Jungle is the wonderful founding father of all genres we love here at threethousand.co.uk, so it feels only fair to honour its evolution over the years. Bringing an experimental edge to the genre is Michigan-based producer Tadd Mullinix under his X-Altera moniker. Having explored many strains of dance over the years under a number of aliases, Mullinix returns to his roots in old school jungle flavours with his seasoned approach to production and long-term investment in rave culture.
Jolting into excitement is Maximum (Love Eachother), which encapsulates a nostalgic look back at jungle in its prime years, taking a distinct 90s feel. The old school vibe in the drum patterns here is contradicted with haunting, disconnected basslines from the moment the track commences, intensifying further when paired with a smattering of church organs. This, combined with sonic experiments which wouldn’t be out of place in a sci-fi film make this a rollercoaster from start to finish.
Title track New Harbinger feeds tribal flavours into a spacious, almost ethereal big room feel, contrasted with a booming kick setting the pace for the madness soon to ensue. Growing into a crisp beat interspersed with eclectic samples, New Harbinger is a perfect demonstration of Mullinix’s encyclopedic range of influences with its development. Keeping listeners on their toes is a garbling yet drawling pad insert, colliding seamlessly with a sparse breakbeat. Arguably the most avant-garde of the bunch, this is a track not made for casual consumption, rather one to be felt with mind, body and soul.
Drawing the EP to a close seamlessly, Ribbon on a Bomb is nothing short of a percussive masterpiece from its opening moments. Drawing further away from traditional jungle stylistics, delicate snares meet another thumping kick, juxtaposing a graceful synth pattern in the higher levels. A trance inspired melody skates over these rhythms, but is quickly cancelled out by a rumbling bass, energy rising and falling effortlessly throughout the entirety of the track. Punchy yet still soulful, Ribbon on a Bomb is one that hits as hard on the head as it does in the gut.
With a veteran’s agility and over two decades’ experience under his belt, this showstopping blossoming of X-Altera’s skills is one to watch. This release is an exceptional fusion of past and future, forming a sonic adventure not for the faint hearted, yet for those thirsty for the weird and wonderful. A riddle of sporadic and disjointed effects, New Harbinger EP is a spellbinding journey through the ages of jungle.
You can check out an early preview of the EP below:
Words: Julia Bernat