in the individual ballots - and even a couple of times in the actual Top 30 - there were tunes I didn't know, amazingly - sometimes just by name (had heard the tune in the dance back in the day but never knew the title or artist) but sometimes simply never even heard!
here i go through the endorsed tracks methodically with a few thoughts
From the Poll itself
I know that one by sound, but never registered the name. Good tune. Would probably put this in the Top 200. Can see why it's a connoisseur's "deep" choice. Those metallic-smeared drumscape sounds.
Again, heard this nuff times back in the day. Good solid ragga choppage, features the words "brock out" which is always neat ... but bit average really. Surprised this made the 30.
No recollection of this one at all - and it would surely have stuck in the head on account of that lick from "Armagideon Time". Ah when the "alla me need... consciousness" bit comes in, it rings a faint bell. Seems very par for the course, though, this - a Roast set-filler type of tune. Kenny Ken, your flexible frien'.
Ah yes, remember this one well. Tough tune. Tearin' bit of stretched drummage in the middle there. Great sinister-glow bass too. Will have to add this to the list of my own ever-expanding canon.
Know "Limb by Limb" of course but I don't think I ever heard this SS mix. Bit austere in its (g)ruff 'n 'rugged formalism. All the right moves made but nothing to really distinguish it.
Everything else in the Top 30 I know like my mother's face and would agree with it being there, perhaps some things lower and other things higher.
Now on to the individual lists...
These from Luka's
Yup, heard this scores of times. Great tune - generic but glorious.
Yeah, know this - although I don't recall it as one of those omnipresent anthems. Niceness, though. All these tunes are the same vibe really - criss choppage + reggae samples + soul samples. Pure 94 bizniss.
David Bowie's favorites, the Kemet Crew! I thought I didn't know this - until the vocal came in and I was like "aha!". But wasn't this later rereleased with the chorus lick "I'm a junglist" added, and a different title ("Junglist"?). This is the prototype for that, I think. I always liked the genre-patriotism / identity politics ("I know myself when I hear you") aspect - the fact that the guy is serenading Jungle itself as if a person. But as a track it's pretty second-division really. The down-swooping rockets-fall-from-sky sounds are good, though.
I know a different version of this - or is it a different tune altogether? - that uses the "can't stop thinking about" vocal lick.
Don't know this one at all. Although possibly have it on the flip of "Roll the Beats" remix. Those days tracks - classics - were coming thick and fast and it was easy to overlook stuff. But then again if I'd heard it I think it would have registered and stuck with me - cos it's ruff! Great doomy groans of vocal - death knell bass.
This one I knew by title but no sound-memories came to mind - but of course soon as I drop the virtual needle on the track it's instantly recognisable. A good 'un. Great gravelly-toned pummelling B-line. Junglizm in its purist, most essentialist form - breaks + bassige + samples. No keys, no musicality as such... and the bass is making moves that do not correspond to hand-played bass as in the electric bass or the double bass. Composed almost wholly out of earlier forms of music, but breaking with them drastically - that to me is the benchmark of unimpeachable remorseless modernism that jungle set - and that everything since must measure against. Sorry, but that's just the way it is!
(Christ it's hard to stop going off onto detours - the YouTube side panel flashes up half a dozen remixes of Ganja Kru tunes that I'm not sure I've heard.)
Vaguely remember this - there was a train of Suburban Base tunes that were ruff but formulaic, and almost too stripped down to really engage the heart. But still, this is potent - and as per the above comments on essentialist-junglist perhaps more radical than the ambient jungle direction, in its severance from the past. What's interesting about this and the previous tune is how stealthy they sound - not at all frantic or hectic.
Now where is that synth-lick from - some early 80s synthpop act? Eurythmics? Tears For Fears? Depeche?
Don't remember this one at all. Got that sort of painfully sharp sound. Solid. Makes all the right moves. Loads of little sample licks - is that a shard of "If I Was A Rich Man" that flashes past?
Rings only the faintest of bells.
Not sure when this Teebone VIP remix is from - fiercer
Don't think I ever heard this. Pretty average stuff.
Know this one but not this version. Good stuff.
This is the more familiar version, to me.
Another one where the title rings the bell but no sound-images filled my mind's ear. And it's fine moody stuff. Feel more could be done with the vocal sample. Middle bit with odd chimes is good.
I know this one well. Unless memory betrays me, what's featured - in the intro - is one of those BBC Radiophonic Workshop cue from a Sounds Effects album, Out of This World. Then the track goes into pretty standard '94 bizniz - rock-solid on those terms (although the cosmic tweety-bird Radiophonic lick does recur). Reminds me a bit of the later volumes of Drum and Bass Selection - that got less enticing and more straightforward.
Oh yus, got it in one
Back to Luke's junglizm selekkktions
D'Cruze starting to get a bit intelligent - but still ferocious. This has some mad rattling beatz and clock-springs a-tumbling sounds - and a bass-2-dark lunge that puts me in mind of Dillinja. Superior.
Don't recall this. Tough but formulaic.
Now this next one not sure which mix Luke favors
All ruff in their different ways. Vaguely remember this vocal interpolation / adapation of "Buffalo Soldier" but nothing else. Sceniotic pressure as its most formidable - yet interchangeable. Essentialist - but is it essential?
Here's another later song called "Junglist Soldier" that does the same trick with "Buffalo Soldier". By the Stevie Hyper D
Now at this point in L's choices I'm starting to flash on the slightly battered feeling I'd have at 3 AM at a place like Roast or Thunder & Joy where you kind of started to wish they'd vary it up a bit. The musical / ambient-y directions in jungle were not getting hardly any play on the ravefloor - you would hear Moving Shadow only if it was "Terrorist" or "Dead Dred", things in that vein. And that's why Speeed was such a refreshing development initially.
But again, supersolid tune - fautless in its way. Just nothing exceptional about it to my ears.
Never heard this, never heard of this. All right.
Recognised this in the first two seconds but could not have named it, I don't think. Then comes the serpentile sax-lick either directly from - or in the style of - "Rumpshaker". Then "send fi the new gun" - and the mad bed-spring sproingy drums. Standard bizniz ninety-four style. Firing - one for the canon for sure.
Know this one of course but overlooked it when doing either of my lists... Yup, luvvit. Love the piano exercises (Beethoven?).. The drums sound like they are going into the redzone - borderline painful.
Good - and I remember it - but mostly for the vocal performance. Everything else is fairly standard, Think-y and bashy.
Fatigue setting in. Getting that "shall we go to the cloakroom, head for the night bus" feeling.
I mean, "changing same", sure, I get... but can it be a bit less samey? A tad more changing?
And then with the right pilfered vocal licks, you could get your second-wind - "jah set it", "bang bang bang bang diddly bong diddly bong bong bong" - sheer refreshment like a cold breeze. Heard this one dozens of times.
This version slightly different I think
More from the mighty X Project - not sure which of these "Unknown"'s Luka means
Neither seem anything special to me
This one I know, but didn't think to include. Ruff stuff - sick Mentazms that really feel like they're been twisted, wrapped up in strange braids. That Beltramoid/Belgianoid element perhaps making it feeling more hardcore than jungle maybe.
In all honesty I don't think I have ever reckoned much on a Lemon D tune. This is all right as far as it goes.
Rootsy 'n 'rinsing.
Rootsy 'n 'rinsing #2. (Good gassy sort of bass turbulence though).
What's that break called then? The one with the sort of top heavy cymbals that made the whole groove feel like it's slanted. Good this, but very spartan. I do not recall if I ever heard this.
This next one I remember the title but nothing springs to mind's ear
But as soon as i hear the "Arsonist" vocal licks, it floods back. Good this in that Aphrodite trampoline-bouncy sort of way - rinse turning into jump-up
This one I do know of course - but omitted to select. To me perhaps too straightforward a junglization of the classic hardcore tune to really demand canonisation. Still an early sign of the continuumity syndrome that would really flower with all those UKG remakes of ardkore and jungle.
Another one I know - by the vocal lick really - and neglected to include although deserving of Top 200 placement definitely. The vocal lick was used earlier in an Andy C that I actually am much fonder of - "Slip N' Slide".
A name I never come across at the time, ever - but much later on realised the likes of Mike Paradinas and Hellfish & Producer and various other ardkore scholars rate them in a quite cultic sort of way. One of these days - months - years? - I will have to give their corpus a proper once-over. This seems good but not quite canonic.
Don't recall this at all from back in the day - excellent intelligence-streaked tune.
Don't recall it specifically although many of the elements are such jungle / UKG cliches (potent cliches, for sure) that it feels deja vu. Hang on a minute - the diva lick comes in and yes totally familiar. Bit of a minor classic.
There's another tune with the "as we enter" lick in it, right? Don't recall this one at all. It's... fine.
Pretty certain I've got this - but couldn't remember the tune at all. Yes it's another of those very solid Full Cycle / V Recordings style tunes - nifty beats, bippety glow-bass - but for all that a little bit.... dry? Got a bunch of these but only a few of them really lodge in my heart.
Another in the same vein, a little more lovable on account of the more melodic elements. The drumz though are always superb - like a jazz drummer taking a solo, turned into a groove.
One of these days will have to methodically assemble and digest the Tom & Jerry vastness. Suffice to say this is one of theirs that does not ring a bell. (Did 4 Hero give themselves the alias as their get-out clause to do some full-bore pandering to the massive's needs?)
Conscious jump-up.... ringing only the faintest of bells.
Remember the name and the title; think I might have it; wouldn't know from Adam if I just heard it blind. A disappointing follow-up to "The Dark Stranger", if it was the follow-up, which I think it was - but can't be bothered to look up.
Oh yes, the corny Hellraiser samples. Video-nasty junglizm was a thing - the lingering of darkside vibes. Efficient in all other respects.
The name is familiar - it's unforgettable. The tune is unfamiliar. Bit of a minor classic - got a different, twisted sort of feel to it. At least at first, then it goes into more usual pattern - but fierce. Yes, one for the canon - lower reaches, though.
But what about all the other mixes?
Now this one is probably on the Planet Mu CD I did the sleevenotes for...
But I don't recall it from the era itself. It's full-rinse, supersolid grist for the mix-mill, but otherwise unremarkable.
Of course I remember this one...
The snares are really good in a fussy, irritatively infolded sort of way.
A bunch of mixes including
this Desire State one
and this 'Rollin' Mix' by trace
and one by Hype n all
The PE#1 noise weebling away. Barrington Levy beebling away. Yes, a classic in its way.
Heard the "Tempo" sound in jungle tunes - that creaky tingly echo-chamber noise at the start - , but never heard this literal translation of the entire 80s dancehall classic vocal into the jungle template.
If I forgot to include this in my list, a major omission. A woogly sampladelic-ooze vocal classic. I think I'm more familiar with a later remix of this, though.
aka Drum Pan Sound. Yes, a mighty classic, a staple - a major omission from my list.