Bring out the vacuum
In the Woebot thread someone linked to a FACT interview with the man, where he says:
WOEBOT said:
The people who have steered the Nuum discourse are not necessarily Dancing People, and actually what made Ambient Jungle so special was that it was the greatest dance music ever. The separation between the bass/drum and those gorgeous arcs of ectoplasm was sublime on the dancefloor. Your head was in the clouds, your limbs in a rapture of clockwork.

"As well the Nuum Guardians the Dubstep masses have favoured the Ragga and Dark stuff. It's ostensibly much "cooler" music. There is something a bit cheesy about Ambient Jungle, and for instance everything on Good Looking after 'The Dolphin Tune' and the subsequent Looking Good stuff unconsciously pushed that cheesiness a little bit too far."

As a soft-cock from way back, I was pretty impressed by someone's willingness to say this. For all the talk of stuff like "feminine pressure" there does still seem to be this desire for shit to be (only) tuff / ruff / rude ... and I do reckon that gets pretty boring to dance to.

Mind you, not a big fan of ambient jungle stuff myself... just thought it was an interesting point to think about.


Darned cockwombles.
I'd definitely go with this - from Atlantis down.

Though 2-step would be neck-and-neck for the title til the end...


[sorry, this is OT, but how do you actually subscribe to the FACT podcast? i've been all over the site and they keep calling it a podcast but don't give an xml link. itunes is no help because the one thay have listed there only has a few episodes from the spring.]

anyway, thanks for pointing that out. interesting - will 90s nostalgia include the rehabilitation of 'coffee table jungle'? (is that joy orbison tune the start?) i read an interview with fab and grooverider in '96 where they said that they were done with jungle because of the violence (their words) and if people called them names for trying to create a more pleasant atmosphere, then so be it. it's hard to argue with that. from that perspective, it's hard to argue in favour of 2step's effort to ease the mood but against a comparable effort, slightly earlier, in dnb.

is the second half of that quote missing an "as" and comma in the first sentence? between the two parts, i'm a bit confused as to who he's talking about.
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Bring out the vacuum
is the second half of that quote, missing an "as" and comma in the first sentence? between the two parts, i'm a bit confused as to who he talking about.

Yeah I think so, should read "As well as..."

I guess to some extent what you've mentioned is the flipside of the good / serious points being made in the thread about dubstep having lost it - the fun that comes with musical rudeness / brashness / whatever seems to as good as inevitably attract people who want things to get darker and darker until it's not fun at all anymore, except in a jokey horror-themed kind of way.

Mind you, probably fair to say the softer side of things (just as inevitably) attracts crowds who are seeking solely smoothness /sophistication / prettiness, then the descent into fuzak begins and it's not really "fun" either.

And on the third hand ;) just "fun" is just as tedious too... handbag house, big beat, etc.

Whoopee. Having brought this up, am not sure there's that much of interest to say. :)


there are no accidents
i'd like to hear him defend all those Kenny G samples on all that 90s jazzy chillout jungle.


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I wouldn't really call a lot of this stuff 'ambient' jungle at all... Later Good Looking stuff, Dave Wallace, Springheel Jack - yeah, but less so FBD project, most of the stuff on droppin' science...

john eden

male pale and stale
Nomos - the FACT podcast isn't actually a podcast afaik.

They are crazy young things with fire in their hearts! They can't be messing about with .xml links...


A significant part of my job involves explaining to academics and management again and again and again that without an RSS link a 'podcast' is just an MP3 you can download and not actually a 'podcast'. :eek:

john eden

male pale and stale

FACT Magazine's Tom Lea ponders their latest podcast, yesterday.


I also mentioned this, and they are apparently dealing with the issue:

tell us about it. it was a proper podcast for a while, but something got screwed up. the dude who's sorting it for us is on holiday but he's back monday so fingers crossed.

it's a mix every monday morning & friday morning tho, for reference. :)


call me big papa
I obviously came to jungle over ten years late but personally I think the best jungle sets I've heard (from Dreamscape packs etc.) mixed the ruff/dark stuff with jazzy/euphoric stuff, and the best atmospheric jungle tunes I've heard have managed to balance the 'dark' and 'light' elements to create this sometimes breathtaking tension.

I was glad to read that Woebot quote, I find sometimes the consensus amongst dance music obsessives regarding certain genres/styles can have a complete stranglehold over my own perceptions. I'm as guilty of dismissing genres/styles as anyone, it's probably best to resist the urge though.

Tim F

Well-known member
"She's So" is in my top three favourite jungle tracks so on one level I sympathize with Matt here, but as Droid points out if that's ambient jungle then that's defining the term broadly - as well include "The Angels Fell" and, for that matter, "Angel", "Renegade Snares", A Guy Called Gerald circa Black Secret Technology, "London Sumting Dis", Peshay's "Conscience"... And suddenly it seems like many of my favourite jungle tracks are ambient! (gratuitous props to my jam, Radical Sound's "What Is Love (VIP Mix)").

I think what defines all of the above is the interconnectedness and interplay of the grooves and the atmospherics or melodies.

Whereas, as Matt says, "ambient jungle" can equally mean tracks where the groove and the floaty melodies are relatively independent of each other. I'd put most Good Lookin' material in this category.

A lot of that stuff is great but I think generally it's not quite as utterly compelling on a physical (i.e. dancing) level as the tracks I mention above. I think I know what Matt's getting at: I used to go to D&B nights a lot circa 2000 (I was 18 and trying to make up for lost time) and the more hypnotic/melodic/deep stuff totally grabbed me (as dancefloor music at least) in the way that Matt's quote suggests: you feel caught up in the music while your feet respond to the rhythms almost of their own accord.

But with tracks like "She's So" and "The Angels Fell" it's like your head and body are both lost in the groove. These are tunes where the groove seems not to banish melody but too... instrumentalize it, subvert melody to its will. This isn't music that is tuff and dark, except insofar as its groove seems to invite yr body to go places it hasn't gone before.


Bring out the vacuum
Here's the tracklist for Woebot's mix, which that quote above relates to. Thought it might be of interest for those wondering how widely he's defining "ambient jungle".

FBD Project: She's So (FBD)
Code Blue: Angels in Dub (Dee Jay)
Plasmic Life: Water Baby (Brain)
Essence of Aura: Northern Lights (Moving Shadow)
Jazz Vibes: Lucky (Strictly Underground)
Jodeci: Feenin (LTJ Bukem Remix) (WEA)
Complex State: Revival (Face)
DJ Krust: Touch (Full Cycle)
DJ Flynn & DJ Flora: Jungle Love (Full Cycle)
The Invisible Man: The Bell Tune (Good Looking)
Danny Breaks: Rollin' (EZ Rollers Remix) (Droppin' Science)
D'Cruze: Lonely (Suburban Base)
Roni Size, DJ Krust &DJ Die: I Remember (Full Cycle)

... Not much that fulfills the stereotypes of Good Looking, IMO.



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anyone remember the term "artcore" or was that just a made-up name tacked on to comps?

The woebot mix brings back fond memories of a comp that was my intro to jungle via an older cousin. It's not exactly ambient but it did introduce me to a lot of those sounds/textures/etc.:

01 - Dillinja / Deep Love (Remix) (5:05)
02 - DJ Nut Nut / The Dream (3:31)
03 - Renegade / Terrorist (Grooverider Remix) (5:30)
04 - Harmony & Xtreme / Boo (Exclusive Remix) (3:38)
05 - Krome & Time / The Licence (4:57)
06 - Foul Play / Being With You (Van Kleef Remix) (3:03)
07 - Chimeira / Deeper Life (3:43)
08 - Dubster, The / Retreat (4:37)
09 - DJ Gunshot / Wheel & Deal (Remix) (3:17)
10 - Roni Size / Timestretch (3:55)
11 - Dead Dred / Dred Bass (Pa Mix) (4:24)
12 - Cool Hand Flex / Mercy Mercy (De Underground VIP Mix) (3:44)
13 - Omni Trio / Stronger (5:52)
14 - Foul Play / Being With You (Van Kleef Remix) (7:19)
15 - Omni Trio / Nu Grooves 94 (5:06)
16 - Dead Dred / Dred Bass (Origin Unknown Remix) (6:20)

It's available here for anyone who's interested:


I'm not sure exactly why, but this CD had a mysterious aura to it that I found irresistible. The subculture that it hinted at was so foreign to me... twisted diva samples, timestretching, liquid echoing snare rolls, dark spacey pads. In the pre-internet days it was like stumbling across a time capsule from an alien civilization. I think Reynolds also made a good point about the early jungle monikers: DJ Nut Nut, Chimera, Krome & Time, Dead Dred, Cool Hand Flex, The Dubster, Dillinja... those badass names were probably half of the appeal.

Tim F

Well-known member
I have the unmixed version of that comp and its predecessor - both amazing.

I think the best sustained argument for artcore/ambient-jungle being where it's at is this Grooverider mix on this comp. Both hyper-swirly melodies and atmospherics and some of the most body-confounding grooves ever.

1-01 T.Power - Lipsing Jam Ring (3:20)
1-02 Studio Pressure - Resolution (2:18)
1-03 Interrogator, The - The Awareness (2:38)
1-04 Skool Of Hard Knocks - Can You Feel It (3:00)
1-05 Codename John - Dreams Of Heaven (Shorty‘s Mix) (0:42)
1-06 International Rude Boyz - Half Step (4:18)
1-07 Marvellous Cain - Hitman (0:04)
1-08 Berty B & Dillinja - Lion Heart (2:38)
1-09 DJ Hype - Tiger Style (3:17)
1-10 Q Project - Champion Sound (Doc Scott Remix) (5:31)
1-11 Photek - Flavour Of A Sound (3:06)
1-12 Dillinja - Sovereign Melody (2:15)
1-13 DJ SS - The Roll Out (3:23)
1-14 Code 071 - A London Sumtin' (Tek 9 Remix) (4:13)
1-15 Mental Power - Unknown Intelligence (5:14)
1-16 Influence, The - In My Soul (6:52)


Found the vinyl version of that comp in a Brixton record shop basement a few years ago for about £3. I was fairly happy with that.