Wednesday, December 31, 2008

This is Jungle Sky Volume 2

At the risk of dating myself, and in particular, my involvement in the music, one of the first handful of jungle albums I bought was Jungle Sky Volume 6. This was 1999 and jungle, at least in the sounds that most of us apply to that term, was pretty far gone to the grave by then. (It maintained some semblance of a pulse throughout the drum n bass wasteland of the later 90s and early 2000s, and has since rearisen with a vengeance, but that's a topic for another discussion). This is a starting point that I'm thankful for, because while it wasn't strictly jungle in the oldskool 94/95 sense of the word, it did incorporate oldskool elements along with a heavy dose of hip-hop and funk, and coming from a predominately hip-hop background, that's one of the hooks that drew me in the most.

Now that I think of it, a friend had lent me Jungle Sky Volume 5 in 1998 to play in my dorm room, so that would've been my true introduction to the label.

I then moved back to New York in the fall of 2000 (I had been here earlier, but again, another story). Not long after, I began to frequent various vinyl shops in the area, including the last location of the infamous Liquid Sky store on St. Mark's Place. The warmth with which the workers in that store and, come to find out, the man behind the myth, treated me, is one of oustanding acts of human friendliness that I've had the good fortune to encounter. On my 2nd or 3rd visit to the store, one of the employees invited me and my girlfriend to join them as VIPs at their show that evening at the Limelight, where Soul Slinger and company, complete with a live band to accompany their dj/mc trickery, proceeded to put on one of the most memorable performances of my life.

From that point onward, I was hooked.

A month or so down the road, I picked up a tape at the store of Jungle Sky Volume 2. Upon first listen I knew this was the sound I was looking for. It resembled the one jungle CD I had that impressed me the most (DJ Hype's Drum & Bass Selection Vol 3), but had enough of an experimental tilt to it to intrigue me into considering alternate possibilities of the music.

A little over eight years later, jungle has become the foremost obsession in my life (literature, its only rival, I would qualify as my passion), and without intending conceit, I think I can reasonably say I've listened to more jungle than most junglists have in twice that time.

This remains one of my top 5 albums, and something I thought would be a great soundtrack to help usher in the new year, a year in which I plan to launch my second label and make more of my own contributions to many of the libraries of vinyl housed around the world.

I hope this also gives some insight into the development of jungle in the USA at the time it was reaching its peak across the pond.

Although, I must note here, I feel the label has as much of an international base as an American one, or an American one in the bi-continental sense of the word, not the country sense, its founder being Brazilian and its artists having varied backgrounds.

To give you a bit of history, from what I can gather Jungle Sky was formed somewhere between 1993/1994 (its parent company, Liquid Sky, having been formed a year earlier) in association with S.O.U.R., who toured the US and played a party in NYC hosted by Liquid Sky.

Its first release was in 1994,

and the majority of its most popular releases date to the years 1995/1996.

The store closed after the September 11th attacks and relocated to its homeland, Brasil.

A chapter of my life came to an end then, but the appreciation of the music continues to ripen with age.

I could say much more, but I figure I've taken up enough of your time with my ramblings already, and that you really just want the music, so with no further ado, here's a fresh 320 rip from CD.


01 The Inna Most - Now & Here
02 DJ Soul Slinger - Zulu Music
03 Time Line - Part of Life
04 Rock Stone Foundation - Dis Soun' (187 Jungle Dub)
05 Kingsize - Down In The Underground
06 DJ Soul Slinger - Africa
07 DJ Ani & Beau - Celestial Vibes
08 DJ Soul Slinger - Musical Selection (The River of Action Remix)
09 Marshall H - One Love (I Feel It)
10 DJ Odi - Anthem
11 DJ Wally - Mustard Plaster

(btw, an all Jungle Sky mix is in the works)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


First up today, we have three releases from a little known label named Cult. There's virtually no information I could find on the records themselves or on the internet, but my guess would be that this is a Germany based label and that the records were released somewhere between 1993 and 1995. I make that guess based on having found the record in German shops, one of the sellers of which claimed to have had the record in stock since it was released. Also based on the style: there's a mixture of breakbeat hardcore, happy hardcore, jungle, dnb, gabber/industrial hardcore, and a style which, frankly, I don't know how to classify. They also seem a bit faster than most of the hardcore/jungle that was coming out of the United Kingdom at the time, and considering that industrial music had a larger influence in Europe in those days, I'm led to believe the conjecture might be correct. There were three releases that I know of, each with the same design on the label, although a different color, and each beginning with catalogue number MZN. There may be other releases. I couldn't tell you.

The colors and catalogue numbers are as follows. I can only guess that they were released in order of increasing numerical order, but considering the catalogue numbers are so odd, again I can't be sure.

Black - MZN 3547/3548
Red - MZN 3841/3842
Green - 4049/4050

I can tell you however that I still remember the first time I heard the Red one, my introduction to the label. I was having a conversation on soulseek with Jahba and had to stop just so I could relisten and pay closer attention to what I'd heard. I enjoy both atmospheric and ragga jungle, but it's rare that I find them combined in such a way that they don't seem out of place. This was done perfectly and used a sample I was already familiar with, "Cool down the dancehall" from Andy C's tune. (This is not meant to insinuate that the sample was taken from Andy C's tune but merely to state that the sample is one and the same.)

There seems to have been a problem with some of pressings in that two of mine skip/jump horribly, so I've only recorded one side of the Green release, which does jump, but I liked the tune well enough to listen to it even with the faults. For this reason I include a copy of the Red record that I didn't personally rip as my copy jumps on one side. I imagine a wide variety of people will find tunes they both like and don't like in here, so hopefully at least one of them appeals to you.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Junglites - Wicked LP - Wicked Soundz

Once upon a time there was a user on soulseek named BLACKSUPREME. He sent me a message saying he'd downloaded over 10,000 tunes from me and asked for my address, saying he wanted to send me something he thought I should have. A month or two later I received a box of 30 records in the mail, all oldskool hardcore & jungle. One of the gems was the Wicked LP by The Junglites on the Wicked Soundz label. I've only seen it for sale twice since then (this was years ago), and although it's not something I listen to regularly, it's something I thoroughly enjoy each time I do. The production style is dirty, stuff that would fit in the hardcore jungle crossover classification, but you'll know that if you're familiar with any of the 12" singles on the label. This is part 2 of your Christmas present. There are 3 tunes excluded from this rip because something went wrong during the ripping process & I need to redo them. I'll upload those as well asap.

Happy listening.

The Junglites - The Wicked LP - Wicked Soundz

A1 Who De Bombo Clart
A2 Falling
A3 It All Started
B1 Bruksilly (Remix)
B2 Ladies (Remix)
B3 Don't Let It Go To Your Head
C1 Jail House Rave
C2 Sweet Underground
C3 Dangerous
D1 Cold Fresh Air
D2 Computer Love
D3 Voodoo