Cheetah – Summer Dubs
By Ariel Remy
The young buck Cheetah leapt onto the scene towards the end of 2020 and has been causing a ruckus ever since. Jungle music is clearly where his heart lies, that being said his back catalogue isn’t limited to just jungle: you’ll come across all types of bass-heavy flavours, notably old skool drum n bass and UK Garage. Evidently, Cheetah is a producer with a serious passion for UK dance music which will put him in a prime position in a future where the lines between genres are more & more blurred.
The Bristolian sun must’ve gotten to Cheetah’s head because, in all honesty, the double single I’ve decided to review is an absolutely nutty epitome of early-morning-sun-is-rising-summertime-jungle-music. It really is as if a producer in the summer of 1994 decided to place his 2 favourite DAT tapes in a time capsule and Cheetah (the sneaky bugger) managed to get his hands on them: top tier authenticity!
The first track of the two is titled “Biggest Baddest” and let me tell you that this is no understatement. The tune kicks off with a beautiful filtered soul sample that really sets the mood off right. It doesn’t take long for the breakbeats to roll in and it’s when those amens start crashing down like tsunamis that shit really starts hitting the fan. I’ve got to mention the amen edits in this track are definitely some of the best I’ve heard from Cheetah and it seems like every release they just keep getting tougher. The tune progresses into an onslaught of soundclash vocals and big sub-bass with the cleverly subtle insertions of uplifting soul samples, just like the doctor prescribed. The tremendously large old skool vibes on this one are not to be reckoned with… this one guarantees the wheel up in the dance.
As we keep it rocking and rolling onto the B Side I notice we’ve got a serious banger on our hands here. The intro to “Dance” masterfully puts together 80s dancehall instrumentation and vocals laying the foundations for what’s to come, but in this section, it’s the layering of the breaks which stands out for me. This is jungle music and the inevitable is bound to happen: when that amen feast begins, the listener feels ready for it but the unpredictability of the groove really keeps us on our (skanking) toes and longing for more. The breakdown sweeps in at just the right time and introduces a drone-like pad reminiscent of classic breakbeat hardcore. As the energy starts building back up, Cheetah throws a simple yet sublime horn loop in the mix, this really encapsulates the ragga jungle sound of the golden era. The cherry on top for me is the unique arrangement this track was gifted with. Producers take note!
This double single is available on Cheetah’s Bandcamp for next to no money at all, so I 100%-recommend checking it out along with the rest of his releases. He’s got a little something for everyone’s taste buds!
Posted on May 26, 2022