Will 2021 never cease to amaze?
For those of you who were around in the jungle/drum’n’bass scene – especially the ragga jungle/drum’n’bass scene – fifteen or eighteen years ago or whatever it’s been, you might recall the name BRO from the now defunct ragga-jungle.com forums, MORE Recordings, and Bludclot Recordings.
I did a lot of release artwork for his MORE Recordings netlabel, and we both released music on each other’s netlabels, along with music from a lot of other producers in the same scene from that era, new and established alike.
While it was not, as far as my fading memory can recall, really anything he and I ever discussed, I always felt a kinship with BRO, especially as a producer at that time. Rather than making formulaic cookie cutter big dancehall jungle and ragga-jungle like the more established artists at that time, I felt like he and I came at things with a different set of glasses on. We were absolutely an actual part of that scene and time, no two ways about it, but I feel like we lived on the fringes a little, carving out our own thing.
Either way, eventually ragga-jungle.com faded away, so too did netlabels (basically), along with a lot of producers, label owners, promoters, MCs, DJs, and artists. Some just retired, others have found time when it was available, and others somehow managed to stay in the lab. I always felt like BRO probably straight up retired without notice, and that was that. I don’t have any good reason, that’s just how I felt when I considered it and the times and the scene.
Today I login into Soundcloud and find out that this artist “Babylons Ruined Orchestra” had started following me there. At first I thought it was a spam/bot follower, but I took a second look. Thankfully so, because I was lead down the rabbit hole of the first new tracks from BRO we’ve been lucky enough to hear in over a decade (if my math is right).
His bio on Soundcloud which, as far as I can tell, is the only place he’s touched back down on the internet, says the following:
“If you didn’t already know, you’re about to find out.
BRO (NOBS / More Recordings) [CAN] never settled, was never still in the darkness that he descended into. Always working towards amassing a sonic arsenal fit the slay soundboys the world over. Now with the world in seemingly endless turmoil, the time is right for a resurgence, a sonic insurgency on modern drum n bass. This is the revolution.”
The four tracks available to stream on his new Soundcloud account are very much rooted in the sounds from the aforementioned scene and time, but also absolutely and thoroughly sound like they’re coming from a new and improved BRO. The edits are noteworthy, across all the classic jungle breakbeat samples. There are loads of classic and, depending on who you ask, overly used, samples from the ragga jungle and drum’n’bass scene. None of you knew you needed a new “Everyday Junglist” refix, but you do. And you need everything else in, of, and from these tunes.
I hope there’s a boatload more coming and that he’s got big plans to realize, because it is radical as fuck to have new music from BRO in 2021.