Am I too old to be a junglist soldier? To be honest, I couldn’t care less if you think I am, because the very moment those Amen break infused beats hit my ears, age goes out the window. And this week, much to the amusement of cohort Dan Morse, new iPhone app Junglator from Amplify has seen me very much on the selecta rewind tip on the other side of the desk.
At first glance, this appears to just be some random construction kit. And indeed, there’s a boatload of fun to be had just be randomly stabbing at the assorted pads. But taking a step back, Junglator is a very clever app, and one that could be the basis for a very smart way of performing. Allow me to explain.
The basic principle is this – Junglator is a self contained app with just 3 tracks included for now. Those tracks are broken down into sections — intro, drop, and bridge, allowing you seamlessly create blends between all the included songs and their sections. But deeper than that are the on-screen buttons, which include samples, filters, effects and things like triplets that are created from the playing track and not just random sounds.
I could really go into detail, but suffice to say that this is very clever, high quality, and could herald a way to create mixes and perform live with just your iPhone, and do a really good job too. Jungle is a style of music that lends itself well to this more freestyle way of working, and responds especially well to the random nature of stabbing buttons and dragging across a few to create some cool sounds, builds, and drops.
But for me it’s the way that Junglator does it that is especially interesting. Much has been made about stems over the last few years i.e. having the constituent parts of a track to make a new version, and to some degree this is how Junglator works. If the developer can work with more artists and get a good library of material, this is going to be an absolutely killer app, especially if it expands into other musical genres. And as a workflow, it’s a solid way to work as well — effectively controllerism in your pocket.
Regardless of the technology, approach or genre, Junglator is the most fun I’ve had on my iPhone in a very long time. I cannot stop playing with it, and when I do, I’m taking up way too much space dancing and performing to the imaginary crowd in my kitchen, as well as grinning like a Cheshire cat. For a short time, it’s just 69 pence/99 cents in the app store. If you’re a junglist soldier, you will absolutely positively love the living crap out of it. You will rewind and come again. A lot.