RTRN II JUNGLE IS A CULTURAL MOVEMENT
Massive and crew, welcome to RTRN II JUNGLE a space that celebrates the music we all love and adore. From the early 90s up until today drum’n’bass jungle remains one of the most potent, innovative and energy-inducing genres in the world. Born in London, and now followed by millions of ravers all over the world, the music has inspired so many people, sparking lifelong friendships and bringing people of all backgrounds together under one roof.
The Reload Report will be home to an array of features aimed at highlighting the many positive aspects of the jungle scene; delving into its history, telling key stories and shining a light on some of heroes and pioneers of this music.
(Words by Marcus Barnes)
WHERE WERE YOU IN ‘93?
- ANDY C
“In 1993 I wasn’t old enough to get into clubs! But I did release a record called ‘Valley Of The Shadows’ with Ant (Miles). I was going up to London handing out flyers with Scott (Red One) and the record was blowing up. I was doing a little bit of work in Boogie Times in Romford on Saturdays, so records would be coming in and we’d sort those out. I’d do a bit of mixing behind the counter with Winston and Danny Breaks. I was listening to a hell of a lot of pirate radio. That was the fuel for me because I couldn’t go out very much. Kool FM, Weekend Rush, those stations I tuned in to religiously. I was listening to Centreforce when I was a bit younger, as well. That station mainly played acid house and that kind of era.”
THE GENIUS OF… STEVIE HYPER D
When it comes to the art of MCing, most of today’s best-known stars wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for one man… Stevie Hyper D. Widely regarded as a pioneer who took the discipline to a whole new level, Stevie’s legacy is undeniable. A natural born entertainer, his stage presence was magnetic, filling every raver with energy and smashing up dances all over the world…
WHERE WERE YOU IN 93
“Around ‘93 jungle was so fresh and new. It had just come out really, with early tunes that could be called ‘jungle’ starting to appear around ‘91, ‘92 - the term was definitely around from the early nineties. We had a mate called Danny Jungle who came down to Rage every week, he was part of the crew. He’d shout jungle at the crowd and get them chanting it. We were playing the music at Rage alongside house dubs and early techno stuff”
RTRN II JUNGLE Pirate Radio - THE MIXES
A few weeks ago RTRN II JUNGLE launched its pirate radio with a bulk of octane mixes from those who they hold in high regard as artists who have been instrumental in honing, shaping and forever contributing to this cultural movement. Chimpo, Indika, Ray Keith, Rebel Clash, DJ Harmony and DJ Ron each delivered an exclusive new mix, and so to further salute these dons, over the coming weeks each mix will be hosted on The Reload Report….
How the Bristol Crew Brought Their Unique Flavour to Jungle…(pART two)
Here’s the second part of our retrospective on the incredible Bristol scene and its invaluable contribution to drum’n’bass jungle. Jungle has exploded, there are parties taking place all over Bristol, Smith & Mighty and Easygroove, among others, are fueling the growth of the scene and it’s captivating a whole new generation.
Starting out in a back room kindly donated to them by Smith & Mighty, Krust, Die and Suv got stuck into ‘making lots of noise’ on a pair of small speakers, a sampler and an Atari ST1040. In that tiny room they served an apprenticeship of sorts, as Smith & Mighty would pop their heads in from time to time and give feedback, or show them a few tricks. “Roni had his older brother, Carl, showing him a few things in the studio too, as he was in a soundsystem called Qualitex,” Krust explains. These older Bristol heads gently guided the young crew, instilling in them the values that carried them forward to their success.
Eventually they came together and started making music at Roni’s house based around St. Paul’s and Montpellier. “Back in Bristol looking for something to do, I met Roni on the street,” Die explains. “He gave me an early tape of his, which was kinda ‘ragga rave’. We met again, got in the studio made ‘Music Box’ and ‘Agility’ and Bukem started playing them.”
Sending their music out to labels proved fruitless and so they decided to start their own thing. In the meantime, they’d passed on a tape of their music to some friends who had a link with Bryan Gee. Bryan and Jumpin’ Jack Frost were already making waves in the UK scene, so getting their music to either of the two had the potential for their big break.
THE GENIUS OF…. DJ SS
When it comes to innovation and high levels of genius, it’s not just creating timeless tunes that makes someone a great candidate for this series. We’re also celebrating the grafters, the label heads and visionaries who see the genius in others and bring them through. One such person is the mighty DJ SS, AKA Leroy Small, Leicester kingpin and the man who launched the careers of several contemporary heroes as well as running huge parties all over the world, breaking drum’n’bass jungle in new territories, launching a pioneering label and producing some of the scene’s all-time classics.
From his early days as a hip hop lover to his very first rave experiences, where he saw rival hooligans raving side by side, hugging each other and raving in unity to the early sounds of UK rave, SS has been deeply involved with music for quite some time now.
As a producer his back catalogue features classics such as ‘The Lighter’, ‘Black’ and all the Colours series on Formation, ‘We’re Rolling’, ‘Rollidge’, ‘Roller’s Convention’, his remix of ‘Limb By Limb’ Cutty Ranks, the list goes on and on (and on). Tunes that defined an era, tunes that remain timeless, still mashing up the dance when they’re played - full of that raw, unbridled energy and funk that made this music so exhilarating in the first place….
How the Bristol Crew Brought Their Unique Flavour to Jungle…(pART ONE)
During the early nineties a musical revolution was taking place in the UK. Ripples from the acid house explosion were still being felt years after the genesis of the rave scene. Down in Bristol a small collective embraced this emergent sound, channeling their varied influences and backgrounds into their music, planting the seeds from which a mighty musical tree would grow and sprinkling some of that special Bristol flavour on top to give it that extra bit of magic….
DJ Krust, Roni Size, DJ Die and Suv are the four founders of this crew, that would eventually become known as Full Cycle. A highly creative unit that would become one of the most innovative and influential groups in the drum’n’bass jungle scene. From inspiring the launch of V Records, to smashing dance floors all over the world with their distinct brand of club-focused bangers, to breaking the mould with numerous pioneering projects and winning the Mercury Music Prize among many other groundbreaking achievements, you really can’t talk about jungle without mentioning these guys.
So we decided to get the lowdown on the West Country trailblazers and the story behind that unbelievably prolific period in the mid-nineties when the Full Cycle clique began to make their mark on the jungle scene…
GENERAL LEVY on SOHO RADIO
The legendary, Heater honcho General Levy joins Soho Radio for a lesson on the history of Jungle, Dancehall and more….
bryan gee: THE TUNE THAT INSPIRED
As Bryan became a fully fledged raver, he hit all the infamous parties around town. Among the early house tracks that really blew his mind was ‘Let The Music Use You’ by Night Writers (AKA Frankie Knuckles). “It wasn’t just acid, it was soulful. I went to Shoom, Danny Rampling’s night, and he was playing it,” he explains. “When I heard the tune, something took over my whole body. I just had this feeling. It was inspirational. If you listen to the lyrics, it’s like, (sings) ‘Let the muuusic taaake you toooo the tooooooop’. It’s one of those really uplifting kinda vibes.”
“The rave was all smokey, and you had the lights and strobes flashing. People were wearing gowns - That’s how people dressed back in the day, hippie-looking with long hair and everything. It had this whole spiritual vibe about it, like a Hare Krishna meeting!” he laughs.
how jungle mania helped to spread the sound…
The year is 1994. After a few years of evolving and growing on the underground, jungle music is peaking. The sound is exploding out of London via pirate radio, clubs, record shops, and a whole world of DJs and producers who have been captivated by this innovative, incendiary breakbeat-driven music. It’s strength lies in its diversity; from ragga samples to cosmic melodies, deep jazzy influences through to hip hop, soul and a myriad UK electronic sounds, jungle’s appeal is widespread….
The Genius of… Dillinja
Drum’n’bass wouldn’t be where it is without the pioneers who carved out their own paths, supported by the rest of the community to cultivate unique sounds, influential labels and club nights that helped establish the genre as one of the most versatile and diverse in the world…
Saul Milton: THE TUNE THAT INSPIRED ME…
During the early days of British electronic music there were some truly groundbreaking tunes being made. Tunes that have led to the birth of other styles, and inspired countless artists in the UK and all over the world…