Sharp FM 006 coming in hot!
Tim Reaper’s mix for Sharp FM is a spring salutation for our retro-futuristic typeface Soraiz and the zodiac's first sign Aries. As one of the most venerated pioneers of London’s contemporary jungle revival, Reaper’s visibility in global electronic music culture feels perfunctory—this is just what happens when you put the music first, and you do it well.
Reaper displays jungle’s virtuosic syncopations and body high-inducing bass frequencies; he touches upon both classic and contemporary legends with customary deftness, zeroing in on the combustive rowdiness of the scene’s ragga subgenre. We’re primed for warmer weather.
Given his prolific output, it’s obvious that Reaper works quickly, but he surprised us by sending over a completed mix before we even knew he was onboard for the project; he surprised us again by letting us know he recorded the whole thing on vinyl, which he relayed with trademark succinctness:
"This mix was recorded on vinyl, me playing some of my favourite ragga style jungle tunes from ‘93-’96, as well as some newer style ragga jungle bits, including a new remix I've done for M-Beat."
Tim Reaper is a disciple of jungle, completely self-taught, and someone we admire not just for his dexterity on the decks and in the studio, but also for his approach. He makes the case that the realm of true mastery isn’t final ascendence to some lofty peak; it is instead defined by the perpetual hunger for knowledge, undertaken with the doggedness and humility of an earnest student. Reaper works as a coder by day and manages his own growing label and club night, both called Future Retro, while juggling live gigs around the world. His deep knowledge of jungle’s history is evident in his music, and we appreciate that rather than imitate the 90s hardware setups like many of his peers, Reaper instead tracks down the actual funk and soul drum samples used by the first junglists and processes those to his own ends on his home setup. It’s both painstaking and pragmatic, and speaks to somewhat paradoxical sensibilities.
It’s a relevant occasion to show-off Soraiz, used on the cover and tracklist graphics in a compelling static-use case. Connor Davenport’s parametric typeface embodies a particular sensibility that feels forever floating in the future-past. Jungle is arguably one of the most parametric genres of music, but Reaper is deliberate in pushing the genre forward and recontextualizing a sound that crystalized somewhat perfectly during those few years in the mid-90s. If creativity is optimized within strict parameters, in Tim Reaper’s hands, the future—and history—of jungle sounds bright and ever new.
Bart is an icon of Aries energy, but his inclusion here is also a nod to Tim Reaper’s love for The Simpsons, as evidenced by the naming of one of his labels, Globex Corporation. The sharp-eyed junglist will also recognize the Metalheadz logo we photoshopped onto Bart's shirt, referencing the pioneering label started in '94 by Kemistry & Storm and Goldie; the latter was well-known for rocking Stüssy shirts, just like Reaper does today.
Tom & Jerry - Dominoes
Chuck E - Smokin' A Blunt
Babylon Cru - Bad Like Yards
M-Beat - Peeni Porni (Tim Reaper Remix)
MC Lenni - Make Some Time
Terry T - Don't Boast
Devious D - The Groove (Bad Man Mix)
Kid Lib - Slow Jump
Merciless - Mavis (The Rinsin' Jungle Mix)
Underground Software - The Crickets
Red Light - Look Good
Sid Young & Chronicles - Step Up
The Dream Team - Untitled (Workie Workie)
Chatta B & Neil Redskin - None Stop Juggling
DJ Trace - Final Chapta (Rollers Mix)
DJ D Lux & Persian Prince - Science
Lethal Kemistry - Yaga Yung
DJ Bass - Take A Lick
Heretick - Tek Back No Talk
Simon Templa - Raddikation
Marc Caro - Itch It Up
Doctor Jay & DJ Rush Puppy - Respect