While the DnB seems to be generally devoid of jungle these days, there is actually still a thriving scene, and it’s not just grumpy old schoolers either. While labels like V, Playaz and Dub Rebellion are gearing up for a big year with their core producers and old school vibes, other labels like Natty Dub are reaching across the jungle/DnB aisle to find artists who are championing a more crossover sound. Enter the entertaining beat blitz that is Saxxon.
In the five years he’s been releasing jungle and dub-inspired DnB, Saxxon has run up an impressive discography already. He’s released on pretty much every jungle label, from Liondub International to V Recordings; he just seems to keep rolling out the rollers. Saxxon represents a new approach to jungle that is a little less serious and chin-scratchy. Saxxon is more about vibes and fun, as is evidenced in his video antics online and the crazy, cartoonish samples he put in his tracks. About beats, however, Saxxon is deadly serious.
The Electrolytes EP due out on Tuesday, April 2 on Natty Dub is Saxxon’s first EP since his Fifth Element EP on V and the massive Action Saxxon: Jungle Odyssey LP he did for Liondub International’s 10 year anniversary. He hasn’t slowed down though, releasing tracks on a number of compilations right up until last month. Saxxon’s always put out a staggering number of releases every year and it looks like 2019 will be no exception.
Electrolytes seems to be the first multi-track release of his in a while that’s 100% Saxxon, no collabs or fillers. It’s fast and full of jungle but that crossover vibe shows through as well, mostly in the way he syncopates his tracks. It’s subtle though; you can find the kick if you’re not too busy skankin’.
A definite highlight of the EP and possibly the reason Saxxon gets so much done is our premiere, “Insomniac.” No lack of a kick here as the beat lands squarely in drum and bass territory. The crisp, almost spiky snares do most of the jungle work here and of course Saxxon’s infectious and cartoonish humor is out in full force. The intro and breaks are comprised of a manipulated old school jungle sample as well as an actual cartoon sample. The main cartoon sample is in the phrase transitions: a quote from Ren & Stimpy which says, “maybe I’m too smart to sleep.” Maybe you are, Saxxon. That may just be it.
With artists like Saxxon putting the “fun” back into the funky side of jungle and he’s bringing DnB into the equation, like it or not. Slappy beats, old school snares and silly samples make up Electrolytes, and this EP could thus serve to hydrate the parched DnB/jungle landscape in 2019 and get more collabs flowing. Here’s hoping.
Electrolytes will release Tuesday, April 2 on Natty Dub Records. It’ll be available on Juno Download first, where fans can set up alerts to be told the second it’s available.