Another exciting reissue on Whitehouse Records to show that early 90s jungle is only as old as you think it is. The Criminal Minds’ third EP is a classic, and boasts four whiplash-inducing tracks. Featuring The Criminal, which features crazy hip-hop staples and none less than LL Cool J, this is a must-have for anybody concerned with the preservation of jungle.
Vinyl 12" £8.49 WYHS012
Reissue 12" on White House Records.
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- The Criminal EP by The Criminal Minds
Well this is a real dance music relic here, but not one of those relics like Paul Oakenfold that keeps popping up when you least expect / never want him. This is actually most welcome, a 1993 release featuring some early jungle activity - all the breaks, wavy old school sampled synth lines, subtle reggae touches and a whole community of vocal samples conspiring to move your legs.
And move they would, the opening track jumping in at almost 150bpm, rising above the previous record of hardcore and accelerating its way to drum n bass somewhere down the line. Actually this release in particular sits very comfortably in hardcore territory, dropping back on euphoric synths and 4x4 kicks on a few occasions, but you can sense them starting to break away and shuffle up the groove as well as pushing the tempo. Lots of scratching going on here too, particularly the A2 track ‘Spiritual Fire’ (lol), so it’s fair to say that it crossed over with the late 80s/early 90s hip-hop scene at some point, a testament to the stylistic melting point of the time.
Going to ‘Ruffneck Dancer’ isn’t a great experience as the vocal sample immediately tells you that ‘you can’t dance’. Unless that’s a ‘can’. Gotta love that American ambiguity. The grainy, roughly-sampled breaks are going nuts on this one. Occasionally they drop out and a hilariously exuberant synth plays a merry little tune before the bass drops once more. Total madness.
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