Various Artists

King of the Jungle, Vol. 2

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What's better than a compilation of top-notch jungle and drum'n'bass from the London scene? A budget-priced compilation of top-notch jungle and drum'n'bass from the London scene. Licensed from Kickin Records, this collection brings together material from the usual suspects (Roni Size, Tek 9, Dillinga) as well as some lesser-known names (Lemon D, Gorgon), and the quality level is surprisingly consistent. This is not generic, mood-music jungle: on "Must Feel," Cool Hand Flex demonstrates the deep connection between roots reggae and jungle; "All the Crew" shows that Roni Size is still a more dangerous junglist than Goldie; and Lemon D veers close to the edge of abstraction with the exquisite breakbeat sculpture and expert sampling of "London Sum'Ting." With no really weak tracks and an impressive variety of approaches and textures, and with a list price of under ten dollars, King of the Jungle, Vol. 2 would make an excellent introduction to the crazy world of jungle and drum'n'bass for any newcomer, and it should also be considered an essential purchase for aficionados.

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