In the first few years of the 90s, the once underground movement of electronic music quickly morphed into about a hundred sub-categories. One of the most monstrous and well-known could be found in its own section of the record store labelled “DANCE MUSIC”. Dance music artists didn’t seem to have any quabbles about licensing their tracks to every overly-colorful attention-getting CD cover that asked.
The over-saturation of dance “hits” turned quickly into silly pop tunes (Vengaboys, Aqua). But I still remember a time when nightclubs suddenly popped up all over the city that weren’t raves – no, these were geared towards the most mainstream out there who could let loose, get drunk and dance to “Cotton-eyed Joe” every weekend.
I can’t recall how many of these I went to, because in my early 20’s I was basically out every night. On the all-too-often nights where I was outvoted by friends to attend these particular nightclubs, I was always fascinated by the fact that there was a DJ who actually chose to play this kind of music. Once in a while I’d find myself on the dancefloor quite surprised to be witnessing a DJ that was both highly skilled at mixing, and also selected & played rare records that really packed a punch.
Here I tried to capture that spirit by taking a genre we basically unanimously sick to death of, and put my own spin on it. Volumes 1 & 2 had been kicking in my head for a while now, and you can expect that I will continue with the next ones soon.
1. Outhere Brothers – Wiggle Wiggle (intro)
2. Porn Kings vs. DJ Supreme – Up To Tha Wildstyle
3. Porn Kings – Up To No Good
4. Outhere Brothers – Wiggle Wiggle
5. 20 Fingers feat. Gilette – Short Dick Man
6. The MD Connection – Magic Feet (insert)
7. Whigfield – Saturday Night
8. Black Duck – Wiggle In Line
9. XL – Fluxland
10. Culture Beat – Take Me Away
11. Emjay – Flying To The Moon
12. DJ Company – Rhythm of Love
1. DJ Company – Rhythm of Love (intro)
2. Danzel – Put Your Hands Up in the Air
3. Urban Cookie Collective – The Key, The Secret
4. Pizzaman – Happiness
5. Pizzaman – Trippin on Sunshine
6. Reel 2 Real – Conway (Erik More Meets CZ101 Mix)
7. Maxx – Get-A-Way (insert)
8. Reel 2 Real feat. The Mad Stundman – Go On Move (insert)
9. Ruffneck ft. Yavahn – Everybody Be Somebody
10. Gusto – Disco’s Revenge (Antonio Banderas Gitarra Remix)
11. The Bucketheads – The Bomb
12. Love Inc – You’re a Superstar
That was the year that I got my first true experiences of where techno and underground electronic music thrived. After finding a taste for the afore-mentioned less-popular kind of music the last couple of years on my own, I made the conscious choice to make new friends and join a tightly-knit community who proudly called themselves “Ravers”.
Socially-conscious and intelligent, we ravers understood less mainstream humor and viewed society from the perspective of outlaws. We made our own rules for how we wanted to live. Most of us were very adept at using computers, which back then was something only used by “nerds”. We tinkered with the technology and hacked our way into sending a message to the world about what we thought of it. We were the outcasts at school and most any public place we frequented. Not only as anti-establishment advocates, we also started a style movement: we were the most enthusiastic adopters of colorful “phat” pants – those with leg size reached up to 69 inches. That is over twice the size of the average person’s waist. We made huge colorful beaded necklaces. We spiked & dyed our hair. We wore kids toys as jewelry. We knew how to dance. We loved the burgeoning underground electronic music that wasn’t understood by the average person. We based our existence on the simple rules of peace, love, unity and respect. Some took drugs with friends, to enhance understanding of each other, the world, and get deeper into the music. Others just enjoyed the experience. The only drinks you could get there were water or vitamin smoothies called “smart drinks”. Everyone was conscious of each other, and accepted exactly how they were.
Although we lived side-by-side most days, and often congregated to hang out at our favorite spots downtown, the most important and central aspect to our being was when we met and celebrated our culture to the utmost: attending raves. An all-night party focused on dancing to the music we loved. They were organized by friends of friends. The flyers were like calling cards for our experiences, collected by a promoter on the street corner who knew you were “hip” to the scene, anticipated and talked about for the weeks that led up to them, and reviewed and talked about for years (and now decades) afterwards. They were often held in less-than-optimum venues and hidden from authorities, and you had to hop on a bus at a secret location or call a designated voicemail box the night of to get directions. They were not easy to get to, but once you found your way there, you were accepted without prejudice into an exclusive family. Raves were where our music lived, and where our community blossomed.
Outside of rave parties, it was very difficult to access our music. Borrowing from a friend who had already acquired it on their own was usually not successful: chances are you would keep it and never bring it back. So we literally had only two options: tune into late night college radio, where the underground DJ’s showcased their newest finds from the small records shops that catered to selling these records, or actually visiting these hallowed shops ourselves. Without being a DJ, it was an intimidating prospect. Even being a DJ, it took you many months and years to build up a reputation as someone who really wanted to be a part of this scene, and even more financially painful: someone who has already casually dropped $100 on new releases each week that entire time period.
Let’s take either scenario.
You find out where this hole in the wall was located almost as if by legend, through word of mouth from other established DJ’s that you took months to develop a trusting relationship with. It is open for only a few hours in the evening, so you walk up the rickety stairs to the entrance where the latest exotic music is blaring, invariably at unintelligibly loud volume levels, while two to a couple dozen (depending on when new record day is) uber-cool people are chatting with each other about the last rave. Leaning imposingly against the listening booths and cash counter. If you’re lucky, there will be record bins. But more likely, you will be trying to weasel your way between the chatting dudes (who have no interest in you other than the fact that you are a bother to their conversation) to ask if you can listen to a certain record you can see laying on the wall behind the guy working there. If you mustered up enough courage to do that, and you like the record, be prepared to drop up to $20 on one to two tunes, just to leave the store as your first step towards being a DJ. Then what? You still need to buy turntables and a mixer to listen to them – which were the most expensive part of the whole gig. And at that time, only available by custom order through a few sound & lighting warehouses.
Now let’s forget about the aspiring DJ, most of us were mere ravers. Let’s say you just want to hear the music – there was usually a bootleg cassette section in the record shop that contained studio or live mixes from local and international DJ’s that cost ridiculous amounts for today’s standards. If you picked one up and brought it home to listen to, you were offered a glimpse into the glorious sounds of music you would find at a rave. These cassettes were the most valuable things to hit your walkman. They got played until the tape ribbon split, they were shared & copied with friends you could trust, studied and left a deep impression – as you the outcast, walked through the city of non-ravers. It strengthened your connection with the rave community, even as your completely impractical phat pants dragged in puddles waiting for the bus, you “raved” (danced) there, alone, in the cold, smiling. We all did it. If we made it through the rituals of these first steps, we all felt a deep feeling of belonging and being loved. We all looked forward to the next chance to be with our “rave family” again, and the next event date. What would it be like? How would it compare to the last ones, and what new music would you experience that you couldn’t yet imagine?
These cassettes (DJ mixes) are never forgotten. Your favorite ones can still bring a smile to your face. Any memory of the rave scene remains as a special time to you always.
Why is something so basic as a common taste in music mean so much in the lives of those who were a part of it?
Because we were the last generation of people who had to work hard to belong to a scene, to a subculture. We didn’t really have internet at the beginning, and even when we did, it wasn’t used for instant messaging and social media. Even in 2000, CD burning and file sharing was in its infancy. If the rave community appealed to us, we actually had to make friends, find out what it was about, research the music and go to the raves. We had to stay up all night to catch our music on the radio. We had to face the fears of entering a record store for the first time, learn how to DJ on analog turntables, find the money to buy cassettes, be able to buy the turntables and build a library of records. We even made extreme changes to our wardrobe and proudly wore them out in public.
Because of this, the connections we made were much stronger, much more genuine, and satisfying. Sure, today’s millenial culture is convenient, addictive, fun and the way of the future. But there is little struggle required to become a part of a “scene” and leaving it. Bonds come and go much quicker, easier and without memory.
It doesn’t make sense to go back to an “old way” of doing things, this is clear. But I do suggest that the new generation of young people think twice if they are unsatisfied with the subcultures they identify with. Try and imagine if the root of your dissatisfaction might just be a manifestation of the lack of struggle, resulting in higher sense of satisfaction to build your scene. Because things have only been this way for a little while so far. Maybe lessons can be learned and understanding and experiences passed down.
DJ K is a jungle DJ & producer from Ottawa Canada. Started raving in the mid-90s, and moved his way from dancefloor to DJ behind the decks, becoming a local favorite by 2000. He has since released on various labels and toured worldwide.
15 years in the making: following on the footsteps of my unreleased dubs megamix comes this massive mix of all my favorite tunes of mine, both releases in vinyl and digital format, and a bunch of recent productions that were never released. With 3 channels of overlapping jungle, at times it is a bit hectic, intense, and it eventually smooths out to my deeper works and they all have an important part in my heart, playing them to enthusiastic crowds literally across the world. Thanks for all the memories and appreciation for my music & remixes.
(Tracklist in order of appearance, actual mixes overlap)
01. Bboy 3000 – DJ K Championz routine live in Paris
02. DJ K – On A Mission (Illtype Remix) – unreleased
03. DJ K – Kill or be Killed – Killa 01 vinyl
04. DJ K – Suffer – Killa 02 vinyl
05. DJ K – Championz – N2O 028 vinyl
06. Capital J – Noize Check (DJ K Remix) – Dub Chamber 020 digital
07. DJ K – Ali Baba – Ragga Renegades 1 vinyl
08. DJ K – Dis Battle – Killa 03 vinyl
09. DJ K – Murda – Big Cat 07 vinyl
10. DJ K – On A Mission – Big Cat 09 vinyl
11. DJ K – Respect – Big Cat 07 vinyl
12. DJ K – Pounding Dronez Remix – Killa 02 vinyl
13. DJ K – Respect (Osci Remix) – Killa 03 digital
14. DJ K – Hypocrites – N2O 054
15. DJ K – Flyin (J Bostron Remix) – unreleased
16. DJ K – Pull Up! – Killa 01 digital
17. DJ K – Kill It – Dub Chamber 020 digital
18. DJ K – Fook – Breaknest 04 vinyl
19. DJ K – Dis Battle (reprise) – Killa 03 vinyl
20. Direct Feed & Rob Bliss – Fuck The World (DJ K Remix) – Killa 04 digital
21. DJ K – Brace Yourself – Killa 01 vinyl
22. DJ K – I Feel Like Jumping – Ragga Renegades 3 vinyl
23. DJ K – Flyin – Big Cat 09 vinyl
24. DJ K – Grind – Killa 04 vinyl
25. Tariq – All In The Mind (DJ K Remix) – Killa 04 digital
26. DJ K – So What – Killa 04 vinyl
27. Mighty Dreadnaught – Total War (DJ K Remix) – Big Buddha Beats 01 digital
28. DJ K – 3rd Eye (feat. Marina) – Celestial Conspiracy 07 vinyl
29. DJ K – Kill or be Killed (Bboy 3000 Remix) – Killa 03 digital
30. DJ K – Krokodil – Acid Jungle 01 vinyl
31. Bran Van 3000 – You (DJ K Remix) – unreleased
32. DJ K – Live at Konkrete Jungle Ottawa (Big Triggs)
33. DJ K – Live at RIAA’s Most Wanted Ottawa (Jazzy Jane)
34. FFF – Torturing Soundboy (DJ K Remix) – Dub Attack 01 vinyl
35. DJ K – Live in Vienna Austria (MC Revelation)
36. Wickedsquad – No Guns Inna Dance (DJ K Remix) – unreleased
37. 2Times – Play Me A Dubplate (DJ K Remix) – Irritant Sounds 02 vinyl
38. DJ K – Bad Kalic – unreleased
39. DJ K – Acid Jungle (Acidpella) – Acid Jungle 01 vinyl
40. DJ K – War In The East – Jungle Battleweapons vinyl
41. DJ K – The Anthem – Jungle Battleweapons vinyl
42. Keely B – Drinks Up (DJ K Remix) – unreleased
43. DJ K & Dubwiser MC – Nice Up – unreleased
44. Tenor Fly – Rudeboy Talk (DJ K Remix) – unreleased
45. DJ K – Tenor Fly dubplate – unreleased
46. Taz – DJ K Remix – unreleased
47. Exodus Soundsystem – Style Confusion (DJ K Remix) – Exodus 03 vinyl
48. DJ K – Everybody Needs An Amen Tune – Jungle Battle Weapons vinyl
49. Drew Tabor – “The Way” Cover (DJ K Remix) – unreleased
50. DJ K – Live in Kaliningrad Russia
51. Renegade – Terrorist (DJ K Remake) – unreleased
52. Feyder – Rub A Dub (DJ K Dub Remix) – Mashed Youth 015 digital
53. DJ K – Brighter Dayz (2013 Version) – unreleased
54. DJ K – Brighter Dayz (Original) – Killa 03 vinyl
55. DJ K – Live in Saint Petersburg Russia
This Friday September 30th will mark my 11th performance in Lithuania! Needless to say, there are a lot of really great junglists there.
I sat down and answered a few questions for the Twisted Visions crew in Vilnius for the upcoming show tonight which offers a small insight into what I do.
1. Do you have set an objectives in musical career?
I feel like I have reached my objectives! I had two as a young DJ & Producer: 1) to affect someone’s life with my tunes and mixes – and I have received so much positive feedback over the years, I never take talking to a fan for granted. 2) to do a rewind at a live show.. I can’t remember how many I have done
2. Where do you take new ideas? How it affects you and the music?
I am not sure.. usually it comes to me out of what seems like nowhere. I wake up with a melody, beat or track that needs a remix in my head and go for it. Inspiration often comes from any source, that’s the beauty of jungle – I can get away with almost anything.
3. Last friday of September you will play in Lithuania, Vilnius. How you preparing for the event, what you expecting?
Preparing rarely works well for me, but since Vilnius always thrives on good vibes: rough jungle with a roots reggae foundation, this is what I will be sure to have ready to go first and throughout the set!
4. What is the most memorable thing, that you’ll never forget, happened during the whole period of playtime?
One of my greatest moments was at Balti Drambliai in 2009, also in Vilnius.. there was some vibe in the air that is very hard to explain and hard to replicate – all junglists were into every single song, flailing their arms and moving their feet, with a feeling of genuine love and respect in the air – and the selection just came so naturally – great tune after the next. It is these moments that I live for! Lithuanians are some of the greatest junglists in the world, and it was not the first or last time I have experienced that there.
5. What do you like playing around and the music-making process?
I like simple production – when it is easy to find the perfect drums and basses to lay over the perfect samples. I tend to keep effects and processing the sound to a bare minimum – and that’s why most of my tunes sound straight-forward and raw. Timestretching and over-producing really annoys me and throws me off of the whole music-making process. I believe that a tune should come to me quite quickly, and I’ve learned to drop those that drag on and don’t sound right early on.
6. How is the Jungle/Drum and Bass scene in your country? (about Canadian scene plz if possible)
Canada is loaded with top-notch producers, you can find a name you know well at almost every corner of the city or party you go to. At one point at the end of the 90’s, when I was getting into DJ’ing, the parties were massive and packed to the walls. I was at one in Toronto that I can remember having to crawl on the floor to get to the next room since it was just impossible to get there standing up – but these days parties are very small, a few die-hard junglists come to select events, but for the most part it doesn’t even compare to Europe.
7. Thoughts about how Drum and Bass/Jungle music scene in whole world will look like after 10years?
Hard to say this without sounding predictable, but both DNB and Jungle will continue to exist, they can’t die – because they are such unique genres compared to others – but also because it is flexible to try new things with, and new fans are made every year. So sub-genres will come in go in popularity, but just when one style has grown old, it will re-invent itself and make a comeback.
8. Best jungle/raggacore track of 2016?
These days there is a simplified dubwise sound everywhere, so many tracks make it in a mix, then are forgettable. I find that the Tek sound is not entirely my thing, and I find the really old jungle sound a few people are still making is too soft and slow. Breakcore is just simply too fast and noisy for my likes – so my heart sits somewhere around 2003 when the North American jungle scene was in its heyday. All this being said, I do find a few tracks in this style still, and if I have to pick one, this was my favorite release from 2016: Mr Bad Monkey – Dem People Ah Mad
9. What is your hobbies without music?
I have a little boy who is almost 2 years old, so family time has engulfed most of my free time – and I am really enjoying it, so no complaints there. But it also means my music projects have way less time to complete. Somehow, I am still finding time to make tour videos and mixtapes, outside of my jungle music projects. Also, I like to keep fit, and I have always loved biking, skateboarding, watching documentaries, writing and philosophy. I am also interested in style and trends, so I try keeping up to date with the newest fashion and technology.
10. Chuch Norris. What are you think about him?
Am I the only one who has never seen a Chuck Norris film!?
An epic 2-hour retrospective seamless mix through the many party favorites & lesser-known tracks I wrote & remixed in the decade spanning 2001-2011. Tunes that never made it to vinyl or digital release. Many of you will remember the parties when I was dropping these in the dance years ago, and I can also guarantee you that some of them have never been heard of before today. For the fans and junglists with whom I shared these moments together, thank you for the memories & I hope you enjoy the mix as much as I did putting it together. All Massive…
1. Intro – Interview clip MaxHA Hasselt Belgium
2. Mr. Lipster & Scientist – Südvorstadt (DJ K Remix)
3. DJ K – Südvorstadt Remix Instrumental
4. DJ K – Mystic Dan Dubplate
5. Gravediggaz – 1 800 Suicide (DJ K Remix)
6. DJ K feat. Big Triggs – Dubs Again
7. DJ K feat. Big Triggs – Trig V
8. Skeptic – Tear (DJ K Remix)
9. (inset) Danejahras – live at Ragga Revival Ottawa 2002
10. (inset) DJ K – Suffer (DJ K Remix)
11. Ed Rush & Optical – Alien Girl (DJ K Remix)
12. (inset) Congo Natty – Junglist (DJ K Remix)
13. (inset) Benny Benassi – Satisfaction (DJ K Remix)
14. (inset) DJ K – Alien Threat
15. DJ K – Kill Or Be Killed (DJ K 2007 Remix)
16. Origin Unknown – Valley Of The Shadows (DJ K Remix)
17. Distorted Minds – T-10 (DJ K Remix)
18. DJ K – All Ting
19. DJ K – Murda (DJ K 2004 Remix)
20. Nas – Oochie Wally (DJ K Remix)
21. Mainframe – Final Round (DJ K Remix)
22. Red Rat – Tight Up Skirt (DJ K Remix)
23. Mainframe – Final Round (DJ K Remix) part 2
24. Special Ops – Nuff Respect (DJ K Remix)
25. A Ha – Take On Me (DJ K Remix)
26. Capital J – Ice Pick (DJ K Remix)
27. (inset) DJ K – Twenty Four
28. (inset) DJ K – Jamaican Badboy
29. Fergie – London Bridge (DJ K Remix)
30. Snoop Dogg – Drop It Like It’s Hot (DJ K Remix)
31. DJ K – Dub Dub (DJ K 2011 Remix)
32. DJ K – Dub Dub
33. DJ K – Dub Dub (DJ K 2011 Remix) part 2
34. (inset) Funkdoobiest – Dedicated (DJ K Remix)
35. (inset) DJ K – So Much Girl
36. DJ K – Rock The House
37. DJ K – Arrested
38. (inset) DJ K – Arrested (live at Urbanfest Ottawa 2003)
39. DJ K – 60 Seconds
40. DJ K feat. Friendlyman – Tribute To The King (Humble dubplate)
41. Jimmy J & Justin Time & Jenka – Eternity (DJ K Remix)
42. (inset) Stepkillah – live intro Kiev Ukraine 2008
43. DJ K – Insane
44. DJ K – Guncock
45. DJ K – Black
46. (inset) Phuture Assassins – Roots N Future (DJ K Refix)
47. Mos Def – Mathematics (DJ K Remix)
48. Camp Lo – Cookers (DJ K Remix)
49. (inset) Beastie Boys – Hey Fuck You (DJ K Remix)
50. Amarula – Shast’e (DJ K Remix)
51. DJ K – Soundkilla
52. DJ K – Dronez
53. (inset) DJ Assault – Tricks (DJ K Refix)
54. (inset) DJ K – Who You Dealin With
55. DJ Funk – Doggy Style (DJ K Remix)
56. The Prodigy – Hypaspeed / Ruff In The Jungle (DJ K Remix)
57. Nelly Furtado – Turn Out The Lights (DJ K Remix)
58. General Malice – Platinum (DJ K VIP Remix)
59. (inset) DJ K – Leave Me
60. Lady N – Poor People (DJ K Remix)
61. DJ K – Lagga Wankstah Remix Instrumental
62. DJ K feat. Chalice – Lagga Wankstah Remix
63. DJ K – Pilla
64. DJ K – U Know (dubplate version live vs. General Malice Toronto 2003)
65. Shabba Ranks – Get It On (DJ K Remix dubplate version live at Killa label launch 2003)
66. The Dream Team – Stamina (DJ K Remix)
67. Andy C – Cool Down (DJ K Remix)
68. (inset) DJ K feat. Big Triggs – Dubplate
69. D.I.S. – Top Sound Killa (DJ K Remix)
70. DJ K – Walk
71. DJ K – Reminisce
72. (inset) DJ K – Phat Kat
73. Arrested Development – Everyday People (DJ K Remix)
74. Sean Paul – Sexy Punky (DJ K Remix)
75. DJ K – Jealous Niggaz
76. The Prodigy / Dream Frequency – Take Me Remix (DJ K Refix)
77. DJ Isaac – Face Down Ass Up (DJ K Refix)
78. Martin Solveig feat. Dragonette – Hello (DJ K Remix)
79. NASA Music – Genius (DJ K Drumstep Remix)
80. Ministry – New World Order (DJ K Remix)
81. (inset) DJ K – Bloodclot
82. (inset) DJ K – Jamalski Remix
83. Outro – Krinjah interview clip Toronto Canada
Files come in both ios & android/windows formats, with snippets made from the most popular jungle releases by DJ K (yes, Flyin / On A Mission included!), and alerts made from familiar FX.. totally free! Get on it & junglize your phone…
When I meet new people, the inevitable question always is: “what do you do?”. Most can grasp the concept of what a DJ is, and with a little additional explanation it is understandable, that as a producer I can string my own tracks together into a DJ set. But then comes the “oh I get it, so what kind of music?”. What are the chances you have any idea what Jungle is? Slim to none – and although it can be entertaining at times to come up with a description, it gets repetitive. So here it is once and for all – as concise and broad as I can make it. There are a lot of different “takes” or perspectives on what happened – and everyone’s journey was different, this was mine. I intentionally omitted many different story lines (the development of “intelligent” jungle, major-label hits like Goldie and Roni Size, the branch-off of sub genres jump-up, liquid and neuro for examples) to cover (maybe) in a separate occasion.
The quick & dirty
Dj K – On a mission
Netsky – Love Has Gone – Official Video
Drum & Bass
Shy FX & T Power Everyday
Somewhere in between (??)
David Guetta & Showtek – Bad ft. Vassy (Lyrics Video)
What most people will associate with “DJ” or “Electronic Music”
So let’s get started: pre “Jungle” developed in the underground rave scene alongside other styles from 1989-1993. While most electronic music had a 4-4 kick (think MARRS 1987 hit “pump up the volume”), jungle instead focused on breakbeats (eventually losing the kick drum altogether) and deeper sub-basses for rhythm. The speed ranged from house music (mid-120 bpm) to 140 and beyond, increasing as time went on.
Acid House 1989 Illegal Rave Part 02 Sunrise Energy
Rave in 1989
The Ragga Twins – Spliffhead
The Ragga Twins – Spliffhead 1990
Blame – Music Takes You (Original Version)
Blame – Music Takes You 1991
DJ Phantasy & DJ Gemini – Never Try The Hippodrome
DJ Phantasy & Gemini – Never Try The Hippodrome 1992
Phuture Assassins – Roots 'N Future (Reflections In Dub)
Phuture Assassins – Roots n Future 1993
As sounds started splitting off into their own sub-genres, Jungle was one of them. Examples of others sub-genres are: techno, hardcore gabber, acid, house, breaks and the list goes on. Each had its own sound and places in the world where it had the biggest following and was able to develop the most. Who, or more accurately “where” claims to be the originators of Jungle? It is safe to say that it emerged from London, Bristol and other cities not far from the capital of Great Britain.
channel 4 jungle music documentary Broadcast April 30th 2014
History of Jungle documentary
A History of British Style Tribes – Episode 2 Jungle & Cybergoth | Street, Sound & Style
History of British Style (focus on Jungle)
This was such a quickly-changing time for electronic music, where obvious developments in the new sub-genres could be heard in very short timeframes of only one year, and usually within months. Eventually Jungle broke off as its own genre and the classic most well-known tracks were made in 1994-1995, ranging from 160-170 bpm. The chopped-up breakbeats and staccato sample stabs style saturated in its own scene – it peaked and then drastically changed. This period in time is considered the “Golden Age” of Jungle music, and some of the tunes back then even made it into the pop charts.
Shy FX & UK Apachi – Original nuttah
Shy FX & UK Apache – Original Nuttah 1994
M Beat feat General Levy Incredible
M-Beat feat. General Levy – Incredible 1994
Congo Natty Junglist
Congo Natty – Junglist 1995
Lemon D – This is Los Angeles
Lemon D – This is L.A. (a bit more underground release) 1995
Drum & Bass
A new style of jungle called “drum & bass” emerged in 1996 and started what quickly became the final genre that still continues today. It stripped out the broken beats and started using proper drum kits in an ordered, danceable pattern. Although sub bass was still the norm, new synthesizers started appearing and sampling was almost completely removed. Most saw this as s good thing, a logical progression and keeping with the times.
Gang Related And Mask – Dictation (Orginal mix)
Gang Related & Mask – Dictation 1996
DJ Krust – Warhead (steppa mix) [HQ]
DJ Krust – Warhead 1997
Bad Company – The Nine
BC – The Nine 1998
Ed Rush & Optical – Sick Note
Ed Rush & Optical – Sick Note 1999
E-Z Rollers – RS2000
EZ Rollerz – RS 2000 2000
Drum & Bass today
As the years went on, Drum & Bass got cleaner, harder and more refined. It branched out to include vocals, trance-styled builds, jazz, hip hop, electro, latin, and many, many additional styles. These days (in 2015), dnb parties can be found all over the world and often as headlining stages. Not quite as popular as techno, house and trance, but certainly a big enough following that people know what it is. Some of you may have heard about drum & bass – well, now you know where it comes from. You may have even been to an event.
Rampage 2014 – Sigma full set
Sigma live set 2014
Hospitality 2015 Mini-Mix (Mixed by Nu:Tone)
Hospitality 2015 MIX
Westfest 2006 Andy C
Andy C live in 2006
If you are one of these people, great – you are already a step ahead of most people I try to explain this drawn-out story to. And, chances are, there is a good probability you have heard the word Jungle. Even greater! Maybe you even thought you knew what it was, or maybe now that you try and think about it you are more confused than ever.
What happened to Jungle?
Which brings me to why I am writing this – is Jungle still relevant today, and should you care? Why do I care?
I was born in 1975, which dropped me in a perfect age to watch this whole evolution take place. I started going to raves in 94/95, right around the time Jungle was at its peak and grew in its own genre – often with its own separate rooms or complete parties. It was my favorite kind of music – absolutely futuristic and aggressive – and the events were interactive because the DJ’s were rewinding the best records, there was an MC on the mic shouting madness, and the crowd was just bouncing off the walls to their favorite tracks. I not only listened to it, I lived it. It felt more advanced than anything I had ever heard, and it was so exclusive and underground. It was rare to find this music anywhere but on college radio or in DJ record shops on handmade mixtapes. There was a particular culture that came from Jungle that can’t be summed-up that has elements of Reggae positivity in the flow, militant soldier-esque machine gun shots at drops (we mostly wore camouflage gear), ultra-fast dancing, a punk rock ethic and a slight gangsta vibe.
Jungle Soundclash – The 'Grand Final – The Full Video' – 16th July 1994
Jungle party in 1994
Drum & Bass is great, don’t get me wrong. But it lost a do-it-yourself “soul”, for lack of a better term. Jungle was built on pasting together samples and experimenting with how far you could switch up drum patterns and scare people with the deepest bass lines. There wasn’t really any rules, and melodies from all kinds of genres were added into the frantic beats – in particular reggae, dancehall and dub – which is why the term Jungle is often used interchangeably with Ragga-Jungle.
Around 2000, North Americans (like me) were missing that “classic” sound of jungle. So we started releasing records in that style, the only addition was that it was a bit faster (about 180 bpm) and although it was more sample-based, it now also incorporated new elements of dnb. Over the next 4 or 5 years it seemed like we were releasing new records every week. But let me put it into perspective: Jungle was nowhere near the popularity it was in the first wave back in the first half of the 90’s. Maybe scaled down by about 1/10000. Or at least that is a pretty accurate number by record sales. Nonetheless, this small following we had was enough to have a powerful underground niche, and those who were into it genuinely loved it with their heart and soul – it was a movement, not just a kind of music to listen to. We had a unique scene we could identify ourselves to, and I was proud!
Soundmurderer & SK1 – Limb By Limb (Rewind Remix)
Soundmurderer – Limb by Limb Remix 2001
DJ K – Championz
DJ K – Championz 2001
Krinjah – Bam Bam Remix
Krinjah – Bam Bam Remix 2001
Chopstick DubPlate feat Terry Ganzie – Junglist Outlaw
Chopstick Dubplate 1 2002
General Malice – This is the year
General Malice – This is the Year 2003
We had our own online forums to share new productions, new friends were made and we travelled great distances to meet and tour together. For a while, our community of the new breed of junglists seem to get bigger and bigger.. but then what happened next? Internal beefs and a super high ratio of producers-to-partygoers ended up meaning that what had shortly became a vibrant and regular slew of club events, eventually became a popularity contest and separate teams of cross-armed trainspotters watching the DJ. Ok ok, I exaggerate and it is only one theory. There are many factors that contributed to the downfall, and individual personalities from producers and label-owners most certainly were the engine that fueled it on one end, but the unstoppable factors of improving production technology and the exhaustion of hearing the same samples over and over means a lot of people moved onto new emerging sub genres with more appeal – like dubstep. But even more importantly, digital music was starting to make its way into the DJ world, which meant that selling records was no longer viable to make money or distribute your releases, and it took some time before we really figured out what to do next.
Capital J and R.A.W. Live at Gorilla Warfare
Guerrilla Warfare party in Los Angeles 2003
General Malice @ Adrenaline Part 2, 2004
General Malice live in 2004
Konkrete Jungle NYC 2k4 – SurvivalNYC
Konkrete Jungle party NYC in 2004
Anyway, while we were a few years into it (let’s say around 2006), the humble Europeans were starting jungle parties, and already making their own brand of jungle and releasing it on vinyl, but also just sharing it digitally. Before you knew it, jungle was a worldwide thing, and what was a small niche was now a small niche in many places. We all got to know each other and it felt like an international family. By this point, we obviously didn’t chose Jungle because it was a way to make money off music, but just because we couldn’t help it – Jungle called us and we followed.
Baby Demo – Like a Warrior
Baby Demo – Warrior
[RaggaJungle] D.I.S (Ruff E Nuff) @ Jungle Manifest – Kiev
D.I.S. in Kiev 2007
Here’s the point in time that I moved to Europe.
I come from a city called Ottawa. Haven’t heard of it? Actually it is the capital of Canada, and even with 1 million inhabitants, it feels like a really quiet and small town. With the closeby larger cities of Toronto and Montreal, parties were happening regularly and could range from less than 50 people to thousands when done right. Jungle had been in our blood since the beginning and there are still many people producing Jungle from my area, as well as stateside. The label I started on, and my label also started in Los Angeles. They have an aggressive west-coast jungle sound that I was instantly drawn to, and I find myself at home with my friends there and when I visit. But records of a more mellow sound were also released and came from further east-coast back then. Although a few of us tried to make a living from it, most of the jungle producers are just normal people you wouldn’t expect day to day working a regular job and make no money off their music.
Ninjah Fareye – Cant Stand It
Ninjah Fareye (from Ottawa) – Can’t Stand It
The European party scene thrives because they go all night. But also there are so many more party people that are just used to finding an event to go to each weekend. There are so many people in fact, that several successful parties can happen simultaneously on Fridays and Saturdays in the same city all across Europe. I have been lucky enough to be one of the last generations to successfully release music in a physical form: vinyl. And this vinyl made its way all across the world and helped me establish a reputable name for myself in the first jungle music “renaissance” from the 2000’s. I never stopped, either. I am still releasing vinyl and have a library of hundreds of original jungle productions in my gig bag. So I continue to tour mostly Europe playing shows on weekends a couple of times a month.
DJ K – BRIGHTER DAYZ (2013 REMIX)
DJ K – Brighter Dayz (2013 remix)
Where is Jungle big today? In Bristol and in UK festivals all across Great Britain. Along with a ton of new producers in the area, a lot of the original producers from back when have come back to make new Jungle of all kinds.
Traditional sound Jungle producers (chopped up beats, many samples) are still numerous, and come from all over, but they can be hard to find, even for some of us deep in the underground niche ourselves.
Regarding different jungle styles these days, an important distinction should be made: although the word jungle traditionally meant chopped-up and organic-sounding drum samples, there has been a further split I haven’t mentioned that happened all along, and if you search YouTube for “jungle”, most likely you will end up finding something else: Dubwise. Dubwise is a hybrid of drum & bass and jungle. Taking the strong and simple beats of drum & bass but instead of going heavy into synths like dnb, it overlays dub, reggae and soundystem samples. But the distinction is not black-and-white. There is a fine grey area between where organic drum loops are used in a slightly more predictable pattern that COULD be called jungle, but (to me) leans more to the drum & bass crowd.
Benny Page Turn Down The Lights
Benny Page – Turn Down the Lights
Serial Killaz – Ghetto Yout
Serial Killaz – Ghetto Yout
Aries Feat Gold & Bevan & Andy Sim – Sun Is Shining
Aries, Gold Bevan & Andy Sim – Sun is Shining
New tracks are not only limited to Jungle and Dubwise.. there are many sub-branches that have developed along the way and continue to evolve alongside, and can usually appear at the same events on the same stage. Two with strong followings are Tek and Breakcore. New productions are modern, while still staying true to the roots of the original Jungle feeling.
Vandal – Fatty Fatty live @ Garorock 2015
Vandal live (TEK)
Aaron Spectre – Live in Tokyo
Bong Ra live (BREAKCORE)
Where are the jungle parties?
You can find jungle stages in (just to name a FEW) Czech Republic, in Croatia at Outlook festival, smaller parties in Belgium and Netherlands, Austria continues to enjoy it, and I have been playing often in Lithuania and the rest of Eastern Europe including Russia, Ukraine and countries not actually in Europe, where the sounds has been welcomed with open arms.
Jungle Mosh Pit! DJ K live in Saint Petersburg Russia 2014
Me in Saint Petersburg Russia in 2014
DJ K is a Jungle DJ & Producer. He has been active since 1999, you can follow him at killarecords.com