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The Formative Years 1992-1993

1994 is closer to the release of the Beatles’ Abbey Road album than the present day, so it’s fair to say that jungle has been around a long time now. Everyone has varying entry points and discovered it at different times in its history, and got drawn in by different aspects.

If you played something by Shut Up & Dance or an early Ibiza Records 12″ to someone who first experienced D&B through Pendulum or Chase & Status, they might not associate them as being of the same style or even recognise the lineage that connects one to the other.

Things really started to take shape around 1992-93, it was a transitional period when the term jungle techno started being used to describe the new style that was coming out of the hardcore rave scene. Tunes that were comprised of the same vibes and elements as jungle and D&B as we know it, with uptempo breakbeats and basslines being the overriding common factor.

“The hardcore days were amazing fun. I loved it and it’s still a massive part of my DNA but it started to sound a little bit Mickey Mouse to me. Goldie had changed everything with Terminator when he time-stretched the vocal, and we decided that was the future. There were Slipmatt and them guys on one side and we were veering towards a more urban sound and going in the jungle direction. We started to find that hardcore and jungle weren’t mixing that well and so then there was a divide. There was a more serious side of the music coming through and I went with that in the end” – Fabio (taken from Who Say Reload)

What I wanted to do in this post is take right back to the beginning and provide some additional context to the sound that shaped the jungle classics that are featured in Who Say Reload. Fortunately, I know just the man for the job: DJ Mystery is a good mate of mine that has been mixing since the late 80s and recently put together this tasty mix of proto-jungle tracks from 92-93, which by complete coincidence includes some of the records from the book. Enjoy!

Tracklist

  1. Brothers Grimm – Exodus
  2. DJ Rap – Divine Rhythms
  3. Nick OD – Jazzy Hardcore (Festa remix)
  4. Doc Scott – NHS (Second Chapter remix)
  5. Eat Life – Back To Basics
  6. Tic Tac Toe – Ephemerol (remix)
  7. Wax Doctor – New Direction
  8. Tango & Ratty – Final Conflict
  9. LTJ Bukem – Demon’s Theme
  10. 4 Hero – In The Shadow (Sunrise mix)
  11. Noise Factory – Future II
  12. Secret Squirrel & AJ Flex – Come Rudeboy
  13. Nookie – Shining In Da Darkness
  14. Wots My Code – Dubplate
  15. Tom & Jerry – Cat Got Your Tongue
  16. Cloud 9 – Mr Logic
  17. DJ Solo – Darkage
  18. Origin Unknown – Valley Of The Shadows
  19. Torchman – Tell Me
  20. Fast Floor – 1000 Phons
  21. Metalheads – Kemistry