Hurt me, I'm liking this too much....
Hurt me, I'm liking this too much. Jungle Warfare is a non-stop feast of aggressive beats, ready for slicing, dicing, splicing, and adding icing. Volumes 2 and 3 of the series cover the same territory; in fact, the two CDs are formatted with exactly the same track layout and even the same number of samples per track. The materials are different, however, so you can buy both with (as far as I could tell from A/B comparisons) no overlap. Each CD has 50 tracks of beats - and a single track is not just a single two-bar loop. Instead, you get 16 bars or more, all of it jam-packed with variations.
Every two-bar phrase offers some new syncopation or turnaround on the beat; there are occasional chopped-up breaks and backward sounds, repeating sixteenths on hi-hat, and so on. The sheer mad variety has to be heard to be believed: Pick a track, snip out a few beats that you like, loop one, and use the others as fills - or grab a longer phrase for more of a manic groove. Most of the drum tracks contain only kick, snare, and hi-hat or ride, but each track gives you new drum sounds (big trashy kicks and sloppy ambience, little tight tappy kick and snare, etc.). A few are spiced up with multiple snares, flammed double hits, metallic bongos, or what-have-you. Tempos run the gamut from 161.5 to 168.5 bpm.
We found plenty of reasons to give Jungle Warfare a Key Buy award. For instance, the production is very solid sonically, with plenty of bottom and consistent levels. My only reservation (it's hardly strong enough to call a complaint, and those with limited sampler RAM or limited audio recorder track count may disagree ) is that most of the samples are monophonic. Once in a while you'll hear a snare echo panned hard left or something of the sort, but most of the mixes are dead center. That's where the kick and snare will end up in any case, but I felt a bit more could have been done to add variety.
"Both CDs have plenty of great loops," associate editor Greg Rule observed, "but Vol. 3 seems the more wicked of the two. With Vol. 2, one had to get pretty deep into the disc before I found the killer stuff. Vol. 3 comes right out swingin'." Each volume is rounded out with 34 additional tracks containing single drum hits, single bass notes, two-bar bass lines, ambiences, stabs, and assorted FX. Most of the bass lines are on fat synths, including some distorted 808 tones playing pitched lines. A few use upright bass, but they're clearly single-note samples that have been sequenced, not actual bass performances.
Aside from the bass lines and the drum tracks, there's nothing resembling complete phrases on Jungle Warfare, just a ton of samples with plenty of character (sirens, synth sweeps, duck calls, distorted electric piano, nature ambiences, echoing machine sounds, organ screams, a little of this and that). What you won't find are cutesy sci-fi and hip-hop vocal samples: These CDs are tightly formatted to give you just what you need for your rhythm tracks. As somebody once said, why get into a war if you're not going to fight to win?
Jungle Warfare 3 is another collection...
Jungle Warfare 3 is another collection of manic drum loops and individual hits in a jungle stylee. Fifty tracks of well produced authentic drum loops are offered, along with a token amount of individual drums, basses, keys, organs, fx and various sundry bleeps and the like. The loops are standard fodder and, once again shift little in tempo, all hanging around the 165 BPM mark. As far as the individual sounds are concerned, they do seem like something of an afterthought. A pity, because a bit more attention to detail could have made this collection a real winner.
The loops are provided as usual; firstly on their own (of durations from 16 to a staggering 124 bars) and followed by their composite parts. There are some highly useable grooves here, and given the generous duration of most of them, should provide more than enough variation to complete whole tracks with. Of the individual drum sounds, there are some stomping kicks and snares, with the useful addition of some judiciously programmed snare rolls. The six tracks of bass lines also demonstrate the programming prowess of DeMierre. Jungle Warfare 3 should prove a worthy addition to any serious junglist's library. But if it's the only one you intend to buy, try and have a good listen before parting with your cash.
This is an excellent collection of rip...
This is an excellent collection of rip it up aural gifts that I'm sure will be popular all over the world as producers in all sorts of audio sectors figure out just how that curious British "Drum and Bass" stuff actually works.
How useful could you get for a producer who's not exactly steeped in inner city British black music breakbeat raggamuffin culture? Across its three discs, Jungle Warfare gives a lot of the game away with a mixture of breaks, individual hits, de riguer sphincter expanding bass files and the required dancehall stylee FX and 'ting.
The emphasis, like the genre, is on breaks and beats and this collection sorts you out with exactly the right kind of kit(s). If you can't get something hard, happening and heavy out of Jungle Warfare (especially volume 3) then it's time to get back to programming that new age clogs and flutes folk track you always dreamed of.