Somnambule - Writing About Music

Remarc ~ Unreleased Dubs 94-96

Remarc puts you in the middle of a warzone - any moment you might be blown away by anything from a landmine to an artillery shell - you may not make it, your only hope is the adrenalin pumping through your veins... your position on the battlefield changes from moment to moment:

location 1
You’re riding in a tank - you've been picked up, sole survivor of your platoon - metal walls clanging all round you, your body vibrates with the roar of the engine (the bass)... you try to hold onto something, but you're knocked this way and that (the effect of the bass)... through the armour you can hear the frenetic strafing of small arms fire (the snares rolling)...

location 2
... you’re about to advance along with the rest of your battalion, you’re shit scared, but the captain’s exhorting you to get up and get going – there’s something at once alien and comforting in his cries (the MC)... just for a second everything stops (that moment of silence before the drums kick in again)... and then you’re off and you’re running for dear life...

location 3
... you’re riding on the back of an armoured personnel carrier (more bass, slightly higher pitched), you're trying to hang on as the vehicle negotiates rough, muddy terrain... there’s the clashing of gears (the sheared-off samples) as it climbs and descends ridiculous gradients... things are hectic - you can't afford to let go... gunfire coming from all directions (the percussion breaks)...

location 4
... the APC got hit by mortar fire, you're flung off, injured and in pain, but you find yourself picked up and swaddled in blankets (another flavour of bass to engulf you)...

location 5
... you’re back behind the battleline and relatively safe...the heavy artillery is pounding away deafeningly yards away (more bass, there should be a taxonomy of Jungle bass, there’s not the static and relatively narrow range of House or Garage, but something much bigger and more powerful. That’s been the problem with drill’n’bass, so often it would better be called drill’n’... because there’s not been enough attention paid to half the music, Jungle’s nothing without the bass. So what am I trying to say with this war thing? Just that Jungle is one of the maddest things there is in music, it’s almost unbeatable for raw, hectic, visceral experience. The only difference is that Jungle makes sense and war just doesn’t... As to Remarc’s Unreleased Dubs, well Sound Murderer doesn’t have a less than excellent moment on it, pure bliss from beginning to end whereas Unreleased Dubs has some brilliant cuts, but a couple of duff ones as well – Andre’s Dream isn’t good at all for instance. So go for Sound Murderer first then buy this one and make a cdr leaving out the (only two) bad tracks.)

Last word: Jungle died almost decade ago. LONG LIVE JUNGLE.
Colin Buttimer
March 2004
Published by Absorb