Jungle Fire (LP)
The 10 musicians that comprise LA’s Jungle Fire rehearse in the city’s Pico Union district, a densely populated and culturally rich neighborhood that gets a shout out on the group’s self-titled record. With a sound featuring beaucoups of percussion and horns, the music that Jungle Fire create does not just mirror their neighborhood’s melting pot of influences, but explores uncharted territory as well. Mixing in Funk, Cumbia, and Afrobeat, among many others, the band plays a style of music self-dubbed as “TropiFunk,” a 21st century update on the improvisational stylings of rhythmic titans of the past. Whether that be Tito Puente or Fela Kuti, geographic origins are all rendered irrelevant in the stew. A song might begin with a straightforward Cameroonian makossa beat before throwing in an echo-drenched, psychedelic guitar freakout worthy of a Funkadelic record. Jungle Fire finds the group pushing their sound even further, incorporating synthesizer loops and sequences for the first time. By further hybridizing their fusion of classic and modern rhythms, Jungle Fire establish themselves as the premiere purveyor of good times music for the future.