Tuesday 20 September 2016

Far East Jungle

That's right, I'm back with some more Soichi Terada. It irked me last time I couldn't find any of his DnB stuff to stream so I am back with a more conventional ilictronix post, for the first time in I don't know how long. Track and deets after the art.

Sumo Jungle is a gorgeous LP. After the crash course the preview intro gives you, the first proper track wastes no time laying down those mid-late 90's goodtime vibes. It's a bit of a contrast to say Goldie's work round the same time, there's strings and breaks sure, but while tunes like This Is A Bad are born of Goldie wrestling with the rougher parts of the inner city at the time, Terada is all about (as the title suggest) just kicking back and enjoying things.

Don't think I mentioned it before, but these may sound a little familiar to you even if you don't know much about or even who Terada is. And the reason for that is he did the soundtrack for the original Ape Escape back on the PS1. That wouldn't be for a few years after the release of Sumo Jungle, but you can definitely see peeks of what would come through the breaks. Get a load of them 90's piano stabs too.

Coming into one of my favourites of the whole LP here, it's gorgeously smooth DnB a la Omni Trio. The thing I find most interesting about the whole LP is something I discussed with Adam in our last recording session, is just how global Drum & Bass was at the time, you've got the obvious UK folk making it but then you can fly all the way to Japan and find stuff that (minus some small stylistic differences) is in the same vein. Admittedly it doesn't sound so amazing put like that, but in a time before the mass inter-connectivity we have today I find it fascinating.

The closing track sees the Ape Escape foreshadowing come out to play again, and it might actually be my favourite of the lot. It's not hard to see why he was picked up for it, maybe it is just my nostalgia connection to it speaking, but the kind of Drum & Bass on offer here is a perfect time capsule of the day, it's a god close to the album for sure, it's just a shame it kind of eds instead of with somekinda lovely fadeout with those smooth synths we've heard previously.

-Claude Van Foxbat

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