Five 90s Jungle documentaries

A long long time ago in a galaxy far far away the BBC amongst others made documentaries about Jungle music. Now only a few ancient relics exist about this behemoth of the British underground music scene.

Following on from a post a few weeks back on the ’96 documentary Universal Techno we asked Peckham’s KidChameleon to look into the Jungle and Drum & Bass documentaries from back in the 90s.

I first came across Jungle a long time after everyone else. At a house party in high school in 2002, long after the scene had died off and dissapeared back underground. It was of course Super Sharp Shooter being played on the stereo on CD (remember those?). At the time its bigger, louder younger brother drum and bass stormed into pole position. With artists like Pendulum taking it to new heights and picking up the baton from their forebears.

It has taken me the best part of 10 years to fully explore and get my head around what was one the biggest musical revolutions in the UK counter culture. It took a lot of help from my older friends who were there first time around, they allowed me to raid their vinyl collections and spent hours answering my what is this tune questions.

Jungle now seems to be having a massive re-birth in new forms with younger producers picking up the mantle. Which is causing the original pioneers to get back into it and some of the old nights to even rekindle and bring jungle back to the masses. This has been met with varying success, if truth be told. I am also certain that many of the people who were there first time around will say; it’s not how it used to be….

I am not here to talk about that though. As a film maker and producer I love documentaries almost as much as I love eating/sleeping & sex. There are a huge range of music docs about the UK Rave/Dance scene. Some better than others. So I bring forth a small selection of my favourite Jungle documentaries. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

To begin and probably the most definitive one YouTube has to offer is All Black.

A 1994 BBC 2 program addressing many black issues of the day. This for me is my favorite and most comprehensive explanation about what the music was, about where it came from and why it did what it did. This is essential viewing for any youngun interested to learn about real jungle or an old timer wanting a nostalgic trip down memory lane.

Next on the list is Talkin’ Headz. A very specific one about the rise of a young label called Metalheadz run by some guy called Goldie! This takes a look at the artists and the future of the label amongst other things. I came across this as a friend still has it on VHS! It was distributed by Manga at the time as many of the underground UK dance producers were scoring music for many of the 90s anime films, Metalheadz especially. (Actual doc starts at 4mins 30s mark).

A London Somet’ing Dis 1993 – a very London centric documentary and only one part of this is on YouTube as far as I am aware. Similar and not quite as good as the BBC documentary in my opinion.

LTJ Bukem Documentary – A light hearted doc following the exploits of a young Danny Bukem as him and MC Conrad go on tour to places such as Canada.

Finally Underground Inna Moss side, takes a brief look at the Manchester Jungle scene.

These are but a mere five of the many documentaries knocking about on the web from a large time period about this wonderful music genre. So get out there and have a look around.


latest releases