A bit of an Eclectic Minds Friday treat for you right here… Not only are we chatting formative jungle business with Jody Wisternoff, a player who’s been involved in the dance since the early 90s (most notably as one half of the chart-smashing Way Out West), but he’s been so inspired he’s given us a super smooth old school jungle mix to give away!
“I’ve been mining that 92-96 era for inspiration for a long time now!” he grins. “I just have to flick through my old record collection and it puts me in a really nice creative mood. It teleports me back to the days when it was just about making music for fun. No career in mind, no mortgage to pay, you know? Just music for pure pleasure. That makes me buzz!”
You want pure pleasure? Just check this tracklist:
1 Goldie – Kemistry – Synthetic Hardcore Phonography
2 Futurebound – Sorrow – Skanna recordings
3 Krust – Jazz Note 2 – V Recordngs
4 E-Z Rollers – Believe – Moving Shadow
5 The Alliance – First Impressions – Reinforced
6 PFM – Wash over me – Good Looking Records
7 Alex Reece – Basic Principles rmx – Metalheads
8 Blame + Justice – Essence ( The groove ) – Moving Shadow
9 Skanna – The Greatest thing - Skanna recordings
10 Roni Size – Its a jazz thing ( Electric boogie mix ) – V Recordings
11 Mark Pritchard – Atmosphere EP – Recoil records
12 TicTacToe – white label
“The mix was actually the Anjunadeep record label boss’s idea, he’s a closet junglist!” laughs Jody. “But the minute he suggested it I was all over it! I ripped 30 vinyls and just started playing around, putting the jigsaw together… As you do! I wanted to find the best tunes that really stand the test the time. I realised how much I loved that era just after hardcore rave and just before drum & bass. That period really resonates with me.”
Reminiscing over the time when compressors were but a pipedream and all you had at your disposal was a pair of Akai samplers, an effects unit, an Atari and Cubase, Jody still fondly recalls his formative jungle days. Including a release or two with fellow Bristolian DJ Die as Sub Love.
“I first hooked up with Die before drum & bass was even a thing,” he tells us. “We were making hip-hop beats. It’s just those beats got faster and faster! People like Shut Up And Dance were really pushing the scene. Things seemed to get faster and faster every week. DJ’s would play things at plus eight and producers were responding to what they heard on the mix tapes. Suddenly jungle was happening! I started making other types of music around 93 so was only around at the very start, but I think you can hear it in the Way Out West.”
Compare the cool, icy, spine-tingle selection of this mix and the rushy, breakbeat driven euphoria as his work with Nick Warren as Way Out West and there’s a huge connection. You can also hear it in his solo material: his debut album, Trails We Blaze, a deep and sexy house long player on Anjunadeep features an old Doc Scott sample.
Whether it’s reminiscing over his early days in rave, digging out the old vinyl or combining the two as a solo artist, Jody Wisternoff will happily admit his days as a junglist have been a huge influence on where he is today. Find out about his album here.
And download his mix right here.
And check out three of his most influential jungle tracks right here….
PFM – One & Only
“An absolute classic! I remember even Pete Tong was picking up on stuff like this. I think this was around 95 and I was deep into the house music… This was very close to pulling me back into the breakbeats in a major way. Beautiful stuff; so smooth and different sounding for the time.”
Meat Beat Manifesto – Radio Babylon
“This really influenced me! It blew my mind! I think it opened a lot of people had their heads blown by this. Hearing the hot pants break sounding like it was being recorded in a cathedral; this is seminal early doors stuff that really paved the way for everything that followed. And that dubbed out skanking bassline? Wow! I think this influenced every producer who’s over the age of 34.”
Smith & Mighty – Killer
“Got to represent the Bristol crew on this. This was a really interesting track. They signed to London Records as a Bristol/downbeat style act and the first thing they did was give the label a dirty rave record! Properly hardcore. Not playing the game at all, which I love. Very Bristol!”