In the first of a new series of audiovisual mixes, Fact is extremely proud to present a new collaboration from visionary jungle powerhouse Tim Reaper and digital artist and DJ Jack Anderson.
Tim Reaper is one of contemporary dance music’s most prodigious talents, a wildly prolific producer and life-long jungle devotee balancing revivalist rigor and bleeding edge innovation, all with an era-defining grace and intimidating skill. Between his label Future Retro, Globex Corp, the Simpsons-themed, 7th Storey Projects sub-label he runs with friend and collaborator Dwarde, a steady stream of solo releases over the course of a decade and the hard-won, well-deserved ascendency he has experienced over the last few years, Reaper has emerged as an essential bridge between the jungle die-hards and the scenes that surround them, splicing the old-school ’90s sound with elements of techno and drum and bass while maintaining both the hardcore spirit and a preternatural ear for the future of the sound. A dedicated digger and obsessive trawler of jungle and d&b forums and message boards ever since he picked up an Andy C mix CD that came free with a copy of Mixmag he was using for his Media Studies GCSE, Reaper is both a devoted student and one of the key technicians of jungle’s current iteration. While wielding an encyclopaedic knowledge and profound respect for the old-school styles developed at institutional London jungle parties Rupture, Jungle Syndicate and Technicality with one hand, Reaper is able to tweak and re-tool his productions with the other, deftly expanding jungle’s horizons while staying true to the discipline of the pioneers that came before him. Yet his overarching project is one in service of the scene, paying dues to the old heads while shifting focus to the new guard: artists brought together for his legendary run of Meeting Of The Minds compilations, collaborators Dwarde, Sully and Kloke, as well as Future Retro regulars Kid Lib and Phineus II. Never one to hitch himself to the hype that surrounds him, Tim Reaper plays by the same rules he always has.
Jack Anderson similarly blurs the line between artist and technician, having developed a multi-disciplinary digital practice that has seen him create visuals for DJ Python, Anthony Naples, Simo Cell and Lil Uzi Vert, 3D design for Mugler, direct and VJ at Draaimolen Festival and produce stunning music videos for xl.iks, Elise Massoni and Huerco S. Anderson is also just as at home in the rave as he is behind the laptop screen, DJing as Jek and dropping killer mixes for the likes of down2earth, The Lot Radio and Juanita’s Mix. A longtime fan of Tim Reaper, here, Anderson blends live 360-degree footage with audio-reactive effects and live improvisations to bring his singular vision to a lethal transmission of Reaper’s own productions, some unreleased exclusives, classic remixes and contemporary heat, pitching even further into the future than Reaper has done previously. “This video is inspired by my relationship with jungle music and travel/transit,” Anderson says of the visuals. “I wanted to visually interpret how Jungle can separate the mind from the body, in a way teleporting you to another world. I focused on the energy of the mix using the complex drum breaks to drive the distortion of footage, and more moody parts to create interesting forms in the generative system I used. This mix is incredibly technical and I wanted the visuals to match Tim’s pure skill and track selection. I used a 360 camera to film hours of commuting and then ran the video through Touch Designer to apply the audio-reactive effect. I then mapped a MIDI controller to certain parameters and jammed over the mix.”
It’s not simply the sheer velocity of Reaper’s sound that Anderson is able to translate into visuals, but the distinctive dialogue between tension and stimulation experienced when traversing the harsh density of a metropolis, head down, hands in pockets, head phones on. Organic, liquid effects smear and warp sunlight shone through foliage into pulsing, mutant greens, acid rain spattered along a bus window. Streets and sidewalks rotate and liquify in time with the pitch-black ooze of bass and relentless barrage of breaks, pedestrians flipped and fractalised beyond recognition. Blocky urban architecture is melted down into mercury, spread out into rivulets with each whip-fast transition. The result is like experiencing your commute to work in some dystopian future, trying to move around with corrupted augmented reality optic nerve implants. In this way Anderson pays homage to jungle’s cyberpunk pedigree, capturing the sound’s irresistible vibration between dark euphoria and ecstatic paranoia in glitch and blur, channeling the technologically-enhanced anxiety of the hyper-stimulated present. This quality is something that Tim Reaper is also abundantly aware of and can be heard across his catalogue, as well as in the monotone mantra of Amit’s ‘Swastika’: People. Government. People. Truth. People. Government. People. Conspiracy. “Because I’m a web developer as well, I sort of know the implications as to how much data is being collected about all of us by all these places,” he told Tempo. “All the dark patterns, all the manipulation. All the A.I. and algorithms that work out what you’re like and feed back at you.” Reaper’s distinct approach and attitude builds a case for jungle being as apt a soundtrack today as it was in the ’90s and, together with Jack Anderson’s visuals, provides us with a glimpse of what it might be like in the future.
Parallel & Tim Reaper – ‘Experiments In Motion’
Special Forces – ‘Something Else… The Bleeps Tune (Photek Remix)’
Coco Bryce – ‘Kick Back’
Overlook – ‘Detour’
Loxy & Resound – ‘Hellfire (Basic Rhythm Remix)’
Equinox – ‘Acid Rain (Breakage Final Chapter VIP)’
Digital & Spirit – ‘Sudden Death’
Forest Drive West – ‘Last Day’
Subject Matter – ‘Steel’
Paradox – ‘Desolator’
Amit – ‘Swastika’
Panic Girl – ‘Blue Lights (dBridge’s Don’t Panic Remix)’
Kloke & Tim Reaper – ‘Museum’
Gremlinz – ‘Ratchet’
Fracture – ‘Detached’
Nebula – ‘The Dream Begins’
Tim Reaper – ‘Poison Darts’
Watch next: Fact Mix 828 – Actual Objects