An avalanche of snare drums, sub-bass that pulverises your rib-cage, possessed divas wailing from the abyss; fragments of funk, shards of techno, dabs of dancehall, broadsides of polyrhythm: these are just some of the ingredients of jungle, a style of d&b that is enjoying a remarkable revival of late. Heard through a club system, jungle remains the most exhilarating UK dance sound.
Previously known as Eveson, the Bristol-based producer changed his artist name to disassociate himself from the smoother ‘liquid’ sound. “It was because of pigeonholing,” he says. “I was looking to do something a little different and I thought I should come back with a new alias, as it would be taken as a fresh thing from the off rather than people having any preconceptions.” Releasing through Ingredients and his own Western Lore label, Dead Man’s Chest has quickly generated a considerable fan following with his jungle adaptations.
“The past few years, with this kind of darker more chaotic edge that has consumed world affairs, I think jungle is a perfect soundtrack to that” – Dead Man’s Chest
“It’s so amazing to see so many quality labels releasing jungle, with loads of new producers coming through,” says Mantra – real name Indi Khera – of Rupture LDN. “I guess once you catch a vibe, it can be infectious, and it’s just spread!” Repertoire, run by Ricky Law (who’s behind the excellent drumtrip.co.uk site), has released music from super sharp shooters Tim Reaper, Overlook and Artilect, plus many others.
No scene can thrive without the physical manifestation of a club-night, where scene denizens can meet, spark ideas and hear the latest iterations of their sound among like-minded ravers. Manchester’s Formless, Bristol’s Jungle Syndicate and London’s AKO all fly the flag, but Rupture, held primarily at Corsica Studios in Elephant & Castle, London, is the nucleus around which the jungle revival has formed. Run by Mantra and Double O (David Henry), the club has gradually become a key rallying-point for the movement.
“It’s so amazing to see so many quality labels releasing jungle, with loads of new producers coming through. I guess once you catch a vibe, it can be infectious, and it’s just spread!” – Mantra
“Through the friendly folks on the Drum & Bass Arena forum and some of the YouTube channels that had been uploading hundreds of old jungle and hardcore tunes, I was able to build up an understanding and knowledge of all the artists, labels and DJs that formed the scene back in the day using a mixture of YouTube, Discogs and Rolldabeats.”