Jungle Massive

Posted on August 1st, by Various in 20, Jungle, Record Reviews, Reviews. No Comments

Absolute Zero and Subphonics

The Code
Renegade Hardware

An absolutely fierce release which illustrates just how much momentum Renegade Hardware has at the moment.  An intro consisting of obscure hollow echoes and simple two step drums can’t come close to preparing the listener for what perils await as the track progresses.  A dominating 303-influenced B-line with huge analog appeal ebbs to life and maintains a relentless pressure roll throughout the tune.  Punchy drums, gritty snares and irritating high-end tweaks add to the tracks dark swing.  No vocal samples needed here folks; all elements of the tune agree and make for one outstanding piece of audio craftsmanship.  Jockeys, If you choose to drop this one, make sure to check the dance floor for casualties before you leave the venue.  (Andre)


Renegade Hardware

Those of you who caned the “Tough At The Top” and “Miles From Home” will like this thick double-hitter of loungecore drum and bass. Both tunes have all the perks of a jazz act: sax notes, live bass, and clattering beats that stray away from the standard two-step.  If you like your drums and bass to be retro and funky, look no further.  (Vivian)

Stakka & K Tee

Motive/Solar Reaction
Trouble on Vinyl

Underfire, Audio Blueprint, and they don’t stop.  Filtering the breaks up and down for one hell of a Atari 2600 roller.  Steppy drums on the two step with a catchy bassline that reminds you oh so much of the old video games from your childhood.  The crew casts some dark shadows as the ambience of the tracks lingers to and fro backed by some excellent drum effects.  Nice one.  (John)

Various Artists

Drumfunk Hooliganz
Moving Shadow

Afro-Funk at its best.  Moving Shadow out of nowhere delivers the sound of the moment in drum n’ bass.  Compiled by Alex Banks and Jay Hurren of the EZ Rollers, this compilation features some devastating funkier jazzy tunes from Tekniq, EZ Rollers, Mercer, Diablo, JMJ Richie, Inter Orbit Communications, Successful Criminals, Kudos, and PFM.  If you are into the EZ Rollers style I strongly recommend this.  (John)

EZ Rollers

Weekend World
Moving Shadow

What can I say, “Tough at the Top” was the tune of the summer.  An unforgettable blend of jazzy keys and wicked catchy bass lines on this 8 song long player.  Top picks, “Tough at the Top” and “Weekend World.”  This is a turning point in drum n’ bass.  (John)

EZ Rollers

Tough at the Top Remixes
Moving Shadow

Moving Shadow is definitely a label still setting the pace.  Origin Unknown (Andy C.) and Timecode handle the remixes of one of the top Afro-Funk tunes around at the moment.  Origin Unknown keep the same elements of the original and add their trademark upbeat percussion and deep bass sound.  One for the floor as the Bass just rips after the second drop.  Does Andy C ever miss on a remix?  Never, so grab this one.  Timecode’s mix sounds nothing like the original and is quite boring.  (Chris)

Omni Trio

Who R U (EZ Rollers Remix)
Moving Shadow

Rob Haigh was way ahead of his time when this tune was originally released.  EZ Rollers jazz it up a bit with their classic drums.  They take it a bit slow this time, however!  A long intro that finally drops to the original bassline with a little pizazz!  The b-side is an equally impressive darker number.  (John)


Contemporary Accousticz Jam – Origin Unknown/Shimon Remix
Moving Shadow

Seems like Flytronix got some of Ed Rush’s cereal this morning.  Ambient starts on the original rolls right into a sax ambiance.  The staggering two-step breaks (formally last heard in Dom and Rob’s track on Shadow 100) with a nice little jazz upright bassline that has become oh so popular these past 3 months.  Flytronix doesn’t disappoint with this release.  Origin Unknown takes up the offer to add to the damage they did last time they got a hold of a remix.  Up the tempo and add some restructure that allows the tune to build to new heights.  Shimon takes us dark with a bassline that must not be taken lightly.  Turbulence is all over this one.  The remixes are the definite lick.  (John)


Moving Shadow

Two stormers here.  “Techtonic” starts out with some nice tricky, but mixable, bleeps and clicks.  The beatless intro does throw you off, but damn, when the bass drops you get hoovers and rotating drums ‘til your head falls off.  If you were partial to John B’s “USA” track, check this.  Side two is just as damaging, but a bit more tame in respects to formula.  A must-have for any DJ that leans towards the darkside.  (John)

Technical Itch

Hidden Sound (Dom Remix)
Audio Couture

Rough, tough, and dangerous.  Dom (and his trusty Roland) sonically assault us with this killer remix of “Hidden Sound.”  The drums kick in hard on the 32.  You gotta watch this tune, it’s a system blower because the initial breaks are volumed down.  The hard two-steps pound in.  The hidden sounds surround you as the stage is set.  This one is for the robots.  On the flip the high-pitched shrieks and studdering drums alongside a pounding filtered bassline bring a feeling of schizophrenia throughout my spine.  “Protection” leaves you wondering when the android assault is going to be coming.  The basslines on both of these tracks are slow, driving, and absolutely devastating.  (John)

The Successful Criminals

Crazy Lover/64 Drums
Audio Couture

Classic Moving Shadow sounds seep through both of these tracks.  I am not trying to pigeon-hole the MS crew, but I still can’t forget the MS I knew before the dark stuff.  Nice to get a fresh breath of air these days and that’s exactly what these two tunes are.  “64 Drums” is a mid-freq EQ’ers dream come true.  The bassline is a roller that will turn on crowds from across the genre board.  The flip is a soulful “summer tune.”  Slap bass and soulful samples make this one perfect for the afrofunkster in everyone.  (John)

Secret Methods Vol. 2


“Mortex” starts out with synthed-out people talking about aliens and such.  Drop into the scattering beats, and then the bass.  You think you are in trouble now, but the filtered amens just take you down for the count.  Aggressive is the word that comes to mind.  Are you ready for round 2?  “Animation” starts out with some eerie atmospherics and works its way into some relentless beat work.  I opt for “Mortex.”  Mark Caro, you’re my hero.  (John)

Decoder & Marc Caro


Decoder and Mark Caro join forces in a big way.   “Redbox” from the beginning has synth washes and bass that I have witnessed just kill dancefloors.  From the bass they drop those ever-so-nice shuffling drums get you steppin.’  With the sub-osc bass hovering from above, defeat is unavoidable.  “Eko” on the flip is a bit more of an uplifting tune compared to “Redbox”.  Bassline is driven like a semi truck into your chest on this one.  Repetitive at times, but for the most part I am completely down with “Redbox”.  (John)

Ed Rush & Optical

The Medicine/Punchbag

The darkest kids on the block are together once again.  This time it isn’t casual.  Virus takes off where No U-Turn has seemed to have left off.  A must have for any collector of this sort of genre.  Two absolute storming tracks step away with the anger of Ed Rush and the technical precision of Optical.  Both tunes stress the treb on your ears while doing your insides in with sub-harmonic bass,  Don’t let the mid-drop fool you… there is a reason why every dj in the world is caning these licks.  (John)

Ed Rush & Optical


Welcome to Neo-Tokyo.  The temperature outside the air shield lock is -56 post-nuclear degrees.  A disturbing follow-up has arrived.  The quick ride-laden Optical programming and a grinding bassline of “Zardoz” is sure to do devastation on any dancefloor.  As for the one thing that stands out on both is these tracks is how the bassline dances and wraps itself in and around the drum programming.  Optical you go boy.  Virus is the future.  (John)

John B

New Identity

John B has to be one of the most watched artists at the moment and will become one of the most respected by you when you hear this piece of work.  The man has fused the sounds of electro with the sounds of D n’ B creating some of the most popular tunes of this year. “Sight Beyond”, “Starburst”, and “Travelogue” have all made their mark on the scene through out the world.  Strong production skills make breakthrough tunes.  A must for all, and its available domestic through SM:)E.  (John)

Various Artists

Jazz & Bass Session II
New Identity

Number two please.  The second stage in the “Jazz & Bass” saga is finally here, and this one kicks the first right of the boat!  Setting the mood in any house you have to be a fool to not have this on when you are trying to get with your special someone.  Why?  Because this CD is nothing but pure class.  Tracks by: SS, Grooverider, Matrix, John B, Shy FX, Perfect Combination, and Mental Power.  (John)

Grasscutter & Extra Breaks

Ridiculous Bass/ Overload
Japan: Formation Countries

Who says you can’t judge a tune by its title?  I beg to differ.  “Ridiculous Bass” wastes no time, stepping off with sharp metallic drums and fluxing spastic basslines.  This track twists and turns in all directions  making for one very intense excursion into low end madness.  Irritating chirps, squelches and mechanical sirens do little to draw one’s attention away from the basslines perpetual havoc.  The similarities between the flipside “Overload” and “Ridiculous Bass” are astonishing, almost to the point of mistaking them for remixes.  “Overload“ has a slightly more irritating feel to it than its counterpart with more angry low-end mayhem and eerie atmospheric to keep you interested.  If this isn’t music for short attention spans, I don’t know what is.  Overall, if Hardstep redefined is your cup of tea, this one’s for you.  (Andre)


Symphonic/Lost in NY
New Identity

I was just wondering where the one like SS went as he returns with two good tracks.  “Symphonic” has a very John B feel to it (think Sight Beyond) with lots of mashed-up amens keeping it lively.  SS always comes up with something interesting for his tunes and this one is no exception with a bombing sound that just keeps building and building.  Look out for that second drop!  “Lost in NY” didn’t do it for me on the first listen but after listening to it more and more I discovered levels not apparent at first.  Sounding much like an old dark hardcore tune done 98 style.  Very wicked stuff.  (Chris)


Hi Band/Crystal Wind
Hard Beats

Hard Beats back again with some devastating rollers that reek of John B.  Well, if that wasn’t a hint, I don’t know what is.  “Starburst” induced “Hi Band” takes off with an elegant intro that drops into a bassline that slices, dices, and makes you beg for more.  As I said, if you were into “Starburst” you will like this tune from John B.  “Crystal Wind” is a beat technician’s dream come true.  A real workout with the filtered break change-ups.  Not so much emphasis on the “cool“ sounding basslines that we have grown to love from John, but equally impressive on the drum programming tip.  He can’t, he won’t, and he doesn’t stop.  (John)

Sixty Six%

Realism/ Radiate

Pascal & Zinc are two producers who definitely know how to put a vibe on a tune, and Zinc knows how to make amens still sound dope.  End result:  “Realism.”  Spacey Strings and a female vocal- “Is it real, Is it real” take this track to the next level as the beats just mash-up all over the place.  Tight production as one would expect from Zinc.  “Radiate” sounds very much like a lost Juice track that’s nice to come down to.  (Chris)


Holocaust/Importance of Drumz
True Playaz

D’Cruze back again, and this time its dark and hard.  Classics from this man include last year’s “Bitch.”  “Holocaust” is my pick – absolute filter madness on this one.  Absolutely sheer terror on the drums with a dirty bassline you can’t touch. (John)

Test 1

So Damn Tuff/Vicious

Dillinja is back with “So Damn Tuff” — which is a harsh and dark dancefloor stormer that basically uses the sample that every single one of us has heard from our DJ Rectangle records.  Great tune, annoying sample.  (John)

Test 2

Hard Noize/Fluid

Dillinja, Dillinja, Dillinja! This man is just on another level, he never ceases to amaze.  “Hard Noize” starts off with one of his nice spacey intros (for some reason it makes me think of the Wizard of Oz?!), then throws you off a cliff with a drop that comes from nowhere.  Using a two-step beat that stays interesting because of the amen stabs and a bassline that’s beyond ruff, this track is set to do major damage.  The flip is reminiscent of Heavenly Bass from a few years back but this one definitely has the 98 feel. Gated drums and heavy distorted bassline make this another top notch release from Bryan Gee’s new off shoot label Test.  (Chris)

System Critical

Infinite Movement
The Method – Emotif

I can only imagine what destruction this one’s going to be responsible for in the near future.  Haunting keys and mutated amen stabs charge towards an apocalyptic amen rinse that one must simply hear to believe.  Interesting muffled effects on the time-stretched vocals and the screaming drum rolls are ferocious.  It’s 303 hell as the track really gets moving after the second breakdown, so be advised.  The infrequent “Can you explain” vocal samples are a welcome break to the tune’s progressive insanity.  This track just howls and howls from beginning to end with little time to catch your breath, so try not to get lost in the sound cuz it’s absolutely relentless.  Oh, and one more thing; make sure to eat healthy, drink enough fluids and get plenty of rest before listening to this one folks because you’ll need the stamina.  (Andre)

Flex Camp

Style Wars
The Method – Emotif

Catchy guitar riffs and subtle jazzy organ edits are a welcome addition to this fairly standard roller.  I wish I knew which member of the Flex Camp (a.k.a. L-Double and Acetate) is responsible for the obnoxious saxophone sample in the tune’s intro; that I can do without.  Never-the-less, the track redeems itself promptly with an effective breakdown.  The roll program follows next complete with mild electro basslines, muddy wobbles, and vocal screeches which drive the track nicely toward its second break.  A release that would sit much better with me without that corny sax mentioned above.  (Andre)

Carlito & Addiction

Future Elements/I Want You
Creative Source

Creative Source’s artists have always put out incredibly original material worthy of the highest regard.  Carlito & Addictions’ latest endeavor is no exception to this.  Both tunes are full of warm chords, relaxing strings, and funky percussives making for two very addictive tracks.  “I Want You” is heavier on the atmospheric and organ grooves while “Future Elements” boasts a funkier bassline, harder drums and some interesting bongos for added zing.  Production quality is excellent with no audible grit whatsoever, resulting in two of the most pristine tunes I have heard in quite a while.  I wouldn’t necessarily recommend these two for the dancefloor, however both are so masterfully produced that if you give these tunes a chance I guarantee that they’ll grow on you.  (Andre)

Big Bud

Good Looking

“Emotionography” builds around a chopped horizon beat, a characteristic dubbed-out bassline, and a few jazzy elements.  While the production is high in quality, nothing really stands out here for me.  Flip it over for the better track in my opinion, “Alzir.”  This is a bit more rolling with a jazzier feel as well as a wicked piano riff that comes in during the breakdown.  Highly recommended.  (Julian)


Planetary Funk Alert/Camouflage
Looking Good

All of this guy’s tracks are not only amazingly produced but each have their own distinct and unique sound to them.  “Planetary Funk Alert” is a deep summertime jazzy roller with minimal beats.  This is one of the most moving tunes of the year so far with a blissful rhodes breakdown that gave me goosebumps the first time I heard it.  Wicked wicked tune.  “Camouflage” is a brilliant atmospheric tune that features futuristic pads and progressing layers of beats throughout the entire track.  Definitely a must get for those who are into the deeper styles.  (Julian)

Future Engineers

Counter Balance/Images
Ascendant Grooves

Finally released after being on plate for almost a year, “Counter Balance” is a very mellow and spacey track with sparse beats.  It builds nicely with its catchy hook, synth washes, and acidic bleeps.  The flipside is on the harder tip with some nicely chopped up ramming amens and soothing vocalesque synths.  Watch out for this one as well as upcoming releases from this Scottish duo.  (Julian)


East Side

Always a label to release dark rollin tracks, these 2 pieces follow suit.  2-Step beats with some very sub sub sub basslines.  The bass in “Prohibited” is like a 15 second descend with each drop.  Sounds massive on big bass bins. The track then unfolds into an analog bass-bounce-driven stepper as is the style of late (Nasty Habits’ “4 Da Cause”, Warhead, any new Mampi Swift track, etc.).  My favorite is the flipside.  The breaks on “Circulation” are so punchy, the bass is a little distorted and the snare is on top of the mix the whole time.  The breakdown is a sci-fi “pings from space” kinda effect.  (Toby)


Clear the Air/Serious
East Side

I’ve seen this one on the distributor’s lists, so you can probably pick it up today if you search for it.  “Clear the Air” goes “A little somethin like this” on the vocal tip, more bouncy and hardstep than the EastSide 21.  The bass scale is busier than your typical pounder, and the breakdown leads back into a reprise of the intro.  “Serious” is the choice on here.  Very jazzy, with upright bass loops and apache congos filling in the gaps of the 2-step.  I prefer to drop this track after a dark rinse-out because the intro is hard enough to blend in, but when the full feel of the track emerges, you can lift the dancefloor up a bit.  (Toby)


Wass Up/De Compression
East Side

These tracks could be on Tech Itch; they have that same sci-fi techstep sounds that are on the Mark Caro/Decoder releases.  I really like the way “Wass Up” flips after the break, as the “Wass up now muthafucka” vocals drop in and out.  This takes up where the ‘hip/hop jungle’ debate leaves off.  Straight-up drum n’ bass with some heavy funk ala New Skool Flava of ’96.  “De Compression” has a very sci-fi edge.  The amens on this track are ripping.  (Toby)

Mission Control

Rest in Space/Turbine

Technical drum ‘n bass all the way.  “Rest” has hard breaks accented by acid stabs and a rumblin’ bassline.  The snare is processed to a metallic clang, and the whole piece is riddled with almost industrial noizes.  “Turbine” continues in the space effect vein but makes use of more filters on the breaks and reverberant bassline.  Drum loops are more prevalent on this tune, and give it a shuffling feel that pushes the 2-step along.  Again, I prefer the flip on this release.  (Toby)

The Vagrant

Gridlock/Space Boogie

The distorted 909 drums and long filter sweeps on “Gridlock” place this sound firmly in ’98.  With a tempo in the 170’s, the track steps the way techno at the turn of the century should.  Squelching b-lines, deep FX and resonant strings are the mark of this piece.  Space Boogie on the flipside is far more minimal, with a clicking drum track, rollin’ bass and analog acid stabs.  More futuristic drum n’ bass from the Fuze camp.  (Toby)


Hand of Fate/Zero Degrees

My personal favorite record of the moment.  Fresh comes straight from the Optical/Fierce camp with this one.  “Hand of Fate” incorporates everything going on with Drum & Bass/Jungle at the moment.  Starting off with bell sounds and a steppy beat, the track just gets funkier and funkier as the bassline (another morphing Optical type) takes over.  A nice transition track to use when going from harder stuff to the Afro-Funk sound.  “Zero Degrees” is similar, only harder with a driving bassline that will rip up any floor.  Buy or kick yourself later.  (Toby)

Jonny L.

Moving thru Air/Wish U had Something
XL Recordings

Two tracks definitely worth the duckets.  “Moving thru Air” has Optical written all over it.  If you like Optical then you’ll love this.  Futuristic tuff beats with that morphing bassline which has become his trademark.  Guaranteed to liven up any set.  “Wish U had Something” uses the same elements of the original, only more beefed up. The heavy distorted analog bassline along with Ram-sounding percussion and wailing vox shine through over a loud system.  Don’t miss this one.  (Toby)

Krush Grooves

Fauna Flash/Monophace
German White

Proof that Drum n’ Bass/Jungle can be made in a place other than England and not sound gimmicky.  I’m unsure of who made this one, but it sound a lot like a cross between Ed Rush and Dillinja.  “Fauna Flash” is the one on this record.  Eerie echoey noises and building strings (think “Strontium Jazz,” only harder) drop this one into a full-on roller. The flip is a very abstract tech-step tune with a bassline that just throbs.  (Toby)


Do it right
Bear Necessities

Two mixes of this massive tune, available by now from distributors.  This tune RULES!  The AA side is my pick, with a wicked intro that filters in and out of a mix so nicely.  After the intro, watch out for the 2-bar bass drop.  When the drums kick back in, REWIND every time.  (Toby)

Mampi Swift


Swift, another producer of the moment, takes his tuff two-step beats full tilt on this one.  “Hi-Tek” has an intro similar to Krust’s “Warhead” but with higher frequency sounds.  Loud analog bass, which Swift is known for, accompanied by extra high hats on the changes keep this one interesting but definitely not one to stay in for to long.  “Mission” is one of those ruff and smooth tracks that really doesn’t go anywhere but is a good builder.  (Chris)

Alabama 3

Ain’t Goin’ To Goa (Dillinja Mix)

Dilinja does a number on this remix.  A treble-overloaded tone bassline maxs this tune a bit different from the others.  Atmospheric synth pads as well as filtered voices do good for the change in sound.  A solid remix.  (John)

Danny Breaks & Dylan

The Spine/Molecules
Droppin’ Science

“The Spine” just plain hurts.  This one is a two-stepper that just lets the bass go.  Harsh metal guitar sounding bass pushes this one to the edge of darkness.  (John)

Various Artists


No U-Turn launches their sister label with much success.  Crunchy two-step with the techno sounds of Detroit of all variations are created by this top-of-the-crop list of artists:   Ryme Time, Calyx, Kyan, Dom & Roland, Research, Future Forces, Nico, Descending Angel, and Ill Machine.  (John)



You have heard it played by everyone from Snuggles to 3D to Ed Rush himself.  The long-awaited “Mutant Jazz” remix — wait, I mean the “Difference” remix — no, I take that back… the long-awaited remix of “Area 51.”  You get my point.  This original “Sonar” is a bit dated, but hell, it still smashes heads together (note:  it was actually laid down on DAT in ‘96).  Fuck this track, the real “Sonar Detection” that is on plate just makes this seem like child’s play.  Why must they tease us like this?  “Sphere” sounds a bit more ‘98 with its screaming synthline.  All I want for Christmas is my “Locusts Remix” and “Sonar Detection.”  (John)


Magnetic Sense/Screamin Paris

This producer from Manchester England debuts on America’s newest, and perhaps one of the most exciting, drum n’ bass labels to start up domestically.  A strong 2-tracker here that is full of the good dark stuff.  Manchester and Prohibition Records well-represented.  (John)

3D, Snuggles, Timestretch


“Electrobolt” is a bass-thumping track, but my pick is the bass-tweaking “Template.”  It starts out with a nice cymbal pattern on the mix, and that drops into to some hard breaks.  The bass is similar to “Metropolis” but keep storming ahead longer and harder then ever.  (John)

Urban Takeover

Bad Ass Remixes
Urban Takeover

This is one of those anthems that gets all the breakdancer bunnies out on the floor, kicking their legs and causing some serious damage.  Pretty much the same thing the second time around, except the whole black mafia theme is more obvious this time.  Some nice ghetto bird ‘copter noises, black power samples (Watts riots!) and Godfather-type strings; and of course the bouncy basslines and insistent one-two step.  Some of the best Urban Takeover yet, though it doesn’t veer far from the original.  (Vivian)

Various Artists

Partisan Volume 1

A 4-track tease from the soon-to-be-released album.  Expect classy, mellow rollers music, with some very dark edges.  A Matrix remix of Justice’s “Mauve Flow” is like the soundtrack to a nighttime drive — all sci-fi noises, ominous keyboards, and beautiful production.  Rob Haigh’s smooth, echoey spin on Foul Play’s “Synthetic Bitch” is a headphone monster, though possibly too deep for the dancefloor.  With a host of remixes, from Technical Itch to Deep Blue, the album promises to be a pace-setter.  (Vivian)

Dread Warrior

Wootang Double Bass Mix/So Good

Dread delivers a summer stormer for the jump up massive. “So Good” has a dueling pair of hoovering basslines, steppy rolling beats, and a sexy diva vocal that will have people working it hard on the dancefloor.  The Double Bass Mix is a loose revision of “Dr. Wootang” from a couple years back, and with it’s “Dopeman” sample and wish-I-was-hard hip-hop sample it sounds a lot like 1995 business.  (Vivian)


Drumbeat/Give It Rmx
24 Karat

Straight-forward drum tracks on this 12-inch, but with the bounce you’ve come to expect from 24 Karat.  “Give It Rmx” is a chunky set-filler full of crispy, plain beats.  As the name implies, “Drumbeat” is just speedy drum rolls with a little tech noise thrown in for effect.  (Vivian)


Steppin’/Who It Is
Rinse Out

A release with the DJ in mind.  Two breakdowns per track let you ride the mix, and neither track pulls any weird shit.  “Who It Is” entwines swift rollers beats with some rap samples and horns, and comes out alright. “Steppin’,” which has a needling electro bassline running through it, gets old quick.  (Vivian)

Kid Entropy

Super Natty/For the Love of It
Cosmic Breaks

Chicago’s own finds his way on wax.  Two classic jungle tunes here.  Basslines a bouncing for two pretty solid hardsteppers.  Jump up crew watch out!  (John)

Resign Ed

Half of Half/Arashi

This is some heavy experimental music.  Kultbox continues to push the harsher sounds of drum n’ bass and gabber on the domestic front.  If you are into the abstract check out this label as well as this release.  (John)