dirty martini

old music for new people

jungle: a way of life August 22, 2007

jungle.jpg

even the kids amongst you probably don’t need an introduction to jungle. emerging from the hardcore scene of the early 90s, it was a ragga driven extension of the dancehall scene until techno started to take over the drum’n’bass scene in 1996.

like uk garage, it was a predominatly london thing. it was the soundtrack of the pirates when i moved here in 1994 and to me it was new, exciting and like nothing i’d ever heard before. so some of my abiding memories of jungle are as the soundtrack to my first year living in student halls of residence. fires in the kitchen, dirty bathrooms and being too drunk to get out of bed.

in your first year, you’re lumped with a complete mishmash of personalities, with nothing in common. the one thing that can unite people is music and yet sometimes even that fails. what do you do with a couple of r&b swingers, a hip hop queen, cheesy quaver and a girl who just got back from ibiza?

in 1994, you sent them down to the a.w.o.l. night at the ministry of sound. on a thursday night, you could actually get in for less than £10 and get a drink for about £3. there was r&b in the main bar, house and garage upstairs (this was before the refurb) and jungle in the main room.  the crowd were a melting pot of students, office caners, media and professional ravers.

at the time i probably didn’t think a.w.o.l was as cool as the friday night open techno fest or glitzy rulin’ saturday night at the ministry. how wrong i was. a.w.o.l is the only one i would still want to go to. i discovered new music and saw a man in a skirt years before david beckham was nagged into one.

a.w.o.l lasted about as long as the jungle scene, and no other ministry night has been as exciting since. i blame the refurb.

original junglistsdownload here

soundman and elisabeth troy – no greater love

firefox and 4tree – warning

da maytrix – loverman

dj taktix – the way

leviticus – the burial

omni trio – renegade snares

tom and jerry – maximum style

deep blue – helicopter tune

baby d – casanova

m-beat – style

buju banton – move ya body

bagga worries and jooxie nice – legalise

barrington levy – under mi sensi

daddy freddy – junglist sound

dms – sweet vibration

m-beat and general levy- incredible

prizna and demolition man – fire

chaka demus and pliers – gal wine

cutty ranks – original rude boy style

wayne marshall – g spot

Advertisements
 

90s r&b – i collaborate therefore i am

citrus1.jpg

there’s power in numbers. in fact, the perfect hook-up with the hottest property can launch (or relaunch) a lacklustre career.

in the mid 90s, duets and artist collaborations became less of an event. naturally, you would collaborate with labelmates, but a strategic feature spot could mean opening up your music to a whole new audience. the most popular hook up was r&b and hiphop, but some puff daddy collabos in the late 90s saw hiphop push the boundaries by mixing it up with rock bands, a trend jay-z has carried into the 00s.

so, for the r&b girls and boys looking forsome instant street, the most ubiquitous featured rappers of the 90s? jay-z, ll cool j and biggie by a mile, although a young foxy brown gave them a run for their money.

and if a hiphop act wanted to smooth things down? total, swv and mary j blige at your service.

the idea hasn’t slowed down at all, in fact, the standard r&b album has at least four collaborations and some albums (timbaland) are built entirely around that principle.

90s hook ups – download here

blackstreet and swv – can’t get you out of my mind

two of the biggest r&b bands of the 90s – worked so well they did it twice.

blaque and destiny’s child – she ain’t got that boom

how much hair can you fit in one room? one more member and they could have been an 80s jheri curl soul act. a subdued performance from beyonce on this one.

busta rhymes and zhane – its a party

not the most obvious hook-up to spring to mind but it worked.

jay-z and foxy brown – sunshine

jay-z and foxy collaborated so often you gave up trying to work out who was guesting for who.

junior mafia and aaliyah – i need you tonight

a mishmash of r&b, hiphop and 80s throwback hook and sample. shouldn’t have worked quite so well.

keith sweat and kut klose – get up on it

inevitable feature spot. on occasion the whole r&b don with cooing girl group could seem a little mysogynistic. there were worse examples though.

ll cool j and boyz ii men – hey lover

ll likes it both ways – guest features and inviting others on to his tunes, I mean.

mase and total – what you want

individually, not great. together it worked.

method man and mary j blige – you’re all i need to get by

one of the originals and a good example of how an r&b feature spot doesn’t need to water down the proceedings.

smooth and 2pac – p.y.t.

proto jay-z and foxy. 2pac must have rated young ms stokes as he didn’t guest spot with just anyone.