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Asphalt Jungle.

ASPHALT JUNGLE KICK OUT ROCKIN', clockin' rhythms that never stop! Big Beats explode from turntables, guitars, and samplers. Yesterday's funk fantasies combine with tomorrow's as-yet-unheard styles. Fuck yeah! Propelled by the devastating duo of Brian Tarquin and Chris Ingram, the Jungle's sonics explode, like machine guns spittin' good vibes.

But these cats aren't typical breakbeat scientists clamoring to be heard in a loud world. In 2003 they were awarded an Emmy for "Outstanding Achievement In Music Direction And Composition For A Drama Series" for their soundtrack to the soap opera All My Children. The following two years again saw nominations for that coveted prize. They composed MTV's Road Rules theme as well as music for The Real World, NBC Nightly News, Celebrity Justice and The X-Files.

So, are they street-smart minstrels taking their sounds to the kids? Or are they media-savvy marketers looking for the next big thing? The answer: Both. Chris Ingrain, what's the deal? "In general this music creates its own life. Part of the fun of it is to be open-minded to anything. We approach it with an empty slate, and as it develops things get exciting, you hear other things, one thing leads to another, and it's really a fun way to build music as opposed to the old traditional linear style." Meaning you guys are not a rock band, but rather an electronica outfit? "Without question."

What were you guys listening to 10 years ago? Their answers interweave, two voices becoming one: "Chemical Brothers, Photek, Goldie, Prodigy, and a lot of stuff coming out of the UK. We got rock roots too. We give kudos to Soundgarden, especially their Sub Pop era. They had some good things, before they went to Temple Of The Slave or whatever they are now."

Chris: "Brian's a burning guitar player, and we've tried to incorporate everything he learned in his past, bringing guitar into electronic music." Brian: "It's unique. We actually play our own instruments. Chris actually is a keyboardist and a bass player, so we play all those parts, and we program the drums or get a live drummer and sample his grooves and pump them up and so forth. We try to keep everything sounding like real instruments."

Chris: "Sometimes I'll put an old rock record on and go, 'My god, the drums are just completely buried in the mix.' It was Run DMC and Grandmaster Flash who brought the grooves, those funky rock grooves, out into the open, you know? I think hip hop culture brought the drums to the forefront. It made it acceptable to enjoy just a groove or a beat rather than the melody and lyrics. Me, personally, I can sit for 30 minutes listening to a good groove over and over and over again, like on a dance floor. That whole primal state is kind of cool, and it's acceptable now. Electronica's been real important, and hip hop started it all."

What do you guys want your audience to be doing? Brian: "Dance really is the core of the whole thing. You know, we don't make music with the idea of filling a dance floor necessarily, but certainly a dance groove is underlying everything that I do. It's beat-oriented. It's groove-oriented, which is where the thrill for us comes in." How about you, Chris? "I want them to enjoy the experience in each song, as a whole record. If you can dance to it and spin it in a club, even better."

From Jungle Room Studios in the NYC suburb of Nyack, they tighten up so that you can get down. Check out their current CD Enjoy This Trip on Hypnotic/Cleopatra Records, a totally delightful expedition into fast beats and, as somebody wrote in Keyboard magazine, "rapid-fire sample slices." There's even a remixed and tweaked version of Bob Marley's "Don't Rock The Boat." See you at the store!
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Author:Petros, George
Article Type:Interview
Date:Oct 1, 2005
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