Black Riot: Early Jungle, Rave and Hardcore is a new compilation from Soul Jazz Records. It brings together a bunch of seriously dark and heavy ragga-infused hardcore jungle tracks from the start of the 1990s. Acts such as Levictus and Krome & Time, Babylon Timewarp, Trip One and Rhythm for Reason feature. Initial copies come with a mini graphic novel (be quick if you want one of those).
Vinyl Double LP £23.78 SJRLP452
2LP on Soul Jazz. First edition includes a free graphic mini-novel ‘Black Riot: The Mysterons save Planet Earth from the Xatheroid Angels’.
- Includes download code
CD £12.64 SJRCD452
CD on Soul Jazz. First edition includes a free graphic mini-novel ‘Black Riot: The Mysterons save Planet Earth from the Xatheroid Angels’.
Oof! An absolutely superb compilation here from the ever-reliable and ever-righteous Soul Jazz Records. ‘Black Riot: Early Jungle, Rave, and Hardcore’ is a collection of headphone-frying basslines, syncopated snare drums, heavily-processed vocals ("ppaasss mmeee tthee lliigghhtteerr"), and rough and ready production.
Although famed for its high tempos and relentless rhythms, it’s easy to forget how hypnotic jungle music can be. Each track on this record is beautifully immersive in the way that only fast, heavy electronic music can be. Even something as glitchy and splintered as ‘Way Of Life’ by New Vision, with the beats flying past, eventually opens up to envelop you.
However, for all its hypnotic qualities, ‘Black Riot’ is still heavy and aggressive. I love the crushed, distorted beats on ‘Snowball Remix’ by Trip One and that sublime bassline on The Terrorist’s ‘RK1’ that balefully seethes and growls like a stuck bee. One of the most arresting tunes on the record, ‘RK1’ lulls you into a false sense of security before kicking into a brilliantly cut-up, fragmentary series of breaks. I always love it when a dance tune segues into something completely unexpected like on DJ Dubplate’s ‘Tings A Go On’ where some pitch-shifted crooning comes over the top of a sparse arrangement where you expect a break to be.
This compilation is a riveting testament to when jungle was once on the forefront of exciting and innovative music and how it remains one of the most ecstatic listening experiences.
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