“It was a revolution”: How jungle became the coolest music in the world
Dazed magazine’s Music Nation documentary series has already yielded up insightful looks into the rise and fall of UK Garage culture and the explosion of the Balearic sound, and now they’ve turned their cameras on the evolution of jungle and drum’n’bass, from out of the council flats of London and into the genre that spawned 2-step, garage, dubstep and more.
Taking in interviews with everyone from early pioneers like Shut Up and Dance, the Ragga Twins and DJ Hype to steadfast representatives like Fabio and Grooverider and current proponents like Chase & Status, the 24-minute documentary tracks the evolution of jungle from its very beginnings through to the point where it became “too cool”, with plenty of vintage ‘90s rave footage and classic tunes thrown in (and more Cockney accents than you can shake a pack of Lambert & Butler at).
“I think it was Paul Ibiza who came out with a tune called ‘Jungle’,” The Ragga Twins say, explaining how drum’n’bass got its original genre name. “There was a lot of people who was with it and those who wasn’t with it, because at the time there was a lot of racism with black people being called ‘jungle bunnies’, but the name stuck. And the good thing was, when you checked out the dance [clubs], it was a mixture of cultures all together – that’s what jungle done.”
“It had all been a melting pot up until 1992,” DJ Hype adds. “Hardcore: where you’d have a bit of techno, a bit of house, a bit of breakbeat, bit of Euro, and it was mushed in. And then what happened was that disappeared and there were all these experimental tunes – people using their ingenuity – in flats all around London… I remember a friend looking out [at the crowd at a rave] and saying ‘I’ve waited all my life for this – it’s like all the music we were brought up on into one sound with an audience where it doesn’t matter: black, white, whatever.’” Watch the 24-minute documentary and get immersed in the Junglist Movement below.