I have been listening to this album almost non-stop for the last week, it is that good. The track selection is excellent, with two mixes which are described as: ‘Course One: Extra-strength jungle doses’ and ‘Course Two: Deeper relief from urban decay’ in the fast jungle music booklet. I have to agree with these statements, as the first mix is more ‘upfront’ jungle and the second goes in a lot deeper into the genre. It was difficult to select a few stand out tracks as all of them are so good, however I will try to select a few tracks from each mix.
Mix 1: Artifacts, Flip Flop, So Close, Drawing Straws, Space Station Crew, Roots Train, Everything Will Be Ok
From the first mix I have selected 7 tracks that I enjoyed. The first is Artifacts by Villem. This has a straight-up dnb beat however with a jungle bassline, crisp drums and some wicked sound effects, and thats before the bongos start to just make it even more groovy. The second track is Flip Flop by Total Science. This track needs no introduction, as it is a classic jungle rinse out. The intro is fairly long but thats why it is so cool, gradually pieces are added and then it builds to a crescendo at around the 2 minute mark and the bass kicks in, again a classic jungle bassline, booming out over the drums and the chopped vocal sample. Then it switches with a new groove which is equally as satisfying. The third track is So Close by Icicle. This is an interesting roller by icicle, with a huge wobbling and shifting bassline surrounded by rides and cymbals and crisp drums, and then when the drums stop and you just hear the bass: that’s a moment. The sound effects also remind me of an actual jungle, with birds chirping and rustling of leaves. The fourth track is Drawing Straws by Netsky. This one is fairly short but starts with the vocal sample ‘what I’m going to do right here is go back…’, and then it propels you into a flurry of groovy jungle influenced drums and bassline to match, with chopped vocals and delayed effects. This is Netsky at his best, effortless production and amazing sound design. The fifth track is Space Station Crew by Cyantific. This one starts almost instantly with a pounding jungle break amidst haunting lead sounds, then the sounds go all metallic and rusty and then it drops, alongside a countdown vocal sample. The bassline relentlessly fires in a downwards pattern which reminds me of a rocket launch, hence the name. Then the break and second drop. Oh my god. This is probably my favourite of any song, ever. It is comprised of beautiful pad sounds, until there is a vocal sample warning about ‘keep your suit on, there’s no air around here…… attention please’ and then it drops…. well you just have to hear this one! The sixth track is Roots Train by Commix. This is classic Commix, rolling and deep with bags of groove. It starts with bongos and effects (delays, reverbs galore) and a rolling drum break, with a haunting vocal sample overlying a velvety, very deep bassline. The bassline is just so relaxing, and the track so groovy that it just keeps you listening. Just watch out for that second drop after the break again. The seventh (and final) track from the first mix is Everything Will Be OK by Submerse. This is just a beautiful track with smooth vocals surrounded by classic amen breaks and a pulsating jungle bassline. The pad sounds are unreal, and everything just comes together with a real positive feeling.
Mix 2: Shock Out, New Technique, Twilight Zone, Let It Go
From the second mix I have selected 4 tracks that I enjoyed. The first is Shock Out by Danny Byrd. This is also Danny’s first track from his debut album Supersized, and for good reason as it is another jungle rinse out. The drums are really nicely processed and drenched in reverb with tons of character, and there are lots of nice touches with the chopped vocal sample and sound effects, and then when it drops the bass is huge and in your face. A real classic. The second track is New Technique by Nu:Logic, a duo of Nu:Tone and Logistics. This one is really interesting, as it starts with a rolling dnb beat then breaks down to a breakbeat style at a slower tempo, then drops again at dnb tempo. The contrast of these two genres really makes this track unique, as well as its deep pounding bass and chopped vocal sample, and smooth jungle beat. The third track is Twilight Zone by S.P.Y, which is quite different to all the other tracks on the LP. It is comprised of a relentless break and crushing, distorted bassline which pummels you until the break, but then comes back for revenge at the ridiculous second drop. The fourth and final track is Let It Go by Total Science. These guys really know how to make jungle, again really groovy with classic break and pounding jungle bassline. It begins with another amazing build up, but my favourite part is after it breaks for the second drop. It all goes quiet, then the bongos come in for the second drop switch.
Overall I would rate this 6/5 but I can’t so I will rate it 5/5. Absolutely amazing, possibly my favourite LP ever.