Listen, I know. Every other electronic release has breaks and a Y2K aesthetic these days. I understand if you’re looking for something else. However, this is also why I need you to believe me when I say that this album is, in fact, really good.
“Girls Love Jungle” is a collaborative album between North Carolina-based artist gum.mp3 and the New York City-based Dazegxd. Over its 31 minutes, the two fuse the style of both 90’s and modern electronic to create something that’s ultimately unique.
The first three tracks best showcase this combination to me. Opener “Mania” leans more on the modern end, with the most obvious example being the prominent crash-police-siren sample that’s now irreparably linked to the very recent genre of hyperflip.
It’s then followed by “Bad 4 Us,” which has a higher focus on the smooth keyboards and vocal samples common to older jungle, but its production style is still unmistakably modern.
The last of this opening run is “Imitator,” which strips back the production to focus almost entirely on the breaks and a handful of sampled instruments, and the result feels timeless.
The rest of the album continues playing with these ideas of new and old, and eventually ends on the duo each doing a solo track. Dazegxd’s, “Don’t You See,” is probably my favorite song on “Girls Love Jungle,” which is also a statement that makes me feel like I’m abandoning my local artists. The track focuses on its main vocal sample for most of its run, then turns into complex breaks that scratch an itch I didn’t realize I had for its last third.
gum.mp3’s solo track, “Mind Reader,” takes the opposite, moodier approach. It’s much steadier, and its vocals are front and center when compared to most of the other tracks on the album. It’s an interesting way to close out the album, but I’m ultimately glad for it.
Overall, “Girls Love Jungle” is a great addition to the ever-expanding list of modern albums influenced by the past, and especially another to the list of (in this case, partially) local electronic. Both Dazegxd and gum.mp3 have a lot of potential, and I’m excited for their futures.