Intense Remastered

Great reissue of vintage Jungle by Will at Sublogic records. This follows on the heels of "ardchaeology" last year by Basement Records and their Truper collection and Sublogic's own stunning Skanna reissue. This is the second reissue of this set but if you have an ounce of sense you'd buy it immediately or regret it at your leisure. As I write this there will probably only be single digits left. The market for this material is so overheated that these records themselves have all already become collectors items.

The music here is absolutely gorgeous. If I had to describe the collective aesthetic it is one of a militant exactitude. Like the best Hardcore Jungle there are plenty of notes here, but not a single superfluous one. The crew also had an uncanny knack for emotive pads that convey a yearning without recourse to cloying sentimentality. Heads-down, eyes-shut and bruk out.

Tracks range from the Intense crew's aliases as Babylon Timewarp (they were behind the seminal hymn to dub reggae "Durban Poison" which is blessfully compiled here) and The White House Crew (a savage EP on their legendary Subliminal imprint) through to their proto Ambient Jungle releases on Rugged Vinyl. Time-wise most of the tracks swirl round 1993 but "Motions" dates from 1996.

I'm looking forward to more of this kind of stuff. It's great that smaller labels have the courage to reissue it when it's often, by very dint of the outlaw codes of the day, in a grey area with regards to copyright. Not that I'm implying that the Intense set is anything but 100% endorsed by the artists themselves. I'd love to see material by other cult Hardcore outfits like The Anthill Mob made more widely available. And of course, perhaps eventually, the Juice Box twelves might see the light of day.