When I think of my favourite jungle artists, Just Jungle (also known by his Genotype alias) easily etches out a spot in my mind thanks to his repertoire of solid tunes. One of his very best? Double Crisp, from 1994’s The Gold EP released by Trouble on Vinyl. D&B history sidenote; Trouble on Vinyl was run by Clayton Hines & Mark Hill, the same duo behind the legendary Renegade Hardware. It’s now owned and operated by fellow D&B originator DJ Kane.
Beginning with a radiant pad that cascades into a sensational flurry of amenism and genius programming, Double Crisp is a hallmark of Just Jungle’s production prowess. It cannot be understated how striking the drum cuts are on this classic. You also get a sense dub and dancehall’s momentous influence on jungle through the flavorful sampling that serves as a proper homage to part of the genre’s roots.
Redpine & Solo land in our premiere spotlight today with a dark jungle smasher called Time 4 Change. Opening up with ominous sub weight and skittering hats laid under a hefty ragga vocal calling for equality of rights, the track then drops into some serious break chopping business. Hard! Cop the EP via Studio Rockers from Jun 26th; pre-orders are up at Bandcamp now.
Madster lands in our premiere spotlight today with a cracking new remix for Droptek! Twisting up the funk laden halftime of the original into a tight stepper, this one is all staccato rhythms and playful drums including some fantastic 4/4 switchups. Deadly. Look out for this coming alongside a grip of other remixes from Droptek’s Symbiosis LP via Korsakov Music from July 3rd.
While legendary MC Stevie Hyper D left us way too soon in 1998, his legacy thankfully lives on in both the memories of those who witnessed him live and through recordings of his lyrics adeptly MC’d over multiple Drum & Bass tracks and mixes. One of the most revered MCs to have graced sound waves with his words, you can read more about the man in this great retrospective article.
The anthemic Junglist Soldier, which happens to be De-Stress Records’ only release, is a quintessential jungle track that offers a sense of the dynamism dispensed by MCs, especially one so talented as Stevie Hyper D himself. Powerfully performed verses are delivered over a clean break accentuated by fitting Jungle fare. The bass consists of a thick reese that’s easily one of the best basslines in Drum & Bass history.
Junglist Soldier exudes a spirit that can bring together all junglists while serving as a reminder of how lucky we were to have Stevie Hyper D in the scene. A documentary that will reflect on Stevie Hyper D’s life and influence on music culture is slated for release this year; head over here to for more information on that.
We’ve got a sublime dancefloor liquid jam on today’s premiere as Chicago’s finest joins the Bay 6 Recordings roster! Stunna bringing the vibes with punchy drums, emotive synths and warm bass; lovely stuff. Watch out for this coming tomorrow at all good digital outlets.
Summer liquid vibes from Mage on today’s premiere; as we’ve come to expect from one of Russia’s finest melodic producers this is all about the gentle piano, crisp rolling drums and shimmering pads. Beautiful tune; watch out for this coming June 22nd at all the usual stores.
Johnathan Thomas lands back on Onset Audio with a tidy new EP later this week, and we’ve got the exclusive on his collab with HammerZz – A Murder! Slouching halftime beats, scuzzy LFO bassline and soft, atmospheric pads make for 100% vibe. Hit up your favourite store to grab this from Friday 19th June!
Locked Up Music drop their 20th release today, combining a celebration of the label’s output with some fundraising for a good cause; all proceeds will go to Love Your Hospital, a charity which fundraises for the West Sussex hospitals where Locked Up boss Section works.
Better still, if you wait until Friday to grab the LP then you’ll be doing a charity double whammy – Bandcamp will be donating their share of all sales on June 19th to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Check out the beats below, do some good and grab yourself a fistful of dark D&B to boot!
I’m dropping the impersonal tone I generally employ in these blog posts on this occasion because this is a personal message from me, Hex. On June 2nd DNB Dojo took part in Blackout Tuesday, and I took time to reflect on the problem of racism, both inside and outside of the Drum & Bass scene. That reflection led me to the conclusion that I have not done enough. Angela Davis said it best when she said “In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be antiracist.”
It should go without saying that Jungle and Drum & Bass is a music firmly rooted in Black culture. I’m not going to go into depth on that history here because so many better writers, filmmakers and podcasters have already covered it in immense detail. Rosemary Pitts has posted an extensive list of watching / reading / listening material on the History of Black British Rave Culture over here on Instagram (also available on Facebook here courtesy of EQ50) which I’ll be working my way through over the coming weeks and months. I can already thoroughly recommend Brian Belle-Fortune’s absolutely seminal All Crews as essential reading for the passionate junglist.
Beyond that reading, I’ve been thinking about what I can do both as an individual and as the owner of a platform, albeit a small one. To that end, here are the actions that I’ll be taking going forward:
Donate: I’ve already made personal donations to The George Floyd Memorial Fund, Black Lives Matter UK and Show Racism The Red Card, and I will continue to make contributions to these and similar organisations each month.
Educate: Luke Kessler is dedicating four weeks of Classic Track posts to the contributions of Black originators within D&B and Jungle, and the series will continue to ensure Black artists are properly represented as we celebrate the history of this music. You can read the first of that series here.
Represent: I will be doing more to find, highlight and celebrate the work of Black artists, DJs and label owners within our scene across all of our content; premieres, guest mixes, interviews, reviews and features.
I’d like to reiterate that this space is welcoming to Black people and indeed people of all backgrounds. I listen to all music that comes to the Dojo inbox, and while I can’t promise to feature everything I will always respond and try and provide honest feedback and creative criticism. If that’s something you’re interested in then please get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org.
It should come as no surprise that Drum & Bass is a genre that means a lot to us at DNB Dojo. We enjoy celebrating the vibrant legacy and culture of this music, and it is an undeniable fact that we have Black artists to thank for filling the world with the remarkable sounds and styles that we’ve come to know and love.
Drum & Bass as a genre was predominantly birthed by Black artists and is thus inextricably linked to Black culture. To pay homage to the indelible impact of Black artists in Drum & Bass we are dedicating the next four weeks of Classic Track to productions solely from Black artists, a special dedication to their visionary achievements in the scene.
Let’s take Classic Track back to the roots to what is considered one of the first jungle tracks ever: We Are I.E. released on i.e. Records in 1991. Lennie De Ice struck gold with this monumental work, becoming an instrumental force in starting a musical movement that would forever change the music world.