Various artists album review
Triple CD set
19 - 09 - 1997
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : -/5||Backing : -/5||Production : 5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 5|
"Jungle" is the term used in England when dancehall is mixed with hip-hop. The English mix these styles in a completely different way than Jamaicans and Americans. The main difference is the overlaid tripple- time drumbeats, which almost consistently come to you through the rapid-fire programmed drum. You're either going to love it or hate it. (From the review of Trojan Jungle 2 on this site)
These CDs showcase the productions of the V Recordings label. Although this label is widely known for the Bristol Sound of Roni Size and DJ Krust (as Reprazent artists), South London is the real home of Jumping Jack Frost and Bryan G. the label-owners. Both involved in the real early stages of jungle/ drum'n'bass, but still ahead of the pack. The title suggests a "greatest of" album, but in fact all songs are fresh or unreleased remixes. The sound is entirely as you would expect knowing the eclectic style of Roni Size & Reprazent Crew. The dynamic pace of jungle, but plenty of influences from reggae, soul, jazz, hip hop and even more. The music in these CDs is really creeping into your mind.
"Maintain" is a wonderful mix of dark DJ Krust jungle with a very soulful female voice. "It's Jazzy" with it's characteristic piano-loop, horns and the haunting vocal sample is a wonderful track, with a heavy and/but swinging bassline. Goldie's remix of Roni Size's "The Calling" is the kind of music you shouldn't play when feeling uncomfortable, it is like the perfect soundtrack for horror-movies you'd hate to watch. "War & Peace" is guaranteed to fill your dancefloor, and reminds you of Mad Professor's jungle experiments.
"Unexplored Terrain" is an exciting track that pulls you into it in the tradition of the great dub legends like King Tubby, the music is different but the vibes are the same. "The Reckoning" and "Li-Li" are both solid-tracks, but "Guess" is another standout, proving that Roni Size, DJ Krust and DJ Die formed Reprazent really because of their shared views of drum'n'bass.
"Change" is another soulful track with a female singer sampled, slow paced, but swinging. "Play It For Me" is a masterful track built around a vibraphone sample, giving the track a very jazzy and moody feel, superb track. In "Only A Dream" the acoustic sounding bass is steady rolling in a real swinging and stunning Roni Size track, he does IT again. "Never Go Back", "On Time" and "Blaze Dis One" are very strong tracks but "Soul Control" with Dillinjah in fine form, and the soulful, penetrating and almost heavenly "Phizical" close this second disc in fabulous fashion.
The mixed CD isn't just a filler, it really showcases the strength of a jungle mix, and especially of the heavy selection provided on the two 'normal' CDs. If you want to explore the depths and heights of today's jungle, here's your guide.