Jungle Brothers & Sensational

(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
Straight Out the Jungle (1988), 6.5/10
Done By The Forces Of Nature (1989), 7/10
J Beez Wit The Remedy (1993), 6.5/10
Raw Deluxe (1997), 4/10
V.I.P. (2000) 4/10
All That We Do (2002), 4/10
Sensational: Loaded With Power (1997), 6.5/10

The Jungle Brothers, consisting of Mike "Gee" Small, Sammy Burwell and Afrika Baby Bambaataa (Nathaniel Hall), members of New York's legendary "Native Tongues" posse, were one of the most innovative crews of hip-hop.

Straight Out the Jungle (1988) was possibly the first example of full-fledged jazz-hop fusion.

Done By The Forces Of Nature (1989) was even better, one of the most positive and spiritual works of hip-hop, and as phantasmagoric as the Beastie Boys' Paul's Boutique, although very mellow by the standards of hip-hop.

J Beez Wit The Remedy (1993), featuring new member Colin "Torture" Bobb (aka Sensational), experimented with instrumental tracks and abstract noise.

Perhaps searching for the commercial success that had always eluded them, the Jungle Brothers began releasing mediocre albums in all sorts of conventional styles: Raw Deluxe (1997), V.I.P. (2000), All That We Do (2002).

Sensational (born Colin Bobb in Guyana, the former Jungle Brothers member Torture) debuted solo with Loaded With Power (1997), offering a unique combination of nightmarish, stoned, warped, non-linear rapping over lo-fi beats. Subsequent albums repeated the same trick with far less genius: Corner the Market (WordSound, 1998), Heavyweighter (Matador, 2000), Get on My Page (Ipecac, 2001), Natural Shine (Wordsound, 2003), Crown Material (2005), and Speaks For Itself (2005). Collaborations included Sensational Meets Kouhei (2006) with Japanese electronic musician Kohei Matsunaga and Acid & Bass (2009) with dub-hop guru Spectre. Seb El Zin (guitar, vocals), Mike Ladd (vocals), Arto Lindsay (guitar), Marc Ribot (guitar) formed Anarchist Republic of Bzzz, documented on Anarchist Republic of Bzzz (2009) and United Diktaturs of Europe (2016). Later recordings include: A Earfull (2011), Open for Biznes (2012) and Eyes on the Prize (2016).

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