Jungle – Volcano

Perhaps their best album yet...

Jungle’s decade-long career has seen the production duo move from much-hyped online phenomenon through to viral slow burners. The group’s 2014 debut may have stamped out their winning formula – disco meets hip-hop with some excellent features – but since then they’ve broadened their approach, and deepened their techniques. The work of a studio team who know exactly what they want to achieve – and how to get their – ‘Volcano’ is probably Jungle’s best album yet.

Luxuriant in sound and scintillating in songwriting, ‘Volcano’ finds the balance between daring sonics and ear-worm melodies. With one foot in the club sphere, Jungle are able to bring sizzling energy to the fore, while still ostensibly writing pop songs. ‘Us Against The World’ is an intoxicating opener, its light, house-leaning feel serving as a breezy summer soundtrack. Erick the Architect lights up ‘Candle Flame’, while a superb Channel Tres vocal fires up ‘I’ve Been In Love’.

Yet it’s not all about the features. At times, Jungle’s soulful appeal is worth placing alongside Sault, and that’s no mean feat – ‘Back On 74’ is a gorgeous piece of retro-tastic funky soul, while ‘Holding On’ burns with deep house flair. ‘Every Night’ is suitably anthemc, while the bleached out tones of ‘Palm Trees’ are just right for these sunny days.

Indeed, one noticeable aspect of the features on ‘Volcano’ is the assured nature of their inclusion. Each one adds something definitive to the song – whether that’s all-too-rare bars from Roots Manuva on ‘You Ain’t No Celebrity’ or a tasteful turn from Stateside rapper Bas on album closer ‘Pretty Little Thing’, each addition seems in service of the whole.

A focussed, unified return, ‘Volcano’ doffs its cap to some supreme influences, while also allowing Jungle to expand, and evolve. Soulful songwriting with a thirst for house and disco, it finds the production duo amplifying their ambitions, and finessing their techniques across a cycle of exceptionally strong songwriting.


Words: Robin Murray

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