Album Review: Congo Natty/ Jungle Revolution.

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“Gimme the drums and bass an mek me mash down Babylon”

 

The ‘son of a Welsh mum and Jamaican dad grown up in Tottenham’ has musically and spiritually come a long way from 1989’s ‘Street Tuff’ from Rebel MC & Double Trouble. His style is still present and correct, flowing with ease over all breaks and rhythms; but in 2013 he’s coming with a clear message. One of positive upliftment, unity, and awareness. 

‘Jungle Revolution’ was self-produced by Congo Natty, and incorporates classic Jungle sounds with newer electronic touches and a slew of perfectly picked guests; keeping the vibe of the record firmly in the immediate and extended UK jungle family. The title is perfectly Ronseal, mash those two words and what they represent together and you’ve got the current Congo Natty sound. A thick, deep sound complete with Bob Marley and KRS One samples, Lion roars, MASSIVE breaks an beats to get amped to and a youthful, urgent sound, peppered with the type of calm, cool wisdom that comes with age and overstanding.

This album is exactly what rebel music should sound like in 2013. ‘Jungle Souljah’ starts the album off as it means to go on, utilizing the intro to his live set to galvanize the listener; readying them for the heavy blend of revolutionary rhetoric and danceable grooves the first track heaps on with blistering pace and precision. Benny Page’s mix of ‘UK All Stars’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Guc3xSj7wQs is a fitting introduction to the salient members of the UK scene and a definite hype moment deftly capable of carrying the weight placed on it by the uptempo intro track. If you don’t feel like running through walls after listening to this, you should probably tuck yourself in bed for the ‘talent’ shows on your tell lie vision this weekend.

The single that got me hyped for this album was ‘revolution’ featuring Buggsy, one of Bristol’s biggest names in the game for the last year or so, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sr0L0d0rCCY.  providing us with a collab that was too perfect not to happen. Both MC’s command attention and deliver strong words over the heavier sections of the track, balancing Nanci Correia and Phoebe ‘Iron Dread’ Hibbert’s soulful melodies in the hooks, that still come laced with the edge that the message demands. ” Hear these words and strengthen yourself” never sounded so apt.

Every track is as important as the last, all retaining a sense of purpose and direction. Congo Natty has kept the music catchy and well written , serving up memorable old school melodies on ‘get ready’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUm9mC3yl_c.  Sista Mary fires darts at the lack of unity and consciousness, diagnosing problems and solutions alike in ‘Nu beginingz’ making any mainstream british dub influenced female sound trite and contrived. Any Klashnekoff fan will recognise parts of ‘Jungle is I and I’, featuring a well selected guest verse from Lady Chann  and melodies from Congo Natty’s daughters and Nanci Correia to “show the way to positivity” and remind us ‘don’t you lose your mind, cuz knowledge is the key’ with the Rebel MC recounting some London music history in his verse.

Amongst the positive messages, there is still a need for balance, which comes in the form of ‘London Dungeon’, where the darker side of the capital is highlighted. Lyrically dealing with racism, murder and division and using a more electronic dub sound that shifts into a trance-like melody for the last chorus, the song structure is analogous to the lyric ‘out of the darkness must come Jah light’ from the second verse. Taking the low frequencies that underscore the words of the beginning, and turning them into high, positive vibrations by the end. ‘Rebel’ finds the London Junglist trading bars with 2nice, who reprises his well written 2010 single of the same name over fast breaks and provides the second really out and out catchy, summer tune. The album closes with a stern reminder of the systems plan; samples warning of NWO agendas resonate over a rude bass line on ‘Micro Chip (Say No), with Natty ominously warning: “Babylon dun set a plan, put the microchip in ya right hand”.

As an uplifting, exciting album that had the producer and artist spending ‘the last 3 years recording and fighting the devil so this LP could be mixed, finished, and released’, ‘Jungle Revolution’ is a must have. It works equally as potently acting as a hash smokers soundtrack to a dingy rave in a Newham basement, as it would pumped through loudspeakers in smoke strewn streets as the Black Bloc flip a car to shield protesters from rubber bullets. 

Buy it here http://www.bigdada.com/release/congo-natty/jungle-revolution or via the usual digital vendors.

5/5.

Quotes: “Bussin out the box with ma natty dreadlocks, yes man a rebel an I come fi slew the devil” – Rebel.

“Music is a journey, it’s destination is freedom” – Liner Notes.

 

Peace.

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