Jungle has a special vibe unlike any of the sounds to come from the London. Like Ben UFO, most of us never went to Blue Note, Roast, Innersense, Thunder & Joy, A.W.O.L or Jungle Fever for that matter – guess it’s called jungle fever for a reason. The best we can do is cruise around in MA-2 jackets listening to old Kool FM rips. Sully’s aptly titled Blue EP captures all too well the mood of that time whilst placing it very much in the present, keeping the spirit alive for those who weren’t there the first time round and for those who still have the bug.
The emotion and stripped back nature of the tracks recalls any of the most skilled producers of that era. As Nookie already showed us all you need is a drum, a bass and a piano, a lesson which clearly resonated with Stevens as proved by his own track “Simple Things.” At a time when nothing is sacred he shows himself wise by not attempting to reinvent the wheel – although, unintentionally, he may have done just that. His hybrid eski rollage is a perfect marriage of two iconic inner city sounds. Whilst he holds back on the heavy reggae samples and air horns, the programming, especially on tracks like “Routine,” “Blue” “M141” and the freebie rinse out “One Way” wouldn’t sound out of place in any Dr S Gachet or Randall and adds to collection of new wave eski/breaks tunes. This eski jungle tip has been experimented with by the likes of Fade To Mind’s Nguzunguzu on “Drop Cage” and Night Slugs’ grime O.G PJam on his Frankie Knuckles edit “Untitled” – so who knows maybe Wiley, who in his own words is “old skool like Randall & Kenny” will take note, or even better, it could inspire both the old guard and a future generation of emcees and producers. HRH MC Bassman once said; “How dare you try to test us? We are the Masters. Don’t you know our style is fucking dangerous?!” But this coming together of two distinct styles will hopefully lead to more hybrid records being made to tide us over until the sublime “Flock” featured in his Rinse showcase with Riko comes out – if it ever does.
Zomby’s Where Were U In ‘92 may have given you an urge to double drop some Pillz but this record will have you vibing at the back, in the darkest part of the dance with your warhead. A comparison with Nookie, Remarc, Chris Mack, HATE or whoever isn’t necessary here because it’s not a competition. This 8-track ep is just one man’s ode to and interpretation of timeless sound. If you like grime and jungle and don’t like this, there’s something wrong with you. No gimmicks and only a single fleeting glimpse of a Reese bass line on Logos’ superbly tense ‘Vapour dub’. You can always trust Keysound to come correct.
Stream: Sully – Blue (Keysound Recordings)
Blue 2×12 EP is out now on Keysound Recordings.