Jungle Jams 8th Birthday
Friday 15th February 2013
From start to finish this night was an absolute stonker; from the legendary line up to the absolutely unexplained presence of someone in full fancy dress as the mask raving behind the decks for the majority of Micky Finn's set. On arriving I was immediately struck by the friendly buzzing atmosphere that seemed to permeate every level of Mint Warehouse, the tearing bass lines and drops that were being fired out helter skelter from all angles were greeted not just with dub fingers and skanking but face splitting smiles and whoops. In a long career of frequenting these sorts of nights this was one of the friendliest and most appreciative crowds I've seen and it was absolutely infectious.
Jungle Jam always books the very best but the line-up for room 1 really was just ridiculous; Micky Finn, Bad Company, Serial Killaz and the Ragga Twins have been at the forefront of everything good about drum and bass for almost as long as its existed in its modern form. I am happy to say that every single one of them killed it. This was a throwback to the old school and there was something beautifully pure about the music played. Often with allot of mainstream drum and bass there is an overly synthetic production value that kills the character of a tune and all sounds a bit samey. Jungle Jam’s 8th birthday however was rammed with warm organic tunes full of character; it’s like comparing a Findus lasagne to a home cooked meal. Basically if you prefer overly produced whack artificial beats with no character then you end up eating horse.
Micky Finn showed off the very best in Jungle with some raw primal sounds, gone were the over produced synth layers and “pretty” vocals; replaced with the heavy kick snare of a relatively intact amen break and some cataclysmic bass and sub lines tearing through the crowd. Everything Micky Finn did on the decks was matched by MC’s Fearless and Skibadee’s monstrous delivery. Fearless and Skibadee have got so much experience behind them and are just flawless with their delivery. A lot of drum and bass MC’s just spit quickly to mask the fact they are off beat, Fearless and Skibadee however, match the avalanche of multi syllabics they spew to the beat effortlessly and it makes a gargantuan difference in quality. As is often the case for any jungle set my favourite tune of the night had to be ‘the power of Ra’, it’s just epic and always will be and Micky Finn delivered an incredibly warm bass heavy redub of it to the crowds great delight. Bad Company UK came on after Micky Finn and just nuked it with a psychotic tearout set. I find it hard to do justice to this set without using profanity heavily but basically Maldini dropped every fudging Bad Company tune under the fudging sun to face fudge some of the most revolutionary drum and bass tunes ever made into the audiences eager fudging ears. ‘The Nine’ ‘Planet Dust’ ‘The Tide’ and ‘Nitrous’ to name just a few all got dropped with aplomb and the crowd went nuts.
Ragga Twins b2b with Serial Killaz carried the night on with some more driving Jungalist tunes. A nifty little mash up of ‘The Nine’ and ‘Back To Your Roots’ was one of the many highlights of a smashing set. Vital techniques in room 2 were also worthy of a mention for some very interesting elliptical dub step. A breakbeat-esque remix of ‘I Can’t Stop’ by Flux Pavilion tore down the second room with an oscillating drum line. They also had an interesting couple of moments where they goaded the crowd into recognizing a crappy pop tune’s hook before climaxing it into a bass cannon of a Dubstep drop. I recognized the build-up to ‘Apple Bottom Jeans’ before a vindicating Dubstep drop annihilated the dance floor as a sort of in joke to the crowd. I’m not sure what his name was but their MC killed it as well, performing all of his set in the middle of the crowd and occasionally interspersing his freestyles by going MWAHAHAHA into the mike. A ridiculous night that lived up to every billing, the only downside is that the next Jungle Jam isn't til the 26th of April.
Review by Will Gadsby Peet
Images courtesy of Jungle Jam