Once in a while, Coco Bryce, enlightens us with some great words about a piece of music he loves. So here goes ‘Coco’s Curiosities #2’…enjoy reading!
“First off let me start by clearly stating that I DO NOT own this tune on vinyl. This just in case any seeeerious Junglists are to read this lickle write up, because some of them might consider it a crime to even talk about a tune, let alone write about it, if you don’t own it on wax. Which unfortunately is the case here, sorry.
Nevertheless, I really really love this track and hope to one day actually get my hands on a physical copy, but seeing as the cheapest one on Discogs goes for about 50 quid atm, I’m going to have to either bite my time, inherit a small fortune or get lucky at a thrift store. We’ll see. My guess is as good as yours, but I’m pretty sure option number one is the most likely of the three.
Besides the “sheer love of music”, another reason for picking this particular slice of break beat sorcery is this one: a couple of months ago I was talking about Jungle music with my dear friend DJ Mace. And he asked me “what’s the blueprint for Jungle then?”. To which I responded by telling him there is none. Now of course there is a set of (unwritten) rules to comply with, as is the case with most any genre, but we were talking about rhythmic patterns in particular, hence my answer. There are tempo restrictions: save some really really early productions, a Jungle tune will rarely be under 140 bpm. And as far as the speed limit goes, most tracks stay under 170, mainly because Jungle had morphed into Drum ‘n’ Bass proper (ie, less choppy and more straightforward) by the time they got to a hunned-n-seventy beats per minute. Correct me if I’m wrong, but this is how I’ve always perceived it. Another “rule” is that it needs to have break beats in there. There was a brief period when Jungle Techno was all the rage, which often featured 4×4 bass drums, but never without any break beats mind you.
Back to the rhythmic patterns: it’s basically no holds barred. If anything, the complexity of the rhythms is what makes Jungle music so distinguishable from other electronic genres. And Red Light’s “Selekta” is a perfect example of just how crazy things can get. Some might even say things got a little out of hand on this one. And I guess I couldn’t even blame anyone for thinking this hahah. Add to that the seemingly random build up and the madness is complete as far as I’m concerned…
It starts off with an instrumental version of the theme song from Rosemary’s Baby. Nothing too crazy up until that point. This gets looped twice before being layered with chopped up Hot Pants (I think, not 100% sure tho) and Sesame Street (courtesy of ultimate Funk pervert Blowfly) breaks, only to stop rather abruptly, followed a second or so of silence and a time stretched ragga chant screaming SWIIIIIIITCCCHHHH UPPPPPP before all mayhem breaks loose. Man I love the weird and wonderful underbelly of the Winstons‘ heritage. If you didn’t succumb to the undeniably strange ways of mid 90’s Amen break manipulation by now, the bass lines that are to follow will surely alienate you even further. I don’t know what the Shut Up And Dance crew (a better known alias of Red Light) were on whilst producing this, but I bet neither their parents nor law enforcement would’ve approved of it. Tho the precision with which this drum programming is executed suggests they had to be fully focused, so I don’t know, whatever, doesn’t matter really, does it? All I know is this is hands down one of the most mental, out there tunes of its era. And tho it is by no means a “blueprint of Jungle music”, it most definitely is a perfect example of how far the genre’s boundaries can be stretched. Seen.”