Jungle is back. It's official this time; Congo Natty says so. The influence of that most rambunctious of early '90s dance genres is undeniable, from the ubiquity of "Amen" break mangling and rapid-fire sub-bass to the cultural importance of the Rasta message of unity and spirituality that permeated the worldwide dance culture, which embraced the potent mix of Jamaican dancehall vibes and UK rave mentalism in the mid-'90s. Now the originator, Rebel MC (aka Congo Natty, aka Mikail Tafari), is back to claim his crown with Jungle Revolution. From the outset, it's abundantly clear that jungle has evolved. The 150-bpm ragga bangers that we all know and love are present and correct, alongside more roots-based tracks and sub-heavy workouts, but the fantastic thing about Jungle Revolution is the feeling of the torch being passed to the new generation. The inclusion of a veritable who's who of UK soundsystem culture, both old and new, is testament to this. Tracks such as "Jungle is I & I," featuring London-based MC Lady Chann, and "Jungle Souljah" by La La & the Boo Ya meet old skool steppers such as "UK Allstars," featuring every legendary jungle deejay you can think of with perfect synergy — there's not once a let up in either vibes or bass. The result is an LP that manages to look forward while honouring the past simultaneously, which is no mean feat these days.
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