Sully (5) ‎– Blue EP

Label:
Keysound Recordings ‎– LDN046
Format:
2 × Vinyl, 12", EP
Country:
Released:
Genre:
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Tracklist Hide Credits

A1 Solitaire
A2 Checkmate
B1 Simple Things
B2 Charms
C1 Blue
C2 Blue (Logos Vapour Dub)
Remix – Logos (2)
D1 Routine
D2 M141

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Credits

  • Photography – Nico Hogg

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JVXP

JVXP

June 21, 2014
edited over 3 years ago
This whole jungle revival thing is kind of interesting, as people are either trying to recreate a sound that is somehow elevated by some people into mystical spheres or just trying to make people think of a long forgone era which they have fond memories of.

I enjoyed the Paul Woolford effort as Special Request a lot, but never quit got, why people said that this album had "that jungle sound" from 1994. In it. It didn't! Don't get me wrong, i loved that album. But it was miles away from what I'd call Jungle or DnB. Sure it had Amens and Thinks and 808 and reece basses, but it never got me like the stuff i came to love over the years listening to DnB/Jungle. It was more of a pastiche effort on the idea of "what jungle should sound like", than something that is jungle.

On the other hand there were ARE a lot of people sounding EXACTLY like 1994 jungle! People like Tim Reaper, Kid Lib or Nickynutz.

And people giving it a new twist like the SciWax camp or Subtle Audio. It has the elements of Jungle deeply infused into it's structures and sounds, but still trying to, at least, sound a bit more modern and giving beats and bass the lead in the whole sound.

The most extreme form of these efforts transformed into the crossover from Juke/Footwork and Jungle from the likes of Machinedrum and Om Unit. (Even though i think they sound are more like the 1994/1995 Metalheadz or Reinforced style of DnB, which some people sometimes insist on calling it DnB not Jungle.... Just to let you know: DnB and Jungle for me are just different names for the same thing!)

Sully's Blue EP lies somewhere in between. Somewhere between the Special Request type of pastiche ideas of Jungle and the exact replication of '94 jungle by the likes of Kid Lib and Co. And it executes the idea really well, but not without a few gripes.

All tracks are built around the classic Jungle/DnB breaks Amen, Think and Hotpants and are programmed so well and with all the tricks people used 20 years ago. The thing that made me fall in love with this type of music has always been the drums and Sully really knows how to program the drums in an interesting way. Along with earth-shattering 808 subbasses and timestreched vocals this is something that really would fit into one of those "Drum & Bass Selection" or "Best of Jungle" compilation without sounding like it was made in 2014! Love this. Yet he manages to fit in some nice sound and samples that give the overall EP a modern twist.

"Solitaire" starts of with some bell sound that permeates through the whole tune and the timestreched ragga vocal sits so perfectly in between. It reminded me a lot of an old Harmony & Extreme tune which i forgot the name of.

"Checkmate" uses the same kind of bassline as Solitaire and is a bit more rigid with its gated and high pitched drums.

"Simple Things" sounds a lot more mysterious with its tribal percussion and glassy synth.

"Charms" prominent feature is that air synth line backed with cheap FM strings alongside a rolling hotpants breakbeat.

"Blue" is the most prominent tune. Staring off a bit like a jukey kind of DnB tune, it unleashes the full blast of think breaks (plus all the vocal bits and tricks) pitched differently every odd bar. The classic diva vocals along with the chopped up vocal make this the best tune on the EP. This is, what i think, a jungle tune in 2014 should sound like!

"Logos Vapor Dub" has no beats and functions solely as an ambient interlude. Reminded me a lot of the ASC type stuff!

"Routine" walks of the path of recreating classic jungle and tries to be a bit more adventurous. Psycho strings in the intro give it a darkcore feel, whereas the silly ringmodulated synthline shows the Dubstep and Grime roots of Sully. The menacing bassline compliments the whole tune. Drums are a lot more trickier and processed more (More chopping and effects, like playing with the echo and pitch.) I think this, along with "Blue" is the highlight of this EP.

"M141" is a standard Amen affair with laser sounds and sad strings! Reminded me of Fallen Angels - "Hello Lover".

Overall i really love this EP. All tracks are pretty dark, without being too menacing. If you are looking for Tom & Jerry style "happy jungle" with Soul and RnB samples you are wrong. If you are looking for Jump Up stuff with Ragga Vocals plastered all over this is also not the kind of stuff you're looking for. Sully's "Blue" is trying to be dark and moody, without being too be "rudeboy" and nerdy. Personally i like this.

And here comes the BUT. As a good effort in trying to be '94/'95 jungle it lacks the depth and structure of the tunes from yesteryear. You can literally hear the Dubstep roots of Sully (like in "Routine") and overall all tunes are a bit boring when it comes to structure. I don't know why, even though they are relatively short (all 3-4 Minutes each), they sound boring after a few seconds. In comparison to other artists mentioned above, they sounds a bit "clinical", static, straightforward and conservative... I might have been the way Sully produces and this is his first effort in trying jungle, but if he wants to release more of this stuff (and I hope he does!), he should flesh out the tunes a tad bit more.

Overall this EP is something I'd really recommend to anyone interested in Jungle and DnB. I love it when people try something they are not known for. Often it's kind of a bad effort, but Sully and Keysound Records did really well with releasing this EP. If this is what Jungle in 2014 is sounding like, I'd love to see more of it!