Chase & Status’ new track ‘Program‘ stood out to me immediately for a number of reasons. I took the time before reviewing this track to watch the documentary which is on the Virgin Records website and was shot at Big Yard Studios in Jamaica (which is basically Mecca for dancehall, reggae, bashment artists old and new). This is a bold signing from Virgin Records who have taken the whole album under their wing. Saul Milton (chase) and Will Kennard (status) have come up with what is not only a fantastic dance floor and DJ friendly tune that sits in what is described as “Nu Jungle” – a genre split off of drum and bass.
The track marks the bands departure from their instantly recognisably, polished drum and bass sound and from Andy C’s Ram Records imprint; even veering off from their own MTA Label. It gives a riotous and unapologetic nod to 1990’s South London jungle, which is where the boy’s sound was shaped. Sound system culture, live raw vocals, huge bass, vital drums and cutting snares are all heavily embraced; very well executed breaks and hi hat and cymbal rides run through this and are its lifeblood. It’s completed with Jamaican roots lyrics from IRah which make for what is a fantastic marker on what direction their album will be heading in. The production on this is incredibly modern, bright and glows with brilliance but keeps its simplicity and beauty whilst sitting firmly next to the heritage of where Jungle has come from; its analogue sound and where it is now. What a great music lesson for young djs and for the public on how a genre shaped youth culture in this country and has spread globally through out the world.
After listening to this piece of music and seeing the tracks video that was directed by Taichi Kimura, all of it makes sense. Later on this year, and assisted by MC Rage (Patrick Williams) and drummer Andy Gangadeen, the 2 boys from London that met whilst in Manchester at university will be taking their yet to drop ‘RTRN 2 JUNGLE‘ album, which this track is taken from, on the road to festivals late spring/summer.