In a world of special snowflakes, it’s difficult to be unique and make a niche market for yourself, while at the same time, marketing yourself to the masses you must stand out to. Some artists try to buck the trend and most fail, but for the few that are able to carve the niche, the effort was worth it.
One group that is finding out that hard work pays off is Fight Clvb, a DJ duo from NYC that is certainly not your average music act. Spouting a musical style of ‘jungle terror’ and featuring a hype man straight from Insane Clown Posse, Fight Clvb has been on the rise the past year with releases on Dim Mak and, just recently, a brand new collaboration with Angger Dimas that we premiered last week. We were able to sit down with Fight Clvb and dig deeper into the origins of jungle terror and their vision for their own niche market in the music world.
What classifies this new sound that you guys are pushing as ‘jungle’ when compared to classics like Adam F’s “The Original Junglesound” or M-Beat’s “Incredible? Do you see longevity to this new movement, such as house/hip-hop, or will it transcend into a different genre in the future?
We think Wiwek was going for a literal tongue in cheek approach when he started calling his sound ‘Jungle Terror’. He was using atmospheric landscapes in his productions, utilizing jungle sound effects, animal noises, and rapid vocal chops to literally create a jungle like ambiance. A lot of producers, including ourselves, continue to take this approach, but we’re also coming up with new ways of tackling the sound without creating a monotonous or repetitive style. Unlike the examples you referenced, the “genre” reflects the satirical outlook of the internet culture. If the sound reaches the masses and is proliferated by other producers, it will undoubtedly follow the pattern of the niche genres that came before it, i.e., trap, electro house, dubstep, etc.
What makes “Jungle Terror” special among a myriad of other slight variances of the already highly commercialized big-room sound? What kind of niche does jungle terror create for itself that makes it stand out among the cookie cutter big-room subsidiaries?
As we mentioned earlier the genre is not trying to take itself overly serious. A jungle terror drop can vary in style, the lead can be steel drums, harsh synth stabs, vocal chops, or even animal sounds that all follow Caribbean drum patterns. Not to knock big room, but we feel like this genre takes the traditional distorted kick drum with a minimal drop and flips it on its head by adding the aforementioned elements.
Q-Dance has been leading the pack in a resurgence of hardstyle and drum and bass over here in the US. Do you see original jungle music riding the coattails for a comeback? If so, how can jungle terror help spark the interest?
We don’t think so. We feel like jungle terror is in a league of its own. Its hard to compare it to drum and bass because of the tempo and overall tonality, but we are noticing the correlations between hardstyle, especially when it comes to using hardstyle synths and distorted kickdrums.
When people come to see you guys play live, I think they’ll be a little more than shocked when they see Mysterio behind the decks. Why the WWE Insane Clown Posse style mask? Why do you relish in this sense of anonymity? Does Mysterio represent an alter ego of Sav, similar to Tyler Durden in Fight Club?
That’s a great question. Mystereo isn’t really behind the decks, he’s our hype man. You can usually find him dangling from the bar, swinging from the rafters, dancing in the crowd with the fans, VJ’ng live, and throwing out cheeseburgers to hungry fans. Mystereo is a combination of SAV’s alter ego, excellent observation, and the personification of the wild manic sound that is jungle terror.
What norms do you hope to disrupt by introducing this new spin on bass music? (similar to how in Fight Club they looked to take down the Credit Card Industry)
We just want to break up the monotony in dance music. We want to kill the overly serious and pretentious overtones that are often associated with a majority of producers and EDM. It’s cool if you want to wear a black shirt and tie your hair in a man bun, tell people to raise their hands and drop the same song for twenty minutes, but we feel that the EDM audience has become privy to these cliches and has outgrown all of that. The EDM consumer today demands a higher standard, not only reflected in the music but also in the overall “brand”.
What artists in the game today do you see challenging the status quo of bass music like yourselves?
We love what 4B is doing with Jersey Club and Jungle Terror, he’s definitely at the forefront of our list. Angger Dimas should really get more credit for shaping the sound that eventually became ‘Jungle Terror’. That dude was dabbling with the sound before it was even considered a genre.
You mention that you want to make a trilogy out of the Jungle Terror EP series, what kind of story do you hope to tell with this sound? Do you believe that you can tell a colloquial (coherent, substantial, actually good) story with Jungle Terror?
SAV comes from a film a film background, he brings that storytelling element to his productions. The EPs will reflect that background. Beyond the music, we are also developing a comic book series with a very talented artist, that will display the adventures of FIGHT CLVB within the Jungle Terror universe.
Photo Credit: Razberry Photography for Webster Hall