn't be judged against it any longer - it's evolved into it's own thing. I far prefer the wobble stuff to what full cycle or even Calibre are doing
 

bassnation

the abyss
soul_pill said:
Then again, I find I'd rather play a tune by Twisted Individual than Equinox et al sometimes... especially the more polite side of 'choppage' like the jazzier inperspective stuff (polska + F+N 12"s). Twisted's label 'Up Yours' has some wicked tracks I think. Verging on toytown gabber. The thing about dnb nowadayss is it just isn't Jungle. It shouldn't be judged against it any longer - it's evolved into it's own thing. I far prefer the wobble stuff to what full cycle or even Calibre are doing
agreed, but they should call it something different then. just like we did, when the music evolved first time round.

then we could reclaim it!!! (if we weren't all infirm old codgers nursing our AWOL memories before they slip away into the mists of time, that is)
 

soul_pill

Well-known member
well, they did call it clownstep for a few months, until they banned the name on DOA. Wobble will have to do.
 

Pearsall

Prodigal Son
They banned 'clownstep' on DOA? Hah.

I used to post there about two years ago, but it's a pretty awful message board, full of dicks. Good for mixes though.
 
D

droid

Guest
Naphta said:
We had Ed Rush & Nico over to Dublin in 96 - around the period when N-U-T was peaking - and I distinctly remember me and a mate raving about Nico's collaboration as/with Doppelganger ('Days Gone') - a moody roller feat. his trademark fat Led Zepp breaks... we were bigging it up but experiencing a little trouble getting it in the mix with the other stuff that as about then, hence we were jokingly telling him to 'speed it up a bit', and I well remember him paqying close attention to this request - making a mental note as if to say... "OK, the djs are saying: "make it faster"... so I will!"
OMG! I just noticed this! Naphta in 'I killed jungle' shocker!! ;)

I dont remember much of it - but I knew there was something fishy going on that night! :D
 

DJL

i'm joking
My quick and non-scientific ideas of why the speed increased:

1. Jungle got a rep for being too dark and raves being violent. The girls started to leave and took a lot of the blokes with them.
2. UK Garage fused House and Jungle appealing to two established crowds looking for something new and fresh and hence it got big.
3. Jungle was left with the druggy ravers who want to go mental and its committed producers. Lack of crowd meant darker music from those producers and increases in speed resulted in the druggers going more mental. A compromise was achieved.
4. UK Garage got commercialised and lost its soul. Crowd who left start listening to the newly named DnB again and crowd sizes increase. New producers and established producers breath a sigh of relief and the music improves but keeps its speed increases.
5. DnB all starts to sound very similar and the moving crowd gets bored. With UK Garage gone Indie music has a revival.
6. Present day - Indie music becomes commercialised and all sounds the same. Retro can only last so long. Slimzee starts playing DnB at half speed at events like Sidewinder and the MC takes centre stage. Grime is born.

Feel free to rip my vast generalisations apart!
 
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