Thursday, 19 September 2013

Tribe Of Issachar - Junglist

Tribe Of Issachar - Junglist (feat. Peter Bouncer) (Congo Natty, 1996)

Lords of the Underground's 'Tic Toc' is also the source of the rapped vocals in 'Junglist', one of the all-time classic tunes from Congo Natty: "Now before making records the hood was my saviour, but now I'm making tunes to make you jam with ya neighbour". The samples in this track were deliberately chosen to help get a message across. Initially jungle brought people together but as it got bigger it attracted violence and media scorn. By 1996 the scene was changing with the reggae influences getting sidelined in the process of the genre being rebranded as drum and bass. Earlier this year Rebel MC told the Solid Steel radio show: "I had to withdraw myself because the scene had become a monster":

"Cause from the hood I came and to the hood I must return"

As well as the 'Tic Toc' vocals there are a couple of other samples during the intro: "Peace to all the real DJs out there" from KRS-One's 'Mad Crew' (ie the DJs that still played jungle) and "Too black, too strong". This second sample is the truncated form of a phrase from Malcolm X's 'Message To The Grassroots' speech which opened Public Enemy's 'Bring The Noise'. The full quote reads: "It's just like when you've got some coffee that's too black, which means it's too strong. What do you do? You integrate it with cream... you make it weak." The use of Malcolm X's words suggest that Rebel MC felt the scene was becoming diluted and losing what made it such a vibrant form of music.

In the interview with Solid Steel he went on to say: "They tried to change the name so I had to put out a tune, a statement." The soulful yet defiant vocals of Peter Bouncer make this statement loud and clear when they come in acapella:

"When I'm weak, you're tellin' me that I'm strong
When I'm right, you're tellin' me that I'm wrong
But I know and now I understand, now I see,
I see your wicked plan. I'm a Junglist!"

Around the samples and vocals Rebel MC crafts a superb jungle tune that uses the Sandy, Do The Do and Cold Sweat breaks with a couple of tough basslines and dub sirens, while the guitar lick from the beginning of 'Just Kissed My Baby' by The Meters adds some funk to proceedings. It's a powerful track with an enduring message and it was recently included in DJ Mag's 'Top 100 Most Important Drum & Bass Tunes' list. It has been remixed a number of times over the years including versions from DJ Zinc, Ray Keith and Serial Killaz, but the original remains the best.

You can check out the whole Congo Natty interview on Solid Steel below which concludes with a live recording from 1995 featuring Ragga Twins, Navigator, MC Dett and DJ SL:

Solid Steel Radio Show 28/6/2013 Part 1 + 2 - Congo Natty by Solid Steel on Mixcloud

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