Posts Tagged London

The Jungle Genre – A General Overview

Jungle is a genre of electronic music that incorporates influences from other genres, including breakbeat hardcore and reggae/dub/dancehall. The fast tempos (150 to 170 bpm) breakbeats, other heavily syncopated percussive loops, samples and synthesized effects makes up the easily recognizable form of jungle. Producers create the drum patterns featured; sometimes completely off-beat, by cutting apart breakbeats (most notably the Amen break). Long pitch-shifted snare rolls are also common in oldschool jungle.

Jungle producers incorporated classic Jamaican/Caribbean sound-system culture production-methods. The slow, deep basslines and simple melodies (reminiscent of those found in dub, reggae and dancehall) accentuated the overall production, giving jungle its “rolling” quality.

In the summer of 1992, a Thursday night club in London called “Rage” was changing format in response to the commercialization of the rave scene (see breakbeat hardcore). Resident DJs Fabio and Grooverider, amongst others, began to take the hardcore sound to a new level. The speed of the music increased from 120bpm to 145bpm, while more ragga and dancehall elements were brought in and techno, disco and house influences were decreased.

Eventually, the music became too fast and difficult to be mixed with more traditional rave music, creating a division with the other popular electronic genres. When Hardcore lost the four-on-the-floor beat and created percussive elements solely from “chopped up” breakbeats, people began to use the terms ‘jungle’, ‘junglist’ and ‘junglism’ to describe the music itself. This was reflected in track titles of the era, typically from late 1992 and early 1993.

The club ‘Rage’ finally shut its doors in 1993, but the new legion of “Junglists” had evolved, changing dancing styles for the faster music, enjoying the off-beat rhythms and with less reliance on the chemical stimulation of the rave era.


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Dubstep

Dubstep originates from London as an organic merging of Drum n Bass, Garage and Dub.  Originally as experimental B-sides of 2-step garage, but gained commercial momentum when the sound was championed by John Peel on BBC Radio 1 from 2003-2004.  Artists such as Photek, Wordsound Germany, Plasticman and Loefah were early pioneers of the genre, exploring how Dubstep can be presented.

Dubsteps format is syncopated with a large use of tuplets and shuffled rhythms, averaging to about 140BPM.  The signature of Dub – that being the hard and strong snare/clap is ever present in Dubstep, but with far less reverb usually.  Dubstep has a very dark and minor vibe, usually with minimal vocals, and if there are, usually spoken or rapped.

The most famous part of Dubstep is the bassline.  Due to the slow bass and snare hits, there is a lot of room in between for creativity in the bassline dubbed the “Wobble”  This is a bassline, usually a saw or sine being put through an oscillator and various other filters to give it a grimy and dark timbre.

Towards the end of the 2000s Dubstep was receiving worldwide play, and becoming endemic in pop songs.  With artists like Britney Spears, Rihanna and Snoop Dogg releasing singles and albums with a heavy Dubstep influence.  The height of Dubstep in its original form would be at the end of the 2000s with artists such as Magnetic Man, Nero and Skrillex.  The latter artists have sinced redevloped its sound and their signature productions are no longer considered Dubstep – in a severe pigeon holing context and is explored in Post-dubstep, Brostep and other sub genres.

 

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