Jungle Rhythms

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euphoria + techstep = cyberdelic?

unfortunately she kind of only had a talent for the breakdowns

the late great, Saturday, 7 April 2012 22:40 (2 years ago) Permalink

she does do a good trick at the end of some bars though where the drums mimic little tiny scratches and rewinds

the late great, Saturday, 7 April 2012 22:45 (2 years ago) Permalink

Belated uuuuhhhh at What is Love. Restraint, nonrestraint.

Jedmond, Saturday, 7 April 2012 22:45 (2 years ago) Permalink

one more

the late great, Saturday, 7 April 2012 22:59 (2 years ago) Permalink

^^ very psychedelic about 3 mins in

the late great, Saturday, 7 April 2012 23:01 (2 years ago) Permalink

i tried the radical sounds one and the beats actively bother me, in a bad way. there's no...pulse to it, it's just all over the place and i can't make sense of it in my head. i like the bass though and would probably like a house remix without those beats. sorry :/

this thread has only made me realise that when i've enjoyed bits of jungle in the past it's because i was basically ignoring the beats, when i actually focus on them i can't enjoy any of it.

lex pretend, Monday, 9 April 2012 17:52 (2 years ago) Permalink

haha it's okay lex i'm resigned to this now. Thanks for trying again!

Tim F, Monday, 9 April 2012 21:17 (2 years ago) Permalink

He's just being willful.

MikoMcha, Monday, 9 April 2012 21:27 (2 years ago) Permalink

Been playing this one an awful lot recently:

Sort of like Music Box's slightly more melancholy cousin.
(Not aiming at conversion here, just felt like posting it).

Mr Andy M, Monday, 9 April 2012 22:09 (2 years ago) Permalink

this thread has only made me realise that when i've enjoyed bits of jungle in the past it's because i was basically ignoring the beats, when i actually focus on them i can't enjoy any of it.

it also explains pretty neatly where our opinions on funky tunes differ radically - it's not just a "rhythm nerd vs sonics nerd" thing, it's that the bits I find the most exciting you are actively tuned off by. "House Girls 6" being an apt example.

Tim F, Monday, 9 April 2012 22:43 (2 years ago) Permalink

In some ways funky expresses a direct line of descent from jungle that bypasses uk garage, in that at its most rhythmically perverse it explores a kind of constructive messiness (but not too messy - that's always the tension) that was very rarely part of garage's make-up (though there are exceptions).

Tim F, Monday, 9 April 2012 22:45 (2 years ago) Permalink

the ne plus ultra of funky for me was always the initial wave of do you mind/in the air/falling again. the vocals and melodies and textures. i don't actually think i ever loved a funky house tune for its rhythm. dump a more straightforward beat behind them and i'd pretty much get the exact same things out of the music.

lex pretend, Monday, 9 April 2012 23:04 (2 years ago) Permalink

which is why i find even the best funky instrumentals just...okay, rather than best thing ever. i would rather hear ill blu remixes of the entire top 40 before an ill blu vocal-free ep again.

lex pretend, Monday, 9 April 2012 23:06 (2 years ago) Permalink

He's just being willful.

i don't even know what this means. i'm pretending not to like jungle?

lex pretend, Monday, 9 April 2012 23:12 (2 years ago) Permalink

hmm it sounds a little bit like bragging that you only read books for the verbs

the late great, Monday, 9 April 2012 23:19 (2 years ago) Permalink

"i only care about plot and characters - you could write "to the lighthouse" in 19th century vernacular and i'd be happy"

the late great, Monday, 9 April 2012 23:19 (2 years ago) Permalink

the ne plus ultra of funky for me was always the initial wave of do you mind/in the air/falling again. the vocals and melodies and textures. i don't actually think i ever loved a funky house tune for its rhythm. dump a more straightforward beat behind them and i'd pretty much get the exact same things out of the music.

― lex pretend, Monday, 9 April 2012 11:04 PM (13 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Yeah, see, I love all three of those tunes but "In The Air" and "Falling Again" are (already) rhythmically so straightforward that they could never sum up what I love about funky - or not what I love about funky specifically at any rate.

It's a similar issue with a lot of rhythmically straightforward jungle tunes - as much as I adore Alex Reece's "Pulp Fiction", Lamb's "Gorecki (Global Communications Remix)", Doc Scott's "Shadowboxing", Boymerang's "Still", Dom & Roland's "Can't Punish Me" and Lexis' "Destination Unknown", they're too linear to be the tunes that spring to mind when I think of what I love about jungle.

Though that Gorecki remix is probably a tune that you would get with Lex.

Tim F, Monday, 9 April 2012 23:26 (2 years ago) Permalink

i remember not really liking the "gorecki" original back in the day!

"i only care about plot and characters - you could write "to the lighthouse" in 19th century vernacular and i'd be happy"

there was a minor discussion on one of the music compression threads about what people get out of films, actually - for me plot and character are absolutely paramount. obv i care about cinematography but it's rarely the thing i go to get excited about. people who get excited about set design baffle me.

not gonna lie, while i've loved a lot of funky since that initial wave, the failure of the genre to recapture what i loved about it has def been a source of annoyance.

lex pretend, Tuesday, 10 April 2012 06:18 (2 years ago) Permalink

i'm not sure how i can so easily appreciate, say, "stupid hoe" as a beat qua beat though when rhythmic complexity in jungle and funky is a distraction at best.

lex pretend, Tuesday, 10 April 2012 06:19 (2 years ago) Permalink

i don't even know what this means. i'm pretending not to like jungle?

Just find it hard to believe at a certain point that you could listen to so much UK dance music (hardcore continuum, etc.), and not be into jungle. I guess it's entirely possible, but that whole lineage seems to be entirely about rhythm...

MikoMcha, Tuesday, 10 April 2012 07:49 (2 years ago) Permalink

But it's about which bits of UK dance music I've loved and the different types of rhythm. 2-step and grime both tend to use much steadier, pulsier beats - and the singers/songs and MCs are front and centre. As discussed elsewhere the UK dance I like most atm is textural rather than rhythmic in appeal. UK dance music post-jungle pretty effectively removes the biggest obstacle about jungle for me, ie the focus on undanceable rhythms that just code as "wacky" and purposeless to me

lex pretend, Tuesday, 10 April 2012 08:21 (2 years ago) Permalink

i'm just saying that i don't think rhythm and melody and harmony and lyrics etc etc are as separable as this conversation is making them out to be, not any point about what you pay attention to or whether you should like jungle or not

the late great, Tuesday, 10 April 2012 08:31 (2 years ago) Permalink

guess i should come clean and say i sympathise with lex for the most part - obv not to the rhetorical lengths he's gone to but nevertheless the mystical boners jungle rhythms seem to provide many have always eluded me somewhat

in particular i recall studying the metalheadz oeuvre at length round the time of whenever yall polled it and feeling very "if u say so"

idk, not to dip a toe too far into the shallow waters of self-mythology but my first feeling is i am maybe one more for "juxtaposition" personally, whatever it is i mean by that

r|t|c, Tuesday, 10 April 2012 12:20 (2 years ago) Permalink

lex will you concur with me that this magnificent tune is a triumph greater than any other posted heretofore?

r|t|c, Tuesday, 10 April 2012 12:23 (2 years ago) Permalink

HAHA i actually heard that nookie mix of 'the dreamer' vahid posted this very weekend flicking thru the car radio dial!! but er i spent the entirety of the rhythm bit racking my brains where i knew the sample from

r|t|c, Tuesday, 10 April 2012 12:28 (2 years ago) Permalink

geir to thread

I'm going to allow this! (LocalGarda), Tuesday, 10 April 2012 12:44 (2 years ago) Permalink

Granted I've really just dipped my toes into it here and there, but one thing I've always found somewhat unsatisfying about jungle is how bifurcated it can feel, like, here's the busy drum part here and there are the elements floating on top of it. They relate to each other but don't really coalesce and interact, as if the drums just take up so much space in the track that the rest can't do much other than drift or poke at them a little here and there. It's as if rhythmic complexity has been reduced to drum complexity, which is a pretty simplistic reading of rhythm if you ask me, and I also don't really understand the idea of someone not being into jungle automatically being labeled "not a rhythm guy"--I love the way house and techno can involve all sorts of rhythms rubbing up against each other, rhythms that aren't just in the drums but are grounded by them. (My favorite jungle tracks, ironically, have been ones that do away with non-drum elements nearly entirely.)

Clarke B., Tuesday, 10 April 2012 12:47 (2 years ago) Permalink

Not really in keeping with the original spirit of the thread but here is the Global Communication Remix of "Gorecki" - only the finest in hypnotic linear d&b. Nb. not for juxtaposition folks:

not gonna lie, while i've loved a lot of funky since that initial wave, the failure of the genre to recapture what i loved about it has def been a source of annoyance.

I guess where I struggle with this a bit is that it's asking for funky to have basically stayed subservient to us vocal house mores forever. Which wouldn't have been a bad thing per se but there is a lot of us vocal house and it's not going anywhere. I'm not sure that the same thing but with British divas is enough really by itself to sustain an exciting long term genre.

I always loved that stuff within the context of all the rougher instrumental material (which was always there since the end of 2007 at the latest), but without that sense of dynamic I don't think I could ever have fallen so completely head over heels in love with the style to the point where it became a raison d'etre.

The only analogue I can think of offhand is if speed garage had basically settled into being Tuff Jam permanently.

Tim F, Tuesday, 10 April 2012 12:47 (2 years ago) Permalink

They relate to each other but don't really coalesce and interact, as if the drums just take up so much space in the track that the rest can't do much other than drift or poke at them a little here and there. It's as if rhythmic complexity has been reduced to drum complexity, which is a pretty simplistic reading of rhythm if you ask me

By the way Clarke FYI this is very very very very very wrong.

Tim F, Tuesday, 10 April 2012 12:48 (2 years ago) Permalink

i am maybe one more for "juxtaposition" personally, whatever it is i mean by that

this is an amazing sentence

(i will give that a listen later, i can listen to stuff in this office but i'm not quite sure which thing the headphones go in) (i haven't listened to everything on this thread though, i got dispirited quite early on, also bored)

liberté, égalité, beyoncé (lex pretend), Tuesday, 10 April 2012 12:49 (2 years ago) Permalink

xpost:

The best jungle really operates according to an entirely different logic to that I think (responding to yr post lex): this sounds naff or cliched but the beats become the storyteller, and the melodic and textural motifs become the supporting framework like the beat would be in a pop tune; it's like an inversion of the normal structure of popular rhythmic music.

― Tim F, Wednesday, October 26, 2011 10:55 AM (5 months ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Tim F, Tuesday, 10 April 2012 12:50 (2 years ago) Permalink

the beats become the storyteller, and the melodic and textural motifs become the supporting framework

sorry Tim but I now can't help hearing this as Nate Dogg singing "the rhythm is the bass and the bass is the treble"

coal, Tuesday, 10 April 2012 12:55 (2 years ago) Permalink

except the rhythm being the bass and the bass being the treble is a far more attractive proposition both conceptually and as it actually sounded

liberté, égalité, beyoncé (lex pretend), Tuesday, 10 April 2012 12:56 (2 years ago) Permalink

Tim, I did love that Radical Sound track you posted and said was the best jungle tune ever. I love the way you can focus / move to seemingly any beat division: half-note, quarter-note, eighth, sixteenth--there's an internal logic to the beats as they progress that is beyond my current pre-caffeinated ability to articulate.

x-post: Regarding your quote above about melodic and textural motifs becoming the supporting framework, I see that. I don't care much about melody in my dance music, but texture is a huge thing for me--individual sounds--and I feel like much of the jungle I've heard is a little feeble in the sonics department.

Clarke B., Tuesday, 10 April 2012 12:56 (2 years ago) Permalink

i guess what i struggle with is, if the beats become the storyteller, why do jungle beats sound so thin and dissatisfying? i can think of many amazing drum sounds that i love but none of them are in jungle.

liberté, égalité, beyoncé (lex pretend), Tuesday, 10 April 2012 12:57 (2 years ago) Permalink

i guess what i struggle with is, if the beats become the storyteller, why do jungle beats sound so thin and dissatisfying? i can think of many amazing drum sounds that i love but none of them are in jungle.

Tim's talking about the rhythms themselves and not the drum sounds, I think. But I know what you mean, and I'm kind of the same way; if I don't dig the particular sound of the drums, I can't get into the track no matter how rhythmically dazzling or engaging it might be.

Clarke B., Tuesday, 10 April 2012 12:59 (2 years ago) Permalink

yeah, i dislike both though - the rhythms are just too messy for me and the drum sounds are not very thrilling. i don't find the rhythms dazzling at all, they just seem entirely and randomly pointless. they don't go anywhere or resolve, i can't use them for anything...

liberté, égalité, beyoncé (lex pretend), Tuesday, 10 April 2012 13:01 (2 years ago) Permalink

i think this whole thing is just about exposure, jungle beats are pretty radical, personally despite repeated efforts i can't get into them either, but i've never danced to jungle which definitely doesn't help. to me it seems like something that wasn't really present for me at any point.

for that reason i think it's a lot harder to just get into after the fact than say old house/techno which people just come to cos it's played alongside all the current stuff.

usually i think with a bit of effort you can get over this kind of thing but i've tried so many times, including on this thread.

(but i did genuinely enjoy some of the tunes in this btw: )

I'm going to allow this! (LocalGarda), Tuesday, 10 April 2012 13:05 (2 years ago) Permalink

The best jungle really operates according to an entirely different logic to that I think (responding to yr post lex): this sounds naff or cliched but the beats become the storyteller, and the melodic and textural motifs become the supporting framework like the beat would be in a pop tune; it's like an inversion of the normal structure of popular rhythmic music.

― Tim F, Wednesday, October 26, 2011 10:55 AM (5 months ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Tim, the more I think about this, the more I wonder: how is this any different from, say, a really rugged Sandwell District track that's basically just one note (if that), thick, dark bass, and ping-ponging "drum"/rhythmic elements echoing off into infinity? Heck, maybe it's not that different (it sounds like a description of a Dillinja track), and I just like the way techno moves better than jungle.

Clarke B., Tuesday, 10 April 2012 13:05 (2 years ago) Permalink

not joking there btw... some actually good tunes in it even if the video is a joke.

I'm going to allow this! (LocalGarda), Tuesday, 10 April 2012 13:06 (2 years ago) Permalink

This is going to be like shouting at clouds but on a tune like Dillinja's "The Angels Fell" (to use a fairly obvious example) the different drum hits seem (to me) to be so exquisitely textured, for me there's really no division between rhythm and texture in this regard. And the bass as well, those huge, warm tidal flushes washing the lower half of your body out to sea.

Ironically, post-1997, d&b jettisoned rhythmic complexity and and chose to become the pre-eminent soundlab for bass and mid-range texturology in dance music for eternity, only in mostly a bad (or at least deflating) way, at least until brostep came along to do the same thing but slower. If you want a counter-argument for texture > rhythm it's right there.

Tim F, Tuesday, 10 April 2012 13:14 (2 years ago) Permalink

Clarke I take your points to an extent - the drums are def the most foregrounded element in the majority of jungle tunes and the part that you'll notice the complexity/syncopation of most readily.
But I think in a lot of great jungle tunes the bassline plays a huge part in the groove as well, both in itself (jungle producers really grasped how to use sub-bass as a rhythmic element as well as a sonic one) and in how it interacts with the the drums. Think a couple of people near top of thread mentioned that half-time/double-time tension between as playing a big part in how they dance to jungle, and that's certainly something I've heard a lot.
This tune would be a classic example of what I'm talking about - thinking esp of the bassline that comes in around 1.35 (NB if you're on a laptop you may need headphones to get the full effect). Once it comes in I just can never stay still, like if I'm sitting down I start doing daft stuff like swaying my shoulders.

As far as textural and melodic elements go, obviously in a lot of jungle these are taken primarily from samples, and so may be a little sonically unsatisfying in that they don't fill up all that much of the sound-spectrum. Like I can sympathise with people saying jungle records sound thin at times. But at the same time the sample textures are a huge part of what determines the 'atmosphere' of a jungle tune for me. I know that's very vague, but I think the atmospheric specialness has in part to do with the producers taking samples from so many sources, including odd, seemingly non-musical ones at time.

Take this tune for example:

For most of the tunes other than the bass+drums there's only that spoken-word soundclash (?) extract plus the sliver of droning sample-noise, but the atmosphere of this tune feels very unique and engaging to me, it's like the first sunlight on the dawn of a long, epic day. Or something.

Mr Andy M, Tuesday, 10 April 2012 13:20 (2 years ago) Permalink

Tim, the more I think about this, the more I wonder: how is this any different from, say, a really rugged Sandwell District track that's basically just one note (if that), thick, dark bass, and ping-ponging "drum"/rhythmic elements echoing off into infinity? Heck, maybe it's not that different (it sounds like a description of a Dillinja track), and I just like the way techno moves better than jungle.

― Clarke B., Tuesday, April 10, 2012 1:05 PM (8 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Precisely because early jungle was not about minimalism in that way. Sandwell District's music is not really something you could describe as having a narrative except in the loosest sense, and then the rhythm, melody and texture are pretty much all on an even footing in that regard (that is to say, they're all operating according to a restrictive logic of changing-same). You can say you prefer that but to me it's like saying "I prefer the color red".

Tim F, Tuesday, 10 April 2012 13:22 (2 years ago) Permalink

Another classic rollin bass-groove tune (2.00 onwards for when it really kicks into gear):

& another classic 'just a little bit of sample-texture creating an atmosphere' tune:

Bored and have time on my hands today in case you couldn't tell...

Mr Andy M, Tuesday, 10 April 2012 13:36 (2 years ago) Permalink

They relate to each other but don't really coalesce and interact, as if the drums just take up so much space in the track that the rest can't do much other than drift or poke at them a little here and there. It's as if rhythmic complexity has been reduced to drum complexity, which is a pretty simplistic reading of rhythm if you ask me

To harp on slightly, this feels to me like the opposite of what good d&b does - though sure, some of it does do precisely this (I guess a fair amount of sub-par Looking Good fell into this category).

Of course the space between good and bad is just the space between good and bad, as usual. On an otherwise very Looking Good-ish tune like Adam F's "Circles"

... it's like every element is there to play with or bounce off the drums and the bass, from the dreamy opening arpeggio to the guy saying "check check check check check check check" to the sampled diva vocals to the spiraling synth melodies but most of all the interplay between the drum and the bass itself. And then the beat switches up so masterfully with all these ripples and zephyrs and that arpeggio seems to ripple in simpatico, like everything's being stretched through a wormhole at warp speed.

Roni Size was a master of this kind of thing as well - I love "Trust Me" and "Ballet Dance" for this.

Tim F, Tuesday, 10 April 2012 13:47 (2 years ago) Permalink

x-post, Tim (I'll delve into your comments separately)

Andy, I really like the roughness and stiched-together quality of the Danny Breaks and DJ Nut Nut tracks above. Maybe I like jungle better when it's less overtly cinematic/atmospheric. When it enters those areas, it sorta sets me up to want/expect an immersive experience (like the minimalism-informed stuff offers) but then the drums feel like they're "in the way" and prevent me from being totally washed over by the track. Whereas the rougher stuff makes me listen to it for rhythmic giddiness and exuberance. It's always good to have a lesson in expecting the wrong things from a genre...

Clarke B., Tuesday, 10 April 2012 13:52 (2 years ago) Permalink

Tim, I had mixed feelings listening through that track. I do see exactly what you're saying about all the elements working to enhance and underline the drums and bass; the track really feels thoroughly composed, with lots of "narrative" development and complexity beyond just the drums. The non-drum elements are so intricate and foregrounded that the drums feel backgrounded even as they carry the track. On the other hand, the moist Angelo Badalamenti synth chord that overhangs the track for its entirety feels to me like a too-obvious signifier of atmosphere, and I found the emotional pitch of the song a bit much--lacking a little, I dunno, austerity.

Clarke B., Tuesday, 10 April 2012 14:13 (2 years ago) Permalink

It's very mid-90s, to be sure.

Which is something to keep in mind about a lot of this stuff.

Tim F, Tuesday, 10 April 2012 14:20 (2 years ago) Permalink

My point though was that that is a common structure for d&b.

Your line about everything other than the drums doing nothing just seems like a description of unsuccessful d&b. It would be like me saying "oh but so much dub-techno is just a kickdrum with some unintegrated echo effects and a two note bassline."

Although it might help if you identified an example of a problem track.

Tim F, Tuesday, 10 April 2012 14:23 (2 years ago) Permalink

Andy, I really like the roughness and stiched-together quality of the Danny Breaks and DJ Nut Nut tracks above. Maybe I like jungle better when it's less overtly cinematic/atmospheric.

Yeah again this is something I can agree with up to a point. The only thing I'd say counter to it is that for me, there was a brief-ish period - basically through 1993 and then more sporadically in 94 - when jungle really hit the sweet-spot between sounding rough and stitched-together on the one hand and sounding cinematic/atmospheric on the other.
This is something I was banging on about on dissensus a while back but could never fully get my thoughts in order as to how and why this style really worked for me. I guess in part it's a simplicity thing - only using a few layers of texture in each tune, only changing the samples up a couple of times in a tune, etc. And also I think it's about the variety of different types of atmosphere and their combination in the one tune - particularly the at times slightly uneasy mixture of dark, sinister atmsopheres with more beatific/soothing/uplifting ones.
Some fave examples include Night Moves remix upthread and also -
Smith Inc - Palomino:

DJ Crystl - Warpdrive:

The Rood Project - Thunder:

& I don't want to kill people's browsers with too much yt in one post but you could also search The Invisble Man - The Bell Tune & DJ Mayhem - Inesse (though with that one I actually do find the drums too wacky/distracting in places).

Mr Andy M, Tuesday, 10 April 2012 14:29 (2 years ago) Permalink


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