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Notes on Classic Jungle Loops

Posted: November 4th, 2019, 7:24 pm
by oskr
Ok I found these notes I wrote a while back and decided they simply must be posted up here. Hope you like em.

NOTES ON (SOME) CLASSIC LOOPS USED IN JUNGLE AND BREAKCORE by OSKR !!!!

LYN THINK
aka WOO YEAH, BAD SISTER and more…
Originally comes from THINK (ABOUT IT) by Lyn Collins and the JB’s 1972 (the B side was a version of Ain’t No Sunshine).
Arguably the most famous loop(s) of all time with exception of the Amen Break.
The voices on the loops are James Brown (woo) and Bobby Byrd (yeah) etc. The drums are played by John “Jabo” Starks.
The loops run at approx 114bpm.
Woo Yeah is the most famous of five breakloops that come from the track, the other three drum loops also feature some shouted off mic words.
I usually call them ARHUS, YOU BAAAD and BAD SISTER. There’s also a loop with nothing but tambourine. The vocal loops are often used pitched up something like 50% or more, a famous example is Squarepusher “Come on my Selector”.

FUNKY DRUMMER

Probably the second most famous James Brown loop.
This was released as a single in 1970, it feels like essentially a jam song.
The bpm is around 97bpm.
The loop comes from an eight bar drum break near the end,
James Brown riffs over the top of it saying stuff like “uh huh.. ain’t it funky”, However it’s quite easy to cut the vocals out of the loop. It sounds passably jungly with a lot of processing and chopping.

TRAMEN
The tramen generally refers to the break used at the start of the track “Sniper” by DJ Trace released 1999.
The name may come from the merging of “trace” and “amen”.
The loop features a bunch of distinctive bell rides, and it may have beeen manufactured from parts of the tighten up loop and amen break (or others).
The tramen loop actually sounds rather muffled and fuzzy by today’s standards, but it appeared without any synth parts at the start of the record, and apparently for this reason it was sampled widely by lazy drum n bass artists.
Occasionally “tramen” may be used to refer to other loops with similar elements (ie spiky rides).

TIGHTEN UP
Another famous James Brown loop, from a live recording of a 1968 concert, released 30years later on a cd called “say it live and loud”.
It’s played around 136bpm.
Tighten up is an almost unrecognizable cover version, the much better known “tighten up” is by “Archie Bell and the Drells” also released 1968.
The loops come from a ten bar drum break near the start of the song, the first four bars are less remarkable.
From the fifth bar onward the drummer starts whacking a bell ride, this section is distinctive and heavily sampled. There’s also a good drum fill or two here.

APACHE

Immediately recognizable becuase of the weird percussion in with the breaks.
The loop comes from the “incredible bongo band” 1973. This was not a real band, apparently it was just a studio project.
Apache is a cover version of the more famous Apache by The Shadows 1960.
This version obviously has a truckload more bongos in it. It plays around 114bpm.
The most commonly used loop comes from the very first bars of the song, but actually there’s heaps of suitable loops throughout the song. It sounds fun but you probably wouldn’t use this as the main loop of a track.

DO THE DO
This is immediately recognizable with a lot of rides and claps.
The original track was released in 1981, the B-Side to “It’s Gettin Hot” by kurtis Blow”, it also appeared on the album “the Deuce”.
Kurtis blow (if you didn’t know) is most famous for “the Breaks”, he was an associate of Grandmaster Flash etc.
The track runs around 115bpm.
It actually has several break sections.
The most commonly used part features a lot of fun ride cymbals. There’s also a section without rides but some fun vocals (“say uh” etc).
Other parts are mostly useless because of a weird heavy pan phaser/flanger effect.
Bongra used this loop conspicuously on “Can you Dig It”.
The main Do the Do break runs for 8 bars.
The first two bars have some background talking on them.
The 6th bar has some toms on it.
The 4th and 8th bars have fills.
It may be desirable to layer the claps with snares.

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The following loops aren't quite as classic but I wrote about them anyway.

KOOL IS BACK
aka FUNK INC, aka KOOLFUNK
This comes from the Funk Inc self-titled first record, five tracks released 1971.
There’s one drum break around the 1:50min mark,
the loop is around 150bpm.
Distinctive saturated sound with good snares.

ASSEMBLY LINE
aka COMMODORES
Yet another bell ride loop.
This was the sixth track on the commodores 1974 album “Machine Gun”.
Fun fact: Lionel Richie used to be in this band.
The drum break appears around the 4minute mark in the song.
The break runs around 112bpm and it goes for 8 bars.
Unfortunately Lionel Richie and co are shouting “huh” loudly over the first beat of every bar in the sequence with maximum reverb and it’s a little hard to work with.

SCORPIO
Not to be confused with “Son of Scorpio”.
These loops come from two songs by Dennis Coffey and the Detroit Guitar Band.
Scorpio was released in 1971, the A side of a 7” single, Son of Scorpio came out the next year, on an album called Electric Coffey, subsequently they have been released as A and B sides of the same record. The tracks are very similar, jammy instrumentals with an absolutely horrid rhythm guitar sound, both tracks feature drum breaks that go on and on with more instruments joining.
The Scorpio break is approx 120bpm,it starts with a fill then four good bars of drums and after that bongos come in and it’s not as useful.
Worth mentioning is the extreme funk panning -the hats are panned hard right, the snare hard left, so you can pull the loop apart very easily.

FUNKY MULE
This loop comes from Ike Turner and the King’s of Rhythm, A Black Man’s Soul 1969.
Funky Mule is track 7 on that album, an instrumental.
The track is fairly short and around 133bpm. It begins with a clean drum break.
It takes some chopping and rearranging to get the most of it. The track subsequently features two later breaks that are almost identical these add a heavily panned ride cymbal and some other instrumentation and are not as useful.