John Frusciante definitely isn’t a name that many people would primarily associate with electronic music, given that he found fame as the guitarist of one of the biggest rock bands in the world – Red Hot Chili Peppers. From that perspective, this month’s release of a jungle album via the Timesig imprint (run by Venetian Snares) might seem like a surprising development, but it’s actually the logical progression of a musical direction a decade in the making.
Following his departure from RHCP in 2009, Frusciante became increasingly disinterested in traditional songwriting and refocused his efforts on electronic production and engineering. In the intervening decade he has given the world a slew of works spanning genres under different aliases – exploring synth pop, producing hip-hop for Wu-Tang affiliates Black Knights, and more recently releasing acid house and IDM under his Trickfinger alias.
All of which brings us to Maya, a body of work which he describes as being heavily influenced by 90s breakbeat hardcore and jungle. Thankfully though this isn’t a mere copycatting attempt; while you can hear a clear reverence for some of the genre hallmarks via some knowing sampling, there’s also a breadth of influences blended into the music, held together by the common thread of jungle drum programming.
The result is a collection of tracks that spans from mellow and beautiful, through darkly funky and into outright aggressive breakbeats assaults on the senses. This is jungle made by someone who appreciates jungle, but also appreciates so many other forms and styles of music; a refreshing antidote to the sometimes narrow echo-chamber of modern D&B production. If you’re looking for DJ friendly club tunes this definitely isn’t that, but if you’re willing to explore something a bit less conventional then the LP is a thoroughly rewarding listen.
Maya is out now on vinyl, CD and digital. Hit up Bandcamp or your favourite retailer to grab it now.
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.
36 Hertz take us back to the old school once again with the appropriately titled Back To 92 EP. Featuring four top notch 90s style breakbeat hardcore cuts from DJ Vapour, SR & Digbee, ESP and Indigo Virus, this one does exactly what it says on the tin; amen cutups, hefty sub bass and rave stabs abound.
Grab your hat and whistle and check out the mini mix below! This one drops on Juno and the 36 Hertz website from Feb 3rd.
Jem One drops another pair of scorching old-skool belters for 36 Hertz, bringing the vibes of breakbeat jungle and rave at 140BPM. Both tracks harness simple but powerful sub bass and chunky breaks, with The Bleep letting a hypnotic melody take centre stage while Drop This takes most of it’s character from a huge distorted amen. Both tracks mean business and retain that infectiousness that so characterised early rave music. Check em out below and watch out for the release on August 19th.
36 Hertz take us back to the old skool on their latest release, bringing together four tracks with a distinctly jungle flavour. SR & Digbee kick things off nicely with the appropriately named Back To Basics; classic chords, simple pads, chopped up amens and some timeless samples. “Stop the beat, drop the beat” – yeaaaah boi!
Elsewhere on the EP Jem One delivers some classic rave euphoria with the oddly titled Bullet To The Head and DJ Vapour brings us some classic amen darkness complete with authentic stretched ragga vocal on Never Feel. Finally Skink goes in deep with the tribal, atmospheric sounds of Trapped Inside the Dream.