Whether you’re into Christmas or not, over the festive period offers some of us some time off from work to pursue our interests, and at All Crews we have only one: Jungle Drum and Bass!
When comatose on the sofa after Christmas dinner, why not get clued up on the canon of documentaries out about Jungle Drum and Bass out there? Here are a few of our favourites:
The latest addition to the world of Jungle Drum and Bass docs, The Rest is History hones in on the formative early years of Jungle and its journey through pirate radio. Fitting the entire logical progression of a whole genre into one film was always going to be a task, and I couldn’t help but notice the lack of women from the scene interviewed, but the doc is still a fitting tribute to the origins and evolution of Jungle Drum and Bass.
A beacon of Jungle Drum and Bass news since the turn of the century, this DVD put together by Drum and Bass arena in 2003 covers the rise of Andy C and Ram records to the top of large-scale maximalist Jungle Drum and Bass, now selling out arenas!
One of the most definitive Jungle Drum and Bass labels of the 90’s, Bukem’s imprint Good Looking has quite the story to tell. From humble beginnings as a broke outlet for Bukem’s newfound passion for raving, to both a creative and commercial success working with Jazz maestros in the mid to late 90’s. Hey Good Looking tracks this journey.
Another chapter in the mythos of ‘intelligent’ Drum and Bass that Bukem has wound around himself, Modern Times follows Bukem and his crew as they take the sound to Japan, and offers insight into his breakaway from the earlier Ragga jungle scene.
I always write about Jungle Drum and Bass as one unified entity, however sometimes there can be value in respecting the independence of the different ends of our scene. Drum and Bass: The Movement does exactly that and specifically focuses in on Drum and Bass rather than Jungle, following its evolution from the Jungle sound in ’96 through to more recent happenings in 2016. If spacey pads, higher tempos and two-step rhythms are your weapon of choice, watching The Movement might just tell where they came from.
An unashamed nostalgia trip, 20 years of Jungle Mania is crammed with old rave footage and interview with some names in Jungle Drum and Bass that aren’t often as heard from, like MCs Det and GQ and early Ragga jungle pioneer DJ Remarc.
BIG BAD BASS TV: VALVE SOUND SYSTEM
With a reputation within in the scene as as a sound obsessive committed to the red line, it was only a matter of time after Jungle Drum and Bass’s inception that Dillinja was going to assemble his own night, label and soundsystem dedicated to maximum sound. This documentary is the story of how he put that into practice through valve.
To modern listeners into both Techno and Jungle Drum and Bass it seems a bit linear, but offers a perfect snapshot into a time when Jungle Drum and Bass was split into two camps with differing views about sci-fi influences about techy flavours making their way into the genre.
SOUNDS OF THE WEST — ‘DRUM AND BASS’
One of the few UK-focused Jungle Drum and Bass docs not to be centred on London, Sounds of the West tells Bristol’s bass music history and how the town embraced the Jungle sound in it’s own way, becoming a south-western annex for Drum and Bass and freeparty capital of the UK. It focuses on Bristol promoters Ruffneck Ting and a young Roni Size, yet to break through with his album New Forms.
The Works is a perfect follow-up to sounds of the west, following Roni and Reprezent as they tour the world after commercial success and bring the late 90’s Bristol sound to New York. If you’re interested in Jungle Drum and Bass’s journey from UK sound to global export, this one is a good shout.
Originally shot for the BBC 2 in 1994 Jungle Fever documents the rise of Jungle as the latest form of progressive Black music. It’s rammed with interviews with some of the scene’s biggest names at the peak of the 93-94 Ragga jungle period, though some of the music journalism in it hasn’t aged well: The black origins of both breakbeat sampling and Acid/Chicago house are glossed over in order to fulfil their angle that Jungle is ‘the first’ form of black rave music.
THE AMERICAN JUNGLE PARTS 1 TO 3
Covering over 23 stateside cities in over100 interviews, The American Jungle aims to fill in the blanks about Jungle Drum and Bass’s journey over to America from its roots in London. If you’ve ever wondered how the continent that created Disco and House music came to adopt an undeniably UK flavour sound, you’ve found the right documentary.
Another chapter in the oft-overlooked Jungle Drum and Bass scene on the other side of the Atlantic, with a focus on how Jungle’s street sensibility appealed to U.S. ravers. Covering all corners of the scene on both east and west coasts, from DJs and dubplate cutters, to MCs and punters, Concentric Beats is a key chronicle in the US Jungle Drum and Bass story.
Ask anyone to name a Jungle Drum and Bass label whether they’re a head or not, and chances are Goldie and Metalheadz are gonna get a mention. In this comprehensive doc from the time, much of the mythology around the iconic label is told by those involved from Clifford Price himself to Adam F, Ed Rush & Optical, Randall and Source Direct, well worth checking.