Sunday, January 22, 2017

Vocal Tune / the Top 7 jungle-D+B albums of all time

Did Peshay ever get to do an album?*

Cos twelve variations on this would give The Deepest Cut a run for its money as best jungle album ever....**

Love the can't-be-arsed / all-that-needs-to-be-said quality of the title "Vocal Tune"

Could just as easily - as deservedly - be titled "Drum Tune". Beats so criss.

The vocal in question is, of course, from this - diva-only breakdown starts at about 5.56

* He did.

** What's the competition? Meaning single-artist non-best-of, so that takes compilations out of the running

I'd say it goes:

The Deepest Cut aka Music for the Next Millennium

then Black Secret Technology

then Parallel Universe

then a tie between New Forms and Timeless (programmed on your player to skip the wank bits)

then a tie between Haunted Science and Jacob's Optical Stairway



That's it, isn't it?

I mean, what else is there?

The rest seem either a clear case of couple-of-good-tracks + unnecessary remixes of the classic tunes you loved as singles but have been now rendered not-nearly-as-good. Or really washed out, watery, misguided attempts at quasi-organic musicality / home-listening. (Path that P-man seems to have gone down, judging...)

Foul Play, E-Z Rollers, Adam F, Alex Reece (not that I had much in the way of expectations there!), Grooverider...  all disappointing...

I guess some would rate Photek's long-form efforts...

Two Pages seemed really good - both the "musical" disc and the harsh disc -  at the time, but I can't remember a thing about it.

Source Direct's album similarly impressed then but leaves barely a memory trace.

28 Gun Bad Boy is a bit early to count as jungle / D&B and anyway isn't a real album, what with that megamix taking up such a huge swathe of it...

It is a track-oriented genre, jungle / D&B, and it's on that basis that it stakes a mighty claim to be the greatest dance genre ever - and also a generator of great compilations galore.

But albums - that was never really going to be its forte


droid said...

I like to remember the Springheel jack LP at times like these. No impact on the scene, but a proper deep jungle LP.

Keith said...

D'Cruze's 'Control' is great! And mostly wank free.

dadadrummer said...

Photek Modus Operandi
Calibre -Musique Concrète
Big Bud ‎– Infinity + Infinity

tomj210 said...


Tim 'Space Debris' said...

In a way D & B parallels glam with only a handful of great LPs but mainly a single's game.

droid said...

Marvellous Cain, Kemet.

Tim 'Space Debris' said...

Some rate T Power's Self Evident Truth Of An Intuitive Mind.

I think it was Mark Fisher who held Gun Talk by Marvellous Cain in high esteem, it's pretty good.

Photek was always a bit problematic. It felt like he was an interloper and I'm saying that from Australia. He did have mad skills though.

New Forms was the beginning of the end, couldn't stand it. It pretty much stopped me from following the nuum any further. Over 10 years later, after reevaluating speed garage, I realised that was a mistake.

The Haunted Science is an underrated gem innit? and I pretty much agree with the rest.

Christian said...

I'd put Nookie's Sound of Music up alongside Music for the Next Millennium, though you may consider it a compilation. That is, both are good as albums, but they can't hold a candle to Parallel Universe, imho; completely original tracks, functions as a whole, almost a concept album. Black Secret Technology almost reached that height, with its similar cohesive, sci-fi feel. Both were more on the experimental side—a departure from the amen workouts the rest of the scene was pursuing. Jacob's Optical Stairway was stellar, as well.

Speaking of experimental, I'd toss in Drum 'n' Bass for Papa. That one is up there with PU and BST for me, if not too far outside the scene.


Spring Heel Jack did two or three good albums that i remember liking but equally don't remember much about.

I think the Nookie suffered just a bit from being too pretty and also the best-of factor

i don't remember D'Cruze's album. Marvellous Cain I have somewhere but it didn't lodge in the memory.

Plug i think of as belonging to that parallel stream of drilly IDM. Loved it as first and then decided it was an excuse for people to think they'd engaged with jungle without actually engaging with it.

So disliked Wormhole, i must confess.

Thought of a couple examples of potential great album-makers who went too far into the musicality thing by the time they got round to it - both called Danny funnily enough. Breaks and Bukem. (The Bukem solo album,when it finally showed up, was awful).

Okay chaps - here's another question, who could have / should have made a great single-art, non-anthology D&B album but never did get around to it?

Hidden Agenda (or did they in fact)?
2 Bad Mice?

And another question - who made two great ones? By my count, only Omni makes the grade


Dave Wallace?

Keith said...

I don't think DJ Hype has EVER released an album. He's not the type I guess.

taninian said...

Two great albums: how about Bay B Kane?
But I suppose some might say Guardian of Ruff isn't quite jungle yet, and that Survival Techniques isn't quite an album.

In any case I rate both of them (as well as T-Power and D'Cruze) higher than Parallel Universe and BST. As for Timeless, the vinyl version is perhaps the one to go for, much more compact.

Shy FX made an album which for some reason isn't the blast it should be.

As for interlopers, Boymerangs Balance of the Force has something I think, and Mick Harris' first Quoit album is brilliant.

Jon Hillman said...

Big buds is class

Executive Steve said...

I think Jungle /' Drum & Bass has always been a singles (and compilations) game but there are still a lot of people showing their ages here! Here are a few classic ones from the post 2005 era that I think stack up very well against the ones already mentioned, both considered as albums in themselves, as extrapolations of the original Drum & Bass blueprint, and as evolutionary departures in themselves. Everything there from the autumnal soul of Calibre's Second Sun album, to the Rephlex reissued Drumfunk cacophony of Macc & dgoHn, to the timbral excursions of DAAT's HVAC lp, to the dancehall / footwork / jungle / whatever you are having yourself hybrids of the Richie Brains LP. I don't think it is possible to seriously argue that great albums in Drum & Bass were a product of a short five year stretch in the 90s tbh, especially when you consider how similar the veins of sources being mined by many of those albums were in hindsight.

Breakage - This Too Shall Pass
Calibre - Second Sun
dBridge - The Gemini Principle
Naphta - Long Time Burning
Amit - The Never Ending
Loxy & Resound - Burning Shadows
Polska - 2nd Rate
Macc & dgoHn - Some Shit Sainnk
Alaska & Paradox - Isolationist
Clarity - Infinite
Richie Brains - Who Is Richie Brains?

Executive Steve said...

I disliked Wormhole too, definitely sent the scene as a whole careering off in an altogether wrong direction, although I do have a fondness for the slightly later Matrix album on Virus, it's everything Wormhole should have been and has aged like whiskey whereas Wormhole aged like milk.