Hosting a crowd with a taste for body rattling breaks, License to Jungle began their two week residency in partnership with Coco Bryce on Friday – and it didn’t disappoint. Taking place at the Old Red Bus Station, which has become synonymous with jungle in Leeds, the venue welcomed some of the genre’s most innovative selectors. Both Bryce and Tim Reaper are heralded amongst a new wave of names in the scene, but have equally championed longevity in their careers. This, in part, is thanks to their ability to chisel off the popular elements of jungle’s golden era and piece them with uniquely mind boggling production.
It was evident, from the moment we stepped into the beautifully dim settings of Old Red, that this wouldn’t be a night for the faint hearted. Reaper, who’s releases on Hooversound have made him one of the most in demand junglists this year, was tearing through a set of schizophrenic breaks and rave like melodies. Gun fingers flung in the air in conjunction with every raga baseline pulsing from the venue’s speakers and those who could shuffle were skanking uncontrollably.
Before too long, Coco Bryce found himself gracing the venue’s 1s and 2s with an eclectic selection of impulsive breakbeats. The Netherlands native has been in the trade for over two decades, quietly honouring his craft and eventually breaking from the crevices of streaming services with a flurry of celebrated singles. Despite being known for his rapid productions, tracks like ‘Single Minded People’, his most recent collaboration with Denham Audio, proves he is far more versatile than people may think. His set didn’t veer too heavily from the 160-170 BPM best associated with him, but hearing self-made productions like ‘Ma Bae Be Love’ provided an emotional connection with his evidently loyal and committed fanbase.
License to jungle always put on a great show, and thankfully, their second instalment of the Coco Bryce residency is on tonight. If you are still in need of a night out, don’t look past the DJ’s second set in as many weeks. He will be joined by elusive bass/breakstep producer Sully.