Back to the jungle….
Friction’s on fire with brand new Elevate material this month in the form of the festival-tailored, Doctor-fronted sing-along roller Mad In The Jungle. It sounds a bit like this:
Paying homage to roots music’s strong influence in the drum & bass melting pot, Friction’s love for foundation sounds is on full display right here. We thought we’d find out when he last went mad in the jungle.
“I’ve actually been to the jungle in Thailand once before and it was pretty mad,” he admits wryly before getting serious. “It’s so important as a scene we continue to make drum & bass that gives a nod to the roots where the scene came from. Variation is key and our music is at its strongest when we our covering the full spectrum of drum & bass influences.”
To understand Friction’s love for real, authentic foundation jungle influences we need to go back to the mid 90s. A time when old school meant actual school, which was something Friction was still studying at when he first started following the likes of Dr S Gachet, Randall and Grooverider, sneaking into raves underage.
“I fell in love with it pretty quickly,” he explains. “I used to go to whatever clubs and raves I could get into and every time I went out was a new experience. Seeing people like Randall and Grooverider dropping brand new dubs and wondering that they were. Patiently waiting for ages until the vinyl turned up at the record shop! But I used to enjoy that whole process. What a feeling it was when that tune you’d been searching for, for months was being played in front of you, ready to buy!”
Back to the future: Friction is currently neck-deep into another summer of festival shows, serious label missions (both with Shogun and Maraki, the label he runs under his FineArt alias alongside My Nu Leng) and studio commitments. But his passion for the original jungle sound still beats strong. So we pulled him up for five jungle recommendations that don’t appear on every retrospective mix or best of collection.
Dextrous & H Pee – Hot Flame (Subversive, 1995)
Dextrous. What a great jungle producer. He probably wasn’t as quite a household name within the scene as others but was a bit of an unsung hero in my opinion. My mate, Noel Simmons (who incidentally, pretty much taught me how to mix!) used to love this one. Those kind of chords, mixed with a ragga sample and a naughty b line would always be a winner! Definitely brings back good memories!
Remarc – RIP (Suburban Base, 1995)
I remember travelling from Brighton to Boogie Times Records in Romford, specifically to buy this tune. The sample was so unmistakeable and had an outstanding bassline. Managed to blag a promo copy on vinyl. Definitely an instant win! Big up Remarc.
Dr S Gachet & Audio Maze – The Dreamer (Urban Gorilla, 1995)
Gachet was one of my favourite DJs and producers. All of his tunes had a really strong, atmospheric feel to them. Just kinda felt different to a lot of other tunes out there. This one was one of my favourites.
Tom & Jerry – Maximum Style (Tom & Jerry, 1994)
Tom & Jerry was an alias for 4 Hero. Maximum Style was one of the biggest tunes they released under the alias. The tune that had absolutely everything. The intro had that classic rare groove feel to it and the bassline was fire. Every time this was played at a rave it just stood out a mile. Loved the way it switched into the chords in the middle too.
Dillinja – Warrior (Logic Productions, 1994)
Bit of a curve ball this one as there’s obviously been so many Dillinja tunes that helped to shape jungle and drum & bass. But this is one of those tunes that people need to be reminded about. The sampled chords / pads in the intro have a really iconic sound and the little vocal samples give it a classic feel. Dillinja’s drum programming was always so iconic. The drums were almost a tune on their own. Sending this one out to SP:MC!