- Jungle's been having a moment in the sun recently, from Demdike Stare's grotty Testpressing series to Lee Gamble's brilliant Diversions 1994-1996 and some faded moments on Zomby's With Love. Paul Woolford's Special Request project makes no bones about its inspirations: his debut on Houndstooth, the Hardcore EP, merges Surgeon-style techno with a junglist sensibility that evokes the illicit thrill of pirate radio without regressing into cheesiness or, worse, a blind homage to dance music's golden age. Woolford instead harnesses jungle's frenetic energy with an eye on 2013's dance floors.
The hotheaded bassline of "Broken Dreams" stops and starts joyously, like a DJ with a crowd in the palm of his hand. Ballasted by a fierce house beat, its break fizzes all over the place. Similarly high-octane is "Wall To Wall," a matrix of savage kicks, crispy clicks and a pitched-down vocal snippet. Anthony Naples' scratchy "Mindwash" remix hints at Woolford's brutal style, but recontextualises jungle as a relic, with an ethereal pad and vocal sample. Lee Gamble's spare "Capsules" remix is also beautiful, eschewing drums in favour of haunting atmospheres and wisps of disembodied vocal. The combination of Woolford's warehouse party grit and the comedown melancholia of the remixes is inspired, bringing rave and meditations on its demise disarmingly close.
A1 Wall To Wall
A2 Mindwash (Anthony Naples Eternal Mix)
B1 Broken Dreams
B2 Capsules (Lee Gamble Remix)