Django Django is a rock band from London. Their latest record, Off Planet, is out now on Because Music.
Django Django is a London-based art rock band — but their latest record, Off Planet, was influenced by frontman Dave Maclean’s return to his roots as a DJ, taking inspiration from jungle, acid house, and drum and bass. Here, Dave shares the top 10 ‘90s hardcore and jungle records that shaped Off Planet; check it out below — and check out the new record, which is out today on Because Music.
— Annie Fell, Editor-in-chief, Talkhouse Music
Essence of Aura — “Can I Dream”
This was played a lot by DJs like Frost and Top Buzz. I had it on a few tapes but didn’t get it on vinyl ‘til recently. It hits that sweet spot in time when hardcore was turning into jungle, and before it split into happy hardcore and jungle. A lot of people I knew were calling it “jungle techno” back then, I guess because it still had the 4×4 kick and some of the MCs on the tapes were calling it that. Anyways, this is a banger and I still get goose bumps at that nutty synth break bit.
Ramos and Vinylgroover — “The Beast”
I loved this record so much when it dropped that I borrowed it off my mate Andy, who’d borrowed it off his mate Steve, and took it to London on the train to play it to my brother! Not sure he was as into it as I was. Ot’s another four-to-the-floor breakbeat slammer with a dark synth line and some great horror movie vocal samples. Does the Business.
Alex Reece — “Pulp Fiction”
I was in the highlands camping with my mate Jamie when someone played this very late at night on Radio 1 (I think Ross Allen) just before it came out. I still remember absolutely buzzing and turning the radio up full and trying our best to dance in a tiny two man tent, flashing the torch like a strobe. Good times.
T Power — “Mutant Jazz”
I loved jungle records that had some half-time hip hop parts and this was the ultimate track for that. It starts really chilled, then has that amazing “The White Man’s Got a God Complex” sample, then goes nuts. The synth trumpet solo is so good, and that classic Akai sample pack “pan pipes” sound — which I actually used on the Django track “Back 2 Back” in homage to this tune. Also the DJ trace remix is absolute killer and changed the game a wee bit in terms of drum and bass production.
Goldie — “You and Me”
I can’t actually listen to this without being flooded with nostalgic emotion. That time I took the Ramos and Vinylgroover record to London, I took this LP too, and I’d taped it to listen to on the train. It was my first visit to London and the train was pulling into King’s Cross when this track came on, and when I hear it I’m transported back to being 15 again.
DJ Hype — “Roll the Beats”
I was and still am a huge Suburban Base fan. I drew the logo on my school bag in Tipp-Ex. My mate Jamie (from the camping trip) bought this 12″, and every time I went to his house I demanded he played it to the point that he just gave me it. I think it was kind of a game changer in terms of the sound and production techniques, and I still marvel at its genius to this day. Hats off, DJ Hype.
DJ Food — “Scratch Yer Head (Squarepusher Remix)”
This track blew my tiny mind when It came out. It just gets madder and madder. I remember reading that Squarepusher was making music to play to his mates, and they were trying to one-up how far they could mangle and twist drum breaks to entertain themselves. I love that, and I love how mad the drum chops and rolls are on this. It keeps you on your toes from beginning to end. I remember playing it at a school disco in 1996 and absolutely clearing the dance floor except for this one guy, Cameron Foster, who absolutely loved it. Thanks, Cam!
Palmskin Productions — “The Beast (System Remix)”
This is actually a Roni Size remix and I played it to absolute death when it came out. When those electric piano chords come in and the drums chop and change around them — my lord. It’s up there with the best.
Deep Blue — “The Helicopter Tune”
What can I say about this record. It’s a classic of classics on one of the best labels to do it. I love the drum production … and those strings are bliss. Pure masterpiece.
D’Cruze — “Lonely”
Number one spot could only ever be this record. The best jungle record ever made in my world. It’s a masterpiece from start to finish. Those pitched tom drums, the string stabs, all the space in it, that vocal sample, the drums. It’s just pure class and I never tire of hearing it. It’s one to play in the car full volume… Also, if I’m a bit tipsy on the tour bus, this is being played at least three times.
PS: Check my “Roll the Beats” mixes on Mixcloud — most of these tracks are on there, along with all my other favorite ‘90s jungle and hardcore records from my collection.