The Ghost of Jungle Past

1992, the dawn of Jungle.

2012, a new year for all of us. A new year for music, a new year for EDM and most certainly a new year for Drum and Bass.

Oh wait what? Hold it there sir, “2012, a new year for all of us”? Well, I’m sure it was a new year for all of us at the start of the year but we’re almost in 2013…

This is true my sweet dear reader, thank you for pointing it out. This here piece of writing is something I had to put together as a part of an interview for an internship with a certain music festival, an amazing music festival at that. Anyway, they asked me to mock up a blog piece that questions something in Drum & Bass, or something along those lines, I can’t really remember…

Anyway, this is what I came up with…

I’ll start again shall I?…

2012, a new year for all of us. A new year for music, a new year for EDM and most certainly a new year for Drum and Bass.

As new-era music, deep from within the belly of the commercial giants, floods the ears of the mainstream audience, we have seen a mass rise in new fans of the game. An army grows of un-measurable size, more reflective of the hardcore-dance kids, dressed in neon, screaming about trends, invited to the genre through daytime radio, ready to leave it as soon as a new genre emerges and another party draws new attention elsewhere. As endless arguments rage across the internets social communities on the topic of the wellbeing of the Drum and Bass world and it’s apparent decline into despair, many are bowing their heads and making whispered last words as they look helplessly at each other with glazed eyes asking, ‘Is this the end of drum and bass?’.

In short,

No.

Drum and bass is as good as it ever has been. It’s grown a new strand that appeals to the masses, so what? It happens. Does that really mean the be all and end all? Calm down sausage! Because it seems to me, that as the giant cheese-ball roles on, picking up the lost, less musically driven individuals, giving them a quick expendable Friday night thrill, before hitting the town to sing and fight with the rest of the chaff, the original soldiers are trying to remind those that remember, and maybe show those that never knew, what Drum & Bass is really all about and just exactly where it came from.

”How?”

By taking us back to the old skool, back to the routes… lemme’ see you shaking your boots!!

Across the board, remixes are popping up left right and centre of some of D&Bs finest jungle classics, right out of the DNB history books. Names from back in the dawning days of rave, Krome & Time, LTJ Bukem, Tak Tix, have all been dug back out from the dusty old vinyl vault and thrown straight at our faces. Huge remixes from some of todays biggest and finest producers in the digital age, but still with the original Junglist Raver essence that made the ‘choons’ what they are today… classics. Heroes from all sorts of different drum and bass strands, Jump Up, Liquid and Neurophunk, all making a stab. Names like Jaydan, S.P.Y, Total Science, Break & Serum all putting their worth into a fine ass, sugar pie baby collection of remixes, bringing, what I can only describe as ‘Some serious jungle sounds’, out for all the D&B heads to enjoy.

Alongside all these old skool tracks launching back out to play, producers are bringing the vibes and sounds of the old skool into to their own, fresh, new releases too. Recent production duo Serial Killaz, comprised of two solo artists that have been marking the scene for years, DJ Tera & Vital Elements, have been seen mixing with the likes of long time Junglists Tenor Fly (one of those to grace Pendulums mighty Tarantula) and long time friend Congo Natty (Rebel MC) to bring out some top ten placing chart smashers such as the huge Get Ready & Bun Babylon which are more than spilling with junglist rhythm and soul. This is all running in tangent with the huge collection of Jungle classics that the two jungle monsters are constantly remixing into the new era as well.

Not only this, but they’re also responsible for the massively destructive solo production, Send Dem, which is coated in old skool piano melodics, screaming vocals and jungle drums that’ll tear the early 90’s raver right out of your soul and toss it straight back into being where it belongs. Everyone’s doing it, Yorkshire lad Northern Lights smashed up the scene this year when he teamed with the mighty Serum & ragga master Dee Bo General to make the huge jungle track, Don’t Let Go which topped #1 in the Drum and Bass Arena charts and tore through clubs across the country. It seems that producers in all sides of the scene just can’t resist the urge to jump back into the original feel as names like Cyantific, Hamilton and even the massive and commercially loved DJ Fresh, who last year delivered the amazing Future Jungle EP, have all brought some severe jungle breaks, sublime raver vocals and euphoric 90’s rave sounds out of the bag to remind those with hands in the air of why they put em’ up there in the first place.

So, with sounds of the jungle MC raring the crowds, amen breaks smashing through the systems and calls of the old skool returning to the scene, the producers less interested in a life in the commercial eye wage war and combat the overflowing banks of the mainstream with the return of the beginning. And that’s setting aside the brilliance and genius of tireless production still spilling from producers across the globe, regardless of the genre’s recent leap into the public eye. Drum and bass will continue to grow, shift, and expand for years to come but its underground soul and heart will remain continuous to its end.

So if you’ve been one of those concerned at all about your beloved Drum and Bass, saying your last prayers and goodbyes, how is it that you ended up on the BtB Blog? A Blog representative of the heartiest and most soul-filled drum and bass going! And that’s just the beginning! If you think for one second that your genre is in jeopardy, I beg you scroll through and raise your head in relief at the sound of music no closer to its end than the start of a circle (that means ‘not very close at all’). And if you have prayers for DNB then be them only this, ‘We give thanks to the father, the son and to the holy ghost of jungle past. Amen (break).’

End of drum and bass? Or more reason to rave on?

Love Music.

Love Drum & Bass.

Peace x

Josh

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