"What started as one town's special secret became a worldwide event.
Here's to the Ballers that make it happen"
Our first Baller is Jungle Jim
, a master of innovation and the underground. Long-time producer and performer who edged his way to success through hard work and devotion.
[caption id="attachment_38658" align="aligncenter" width="420"]
Throwing it down @ Red Square[/caption]
What's going on with the genre in general?
Melbourne Bounce was tremendous - exploding with fiery rage to every stage across the globe. Then the bubble popped. What happened? According to Jim "It became a business, [a] commodity and it became generic."
Sounds familiar doesn't it?
It's what many people are saying about dance music in general. Every unique trend in the history of ever has done the same - it catches on, people dig it, it becomes a business and dies. Talking to Jim I thought he'd reassure me that the birthplace of bounce was still hot on it, but instead a darker side was brought to light. In the traditional sense, bounce has withered to a husk.
"Soulless promoters, DJs [and] artists started getting involved in it who were purely in the business to make money, and they sucked the life out of it. They packaged it as something that was mass appeal, with no character so naturally the original supporters of the genre turned on it." He continued, "every douche bag and their dog was listening to it. The type of people who didn't respect or understand where it came from and what it was about. So as a result...when the band wagoners lost interest the genre completely fell apart."
Like rats on a sinking ship, the fleeing producers rushed into the arms of big room cheese and minimal. This spawned sub-genres like "kick-bass," which is basically "bootlegs of popular music with a bassline and kick under it."
What about the rest of the world? It seems like there's still a lot of support. "There's a greater balance of genres, as well as more people bringing it in a fresh direction. Which we didn't have enough in Melbourne."
From his interview
with the DJ list - "Specifically with bounce it was listening to guys like T-REK
and Stevie Mink
that started my love for Melbourne music, while guys like Sparks sent me in a direction which lead me to find my own style." Persistence was key, he was picked up by underground powerhouse That Sound Entertainment
, Teddy Cream
, & Press Play
). With these incredible resources Jim found himself alongside the big boys at Future Music, Stereosonic, and later touring Asia.
Consistently releasing completely unpredictable tracks, he's (arguably) the most unique Melbourne Bounce artist in the game:
Striking all the right chords, the grim triplet-laden freakfest "Black Wolf" climbed to #33
on the charts
. It's exactly this kind of innovative sound I'm talking about, this was three years ago. As was commented during an interview with the DJ List, "Cheeky cooked melodies with occasional filth."
Over the years, Jim's worked with some interesting people and no doubt the one that takes the cake is Cryptic. "Fit" was released to celebrate Jim's joining That Sound
and this track is light-years away from mainstream - a hipster's paradise. It's sounds like these that show off his raw talent and non-conventional approach to song writing.
Dirty, nasty, grimey, etc. Just a few ways to describe Jungle Jim's sound. Constantly diversifying what a "lead" should sound like, twisting our preconceived notions about Melbourne Bounce and really all electro house. To emphasize the impact he has on the genre and our lives, here's a taste of his most recent ball-breaker "Busted Jaw:"
Jungle Jim shows absolutely no signs of slowing down so don't be surprised to see him stateside in the coming months! I just hope we have enough Grey Goose.
To show your support for James and underground Bounce - check him out on his Soundcloud, Facebook and YouTube pages and, of course...buy his music!