Jungle – Volcano

With the coming of 'Volcano', the disco glitterball shimmers even brighter. 

Label: Caiola Records/AWAL
Released: 11th August 2023

As we arrive at the height of summer, there couldn’t be a more appropriate time for Jungle, the London producer duo whose sound feels like the sonic form of sunshine, to release their fourth album. Two years on from previous cut ‘Loving In Stereo’, a landmark record which saw their highest domestic chart position at Number 3, it appears that with the coming of ‘Volcano’, the disco glitterball shimmers even brighter. 

As opener ‘Us Against the World’ ’s melodic bassline starts to groove, the sound of a cold beer cracking open can almost be heard in the distance. Warmth radiates from the soulful beats of harmony-filled ‘Back On 72’, while ‘You Ain’t No Celebrity’ is a much bassier, club-oriented track. The disco ball spins most vibrantly during ‘Don’t Play’ – within which the fusion of 70s funk, hip hop and soul can be heard in force, and ‘Holding On’ is unique with its fast-paced backbeat and spoken-word vocals. Each track offers something different, creating a listening experience both exciting and unpredictable. Sky high falsetto harmonies, a sonic staple for a Jungle track, appear throughout – demonstrating the band’s ability to traverse new terrain without losing their signature sound. 

There’s also an impressive range of features on the album, including Erick the Architeckt, Bas, Roots Manuva, Channel Tres and JNR Williams, further heightening the tracks’ vibrant originality. ‘Candle Flame’ is a particular stand out – a timeless, feel-good song with its colourful summer ambience, funk-laden guitars and dance-worthy backbeat. It’s also one of the most lyrically authentic and personal songs on the album, to which Erick The Arckiteckt’s soulful quick-beat rhymes add a real richness.

If there’s one thing a Jungle record is going to do, it’s make you feel good – and ‘Volcano’ is no exception. As laidback ‘Pretty Little Thing’ featuring Bas brings the album to a joyful yet sentimental close, one is left with the feeling that the project is, indeed, a summer success.

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