Jungle Fever – A 90’s tale
Nothing had ever felt like it was at the right time, the right place, the right people. That was often the way in a pre-internet world, where you pretty much had to take what was available in your neighbourhood.
That was all about to change. The world was about to take its first steps into globalisation. In the UK, we had endured over a decade of Thatcherite rule, the City was awash with yuppies, the working class were being erased, & even club culture was becoming elitist, after a punk & a new wave phase had finally burned out…
The birth of acid house, imported to the UK from Ibiza, via Detroit & Chicago heralded a whole new era of creativity & possibility. The first few years of acid house in the UK were an amazing balearic mix of pianos, pills, orbital raves, & 909’s.
As cool, fresh & inspiring as those early acid house years were, it’s adoption in London arguably gave the scene it’s most influential direction . Very quickly the egalitarian DiY punk ethic at the heart of 80’s acid house, that applied equally to music production, parties, social scenes or even the football terraces spawned the bastard child of acid house & hardcore: jungle.
Experimentation was central to the culture. Whether it was pushing the Roland synths in ways that were never imagined by the engineers, or playing records at the wrong speed. What was different from other youth movements such as Punk, was how democratic this movement was becoming. Arguably, not through design, but through the chance combination of drugs & technology. The perfect combination of inclusivity & possibility spawned jungle fever.
Dazed’s documentary is an inspiring film that tells this tale as lived by some of its key protagonists – Fabio & Groove, Hype, Goldie & many more.
As Trevor Jackson recently commented this could only really have ever happened in London. I loved every minute, weekly trips to Rage on Thursday nights changed my cultural landscape for ever.
In many ways this musical movement was the outrider for the Internet age.
If the internet is about cheaper production, globalisation and fusion. Acid house & jungle were the advance troops of this cultural revolution.