Drum & Bass dynamo Danny Byrd is a man who will need little introduction to even the part-time dabblers within the d&b scene. One of Hospital’s elite it can be certain, and one of d&bs finest contemporary artists. With seminal hits such as Ill Behaviour, Bad Boy Back Again and Shock Out, his rolling and versatile sound decimates dances from his home county of Somerset to the far reaches of the planet.
It is with great joy we can announce the man himself will be leading the vanguard for our Room 2 at the Bristol BBQ XL in the Jungle Jam room with an exclusive Jungle set. This will definitely be a spectacle not worth missing, and to celebrate such an occasion, Mr. Byrd has been gracious enough to have a chat with us to reveal his personal Jungle favourites. So turn your speakers up, put on your dancing shoes and prepare to bruk out to some oldskool classics.
Leviticus – Burial
Leviticus was an alias of Jumping Jack Frost who earned his stripes as a DJ but came though and made one of the scene’s biggest anthems ever! Using a think break and rolling sub bass, this has a steadier groove than most other jungle tunes did at the time using Jigsy King and Tony Curtis’s iconic sample and a wicked R’n’B vocal from Jill Francis. JJ Frost has a book coming out entitled Big Bad and Heavy which is an autobiography of his time in the music scene, make sure you pick that up!
DJ Crystl – Meditation
Crystl’s production resume, sadly, only lasted 3-4 years hence maybe him being not remembered as some of the other names that morphed into D+B’s biggest hitters but the work he did was incendiary! This was an example of the Bukem/Good looking sound but was a bit rougher around the edges. Crystl came from a Hip-Hop background if I remember correctly and thus always had the best breaks. The amen on this track was given additional compression, something easily done today with plugins, but it showed an extra attention to detail back then which is what really set it apart.
Sounds of the Future – The Lighter
One of DJ SS’s aliases and arguably his best-known track. This track caught the attention of people who were not just hardcore jungle fans with its unique classical music piano intro. Proving the point in 1994 that literally you could add anything into Cubase as long it was rolling, fast and had a lot of bass. Cliché thing to say but it’s a perfect example of who there were no rules back then. I wish d&b was a bit more out there with some ideas like this in 2017.
Splash – Babylon
Probably the most well-executed jungle track ever created I think. Everything about this is perfect. Buying the AWOL live compilation in 1995, this was one of the featured tracks and they used loads of the crowd noise when the bass kicks in and also MC GQ calling for the rewind. Gives me chills just thinking about it… If you heard that and still didn’t get Jungle I don’t think this music is for you. There was also a great DJ SS remix of this that uses more of a dred bass reverse bass vibe, worth checking out for sure.
Renegade – Terrorist
Ray Keith and Nookie on the controls for this anthem. What set this track apart was the fact it was one of the jungle tunes to use a bass different to the standard flat 808 kick sound. The hoover bass as it was known, and still sounds fresh now. Starting the track off with a wicked delayed piano line and that bass coming in made this a perfect intro tune. Still goes off today as it did back then.
So there you have it. An impeccable selection from an esteemed artist. For a chance to hear these bad boy riddimz and have a jolly good boogie then come and join us for the Hospitality Bristol BBQ XL in July. Go on, it’d be rude not.
Words by Danny Byrd & Ed Priest