Keep The Fire is a rolling, raucous Junglist manifesto spread over a massive double CD of 22 tracks. And when it kicks, it kicks hard! Massive hoovers, chopped-to-shreds Amen breaks, rolling bass lines, wheel-ups and outrageous callouts ricochet off of each other in a 2+ hour document of a true Junglist soldier’s life in the dancehall.
It’s the mastermind creation of Rotterdam-based FFF, born Tommy de Roos. Rotterdam’s influence on the hard end of electronic dance music is undeniable, and no one would question FFF’s dominance in the realm of hardcore breakbeats (or if they do, they’ll swiftly get a fire-y dubplate dropped on their head!) Releasing killer tunes since 1997, he’s done so on virtually every label associated with the post-ragga movement, blending oldskool sounds with new-school production techniques in endlessly creative ways over the last 15 years.
FFF already has one full length out on Murder Channel, 2011’s 20.000 Hardcore Members Can’t Be Wrong. But with Keep The Fire, de Roos didn’t want to linger just on the dark and crazy beats. “Sampling is the main ingredient of the album,” says FFF. “Almost all tracks are soundclash inspired battle tunes. Most samples are taken from either vinyl or soundclashes.” Soundsystem Clash is all about doing your utmost to get the crowd to favor your tunes, so sometimes things get a little nasty. But FFF says “I don't support any kind of violence except for musical violence. I see the tracks as battle tunes for the dancefloor. I love the energy of soundclashes and the idea of killing another dj/soundsystem/artist etc through music. I think the whole clash vibe adds to the energy of jungle.”
Keep The Fire is also indebted to another scene born in de Roos homeland, Bubbling. These were sped-up digital dancehall tracks pioneered by artists like DJ Moortje & DJ Kenneth in the 90s, tunes that made crowds go absolutely nuts. FFF wanted to capture this feel in the album as well - “We mainly listened to Bubbling through bad quality cassette tapes (copy from a copy from a copy etc.) Really noisy gritty tapes full of hiss. A lot of local guys were also making tracks on fasttracker, impulsetracker software, and played at Bubbling battles mostly in youth centres around Holland. I loved that the Bubbling sound has the same energy as Jungle, crazy edits, dancehall vocals, etc.” So it’s actually the Bubbling that makes Keep The Fire both a dance album and a FUN album, and holds it together for listeners beyond DJs.
Keep The Fire sees FFF standing shoulder to shoulder with his musical peers Mu-ziq, Bong-Ra, Shitmat, Soundmurderer, Jacky Murda & RCola, Krinjah, Tester, and even original mentalist jungle producers Remarc and Bizzy B. His brand of sonic mischief, hard-but-playful sound, and slaughter-with-a-smile aesthetic is the perfect match for Murder Channel. Every single track will have audiences calling “Tuune!” and demanding a wheel!!
- Review by Kid Kameleon
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