[a]General Levy[/a] scored jungle’s first memorable crossover hit with 1994’s ‘Incredible’. Teaming up with junglist remixers M-Beat, north London reggae DJ Levy provided an energetic vocal that catapulted jungle out of the impenetrable underground and into the mainstream.
Now, ‘New Breed’ carries ‘Incredible’ like a millstone into an age where jungle is little more than a cynical ad man’s latest marketing tool.
Indeed, five years on, ‘Incredible’ is still here, albeit in an inferior remixed form. Presumably, it’s to appeal to Levy‘s populist massive and boost the sales of a niche reggae album. But there are other pop-shaped concessions on ‘New Breed’ and, along with Levy‘s occasional attempts at genre-blending, it all sounds like the confusion of messy compromise rather than inspired fusion.
For example, ‘Billy The Kid’ takes the adventurous step of setting the orchestral tones of a spaghetti Western to dynamic dancefloor jungle, but it just sounds ridiculous. And while the ‘La La Migo Salsa’ adds a cheery Latin spin to Levy‘s incessant lady-watching, it ends up like U-certified Shabba Ranks.
At least Levy has the good sense to invite back M-Beat, who offer the redeeming ‘Unique’ – a riot of old-skool junglism and the best track here, although the polished drum’n’bass of ‘Street Kids’ is worthy of a mention. ‘New Breed’, then: not ‘Incredible’, barely even credible.