Jungle Jam 9th Birthday
Friday 28th February
Mint Warehouse, Leeds
Since the rise of house and techo, jungle has been largely marginalised. However, The Mighty Jungle Jam kept it alive for all those junglists by holding a banger of a night – We Love Jungle. This was in order to celebrate The Mighty Jungle Jam’s 9th Birthday as well as 20 years since the birth of Jungle. It also stood as a launch party for their new website. On paper, this was going to be a storm of a night, with a top line-up at the current home of Jungle Jam – Mint Warehouse. In practicality it delivered that and so much more with all the energy and style Jungle night requires.
Room One was buzzing from the moment of arrival. LionFires (Aries and Gold Dubs) warmed up the crowd with their fusion of break beats and dub sounds . Nicky Blackmarket, a pioneer of jungle, then took to the decks playing a set in memory of his partner MC Stevie Hyper, fellow pioneer in the mid-90s . Blackmarket smashed his set with his old-skool sound of chopped, highly complex beats; he got the crowd exploding, baring in mind this was still pretty early on in the night – there was a lot to come! Next up DJ Randall shook the floor with his jump-up sounds that were dark and intense, spinning the crowd with dramatic energy. Benny Page, featuring the Ragga Twins, did a blasting set, playing such remixes as Police and Helicopter and In Your Eyes, his skill is undeniable, forcing the crowd to hover in anticipation for the next track. The only diappointment being, he did not play as many of his older tracksas I would have liked! Room One was stuffed to brim at this point and Grooverider featuring MC Bassman brought it back to the old-skool sounds with melodic trembling bass lines, chilling out the vibe for the remainder of the night. Room One was powerful, dynamic and at times slightly aggressive; exactly what you want from a rave.
Room Two had a different sort of vibe, it was laid back but still energetic. Jungle Jam’s boy Gamnji B2B with Luke EP brought the room alive with their hypnotic bass-lines. Serial Killaz then took to the decks; the precise samples flowed effortlessly; playing such remixes as No No No, You Don’t Love Me and Booyaka set the room (which has doubled in size) off!
Room Three had quite a different vibe, Manchester quartet MDNight played some disco tinged house, although I’m sure this pleased some of the Leeds crowd, later on Sa B2B with Sandy got the crowd rolling with some more jungle and the room packed out.
Once again, Jungle Jam delivered all that was promised! Although, occasionally the atmosphere was falling towards the manic side, it was generally all positive. The legendary artists, energetic crowds and good venue meant that 9 years of Jungle Jam and 20 years of Jungle was celebrated in style – let’s hope there’s many more to come!
Review by Bonny Herrington
Images courtesy of Mitchell Greasley