It’s an absolute joy to share a few words on why ‘Renegade Snares’ is an essential book for all Junglists and DnB ravers. Carl Loben & Ben Murphy have put together a detailed history of the sound that now fills Wembley arena!

Credit to the authors of this book. The 30 years or so that shape the history of Jungle/DnB are a task to cover in one book but Carl and Ben map this history right back to the Windrush generation and every genre in between.

Its a lesson for the likes of myself who like to think they a thing or two about Drum & Bass. It’s great to note how the writers take time to credit the numerous pioneers of the scene and that is a huge undertaking in and of itself.

A whole section of the book is dedicated to the story behind 4 Hero’s ‘Mr Kirks Nightmare’ with specific details about the famous sample and the ripples caused by the ground breaking rave tune.

In fact, many timeless rave tunes get a detailed breakdown with artist interviews and explorations into the societal aspects around these iconic anthems of the underground.

The numerous interviews and back stories gel together into a fascinating timeline. It’s easy to get lost into the history and feel present in the retold events. On a personal note, the names I knew as an early teen feel like the real people they actually are. It’s like putting a face to the names and living vicariously through their experiences.

In terms of the content, there is plenty to enjoy for fans of the formative years of DnB with a large section of the book dedicated to Breakbeat Hardcore and Hardcore Jungle/Jungle Tekno. Once again as a diehard obsessive of the various strains of early 90s Hardcore Rave, it is a joy to read this section.

Everyone gets a mention from Slipmatt to Paul Ibiza and it’s abundantly clear from the opening chapters that Carl and Ben wanted to tell the true history of the sound with no whitewashing.

The seamless narrative deftly moves through the early Jungle years of post darkside, touching upon Dubplate culture and Music House where DJs and producers mingled and formed lasting relationships.

Other in depth topics include the huge role played by Record shops and Pirate Radio in shaping the scene as we know it today followed by National radio shows like Fabio & Grooverider’s Radio 1 slot. Everything is recounted in incredible detail right down to incidents like Goldie discovering a way to timestretch breakbeats! I could go on about the level of detail and the fascinating anecdotes that litter this publication but I would rather you buy and read the book!

The book takes us through London and across the UK, documenting the spread of Jungle/DnB across the nation and the globe, taking time to interview the regional champions of the sound. Notable DnB hot-spots like Coventry and Newcastle get well deserved mentions which is really refreshing to see.

The book also takes time to salute the contributions of female DJs like DJ Rap with an insightful and highly personable interview.

If I was to summarise this book in a couple of words, I would choose ‘comprehensive’ and ‘honest.’ A special mention must go to the coverage of DJs and artists like Fallout and Harmony who I’m ashamed to admit I didn’t even know were women.

Sub Genres are covered including a positive take on the often derided but incredibly popular style of Jump Up. It’s also good to see coverage of current pioneers like Tim Reaper, Coco Bryce and Sherelle.

Even more admirable is the refusal to shy away from important issues like racism, gender equality and mental health. I implore to read this book! Buy it here






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