+ commentary with a polemical emphasis on techno - and an anti-emphasis vis-a-vis Amentalism and Roots 'n 'Ragga, contesting their status as cornerstones of Nuum
I think I have all of these, pretty much
On CD though - i could never see the point of the vinyl slabbage versions - surely the thing with comps is either A/ continuous through-play or B/ reprogramming your favorite bits into killer sequences,leaving off the filler and duff-ige crew that all but a few inevitably shove in there
These comps were so crucial for those of us stranded in the sticks - or in my case NYC, much of the 92-93 period - without access to the specialist stores with the vinyl 12 inches
As for M like W's polemic
I knew from earlier snipes that Matt thought Amen was a calamity for jungle, or at least a severe restriction of possibility.... "all those other breaks out there that could be used" ...
I dunno, though, there's so MANY fantastic tunes that run on Amentalism, and such a wide range - from LTJ Bukem's "Atlantis (I Need You)" all the way across to Renegade "Terrorist" and mad topsy turvy tumbling-down-the-stairs Remarc / Dred Bass et al type full rinse jobs.... it is the privileged pulse of junglizm for a reason yunno...
As for reggae as not crucial, just a flavour... and too often a bad idea
Three little words!
(The way MCs function in nuum-genres is very little to do with how rappers work in hip hop, and a lot to do with the MC - or deejay as they confusingly call it - on a sound system.... improvising with an arsenal of catch phrases)
A fourth keyword - jungle itself - comes from junglist, as in "alla da junglists", as in Arnette Gardens in Kingston being the (concrete) jungle, yard tapes reaching the U.K, getting sampled... Proof surely that Reggae Owed Credit ...
I'd agree that the only indispensable element is breaks - and thus hip hop = the privileged cornerstone, the origin
There are important tracks, artists, labels in the broad stream of this music that barely connect to the Jamaican thing
But taking the continuum as a macro-entity - as music + scene + vibe + microeconomy + demographic.... taking into account all the worldview mood-tropes and concepts like Babylon and downpression and dread... the reggae elements are crucial
(Could hardly fail to be given the parentage, the ancestry of so many of the participants)
But even just as a music-form, isolated from its subcultural matrix, its rituals...
The bass is second in command, as it were
And for sure there are B-lines in hardcore / jungle that are fast 'n' bippy, or that detonate more like electro 808 boom.... but an awful lot of them involve simple bass-note patterns played slow and low, repetitive cycles .... an aesthetic that comes straight out of reggae... even the more abstract oozy ones, the whole feel of the bass is dread
The counter-examples are legion, just a few that spring to mind - "Bludclot Artattack"..."What's My Code" ... Bert & Dillinja's "Lionheart" .... DJ Nut Nut & Pure Science "The Rumble", the original or the "Boom Shaka Mix"
Matt brings up postpunk echoes but one of the reasons darkcore often sounds PiL-y is the sinister Wobble-y bassige
Now, thinking of someone directly and consciously influenced by postpunk.... Goldie ... he was someone who did complain about the surfeit of ragga tracks in 94, who was incensed by General Levy's outrageous putsch
But then Goldie in his pre-rave years had been through a Rastafarian phase... did a track called "Jim Skreech" (surely not unconnected to Big Youth's "Jim Screechy")... did a track called "Jah"... has basslines and echoey bits in "Menace"
Personally I love the Jamaican element.... the thunderbass in DJ Solo "Darkage"... the ragga-techno of "Mixed Truth" by, well, now you mention it, The Ragga Twins.... "when i was a yout' i loved to smoke collie weed"... the fast-skank of SL2 "On a Ragga Tip"
The fact that Jamaica is close second place to hip hop as foundation of the macro-genre is shown by the fact it's the rootical and raggamuffin aspects that carry through, or resurface, in UK garage and 2step.... and not the hip hop element at all really... the dub-sway riddim, the dancehall raucousness, the lover's rock sweetness ... New Horizons "Find The Path" and "Slam Down Ya Body Gal", Gant "Soundbwoy Burial", Double G "Special Request"....
(Reggae is also right there at the start with bleep - Unique 3's "Weight For the Bass (Original Soundyard Dubplate Mix)", Ability II's "Pressure (Dub)", Ital Rockers etc etc)
I think of jungle - and nuum generally - as this sort of terrain over which the different source-genres are contending to take the upper hand, as it were - a three-way collision that then becomes a battle zone - hip hop vs reggae vs techno (and perhaps house is in there as well).... and naturally different participants (meaning both producers / DJs and listeners-opinionators) will have different allegiances... and these allegiances / preferences shift also through time....
For sure, with all the fundamental structural bases and prime flavours of the nuum - hip hop, techno, reggae, souljazz .... each of these can get to be mixed blessings, pass from thrill to tedium when overdone
All lead to bad things ultimately, or dead ends....
Amentalism led to breakcore, ultimately....
Techno led to neurofunk / Photekism
And the dread/ bass-meditational side of junglism led to the more placid 'n' ponderous side of dubstep
Stop Press; further interesting discussion on this Dissession, at, where else, Dissensus - involving Droid, Woebot and others.