The 13 best darkside jungle tunes ever

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Okay, people, it’s time for a re-run. Or actually, it’s more of a remix than a re-run.

In the 2014 edition of JUngLEkalenderen I did a collection of the best darkside tunes ever, but I posted them below a tale from my very very early childhood about my very first favourite vinyl record – and that tale got all the attention, so I feel that the darkside tunes deserve to have their very own post. A remixed and extended version, of course, this is a JUngLE calendar!
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So here they are – the 13 ultimate darkside masterpieces.

And by darkside I mean: Not just jungle and drum’n’bass with ‘dark sounds’ – because then this list would be something like 20.000 youtube-links long. I mean real oldskool darkside: with horror samples, monstrous laughs, sorrowful strings, dread, crying, panic. And those drums to boil your blood.

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Subnation – Scottie

IMMENSE CLASSIC! This tune has it all. The ominous laughs of tiny monsters. Panicky voices. We’re all gonna die here. We’re all gonna die, all of us! Combined with someone who thinks that we’re gonna make it anyway, raver style: We’re not gonna die, we’re gonna get out of here! Touching.

Johnny Jungle – Johnny 94 (Origin Unknown Remix)

There are SO many remixes of this tune. This is my absolute favourite. Again, all the ingredients are in place. Panicky voices. Crying. Voices somehow too close and too far away, like in nightmares. Hectic and awesome drums. Screaming. Chilling synths. WHAUW this tune is good!!!

Remarc and Lewi Cifer – Ricky

I know this tune is already featured on my 7 favourite jungle tracks of all time list, but no darkside collection can be complete without this mega-classic! For some variation, you can enjoy a bad boy gunshot version of the track here. <– Lots of playing around with the crying and shouting here. Those were the remix days…

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Shimon – Predator

Same thing goes for this classic. No darkside collection without Predator! For obvious reasons, the Predator movies are heavily sampled in darkside jungle, and this track in particular turned me into such a sample hunter. For years I couldn’t watch ANY movie without thinking about which sound bits and sentences could be cut out and used for new tracks.

 

Remarc and Lewi – Cape Fear

 

Speaking of film samples… This tune is so completely over the top. Guns loading. Glass breaking. And what is more chilling than somebody saying “Nobody is gonna hurt you” followed by a scream indicating that somebody clearly did hurt you anyway? Nothing!

 

Boogie Times Tribe – Dark Stranger (Q-Bass Remix)

There are so many versions of this track, but this remix is my favourite. The original has more direct horror samples: Boogie Times Tribe – The Dark Stranger – and the Origin Unknown Remix is good, too. But the Q-Bass remix is the best.

 

Brainkillers – Screwface

A techno wolf howling. Ice cold synths. Music built for adrenaline junkies. Escape, escape, escape, but stay on the dancefloor while you do it. Classic!

 

Remarc – Help Me

REALLY panicky shouting here, like from someone who is clearly already lost. And 1977 Star Wars samples. If you strike me down I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine. Uuuh yes. Man, how I love darkside.

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Intense – Journey to the Unknown

More ominous Predator sampling – threatening whispers and swampy sounds. You ghostin’ us motherfucker. I don’t care who you are back in the world. If you give away our position one more time, I’ll bleed you. Proper subcultural warnings.

 

DJ Pulse – Stay Calm (Foul Play Remix)

The original version of this tune tops my 7 saddest jungle tunes ever list (such a favourite; go listen to it, it’s achingly beautiful!), and they both easily fit on this darkside list, too, but here’s the remix. Beautiful drums, too.
Hyper-On Experience – Disturbance

My all time favorite, Lord of the Null Lines (by Hyper-On Experience), is üüüüber-darkside, too, obviously, but I’m trying to stop myself putting that track on EVERY SINGLE LIST I EVER MAKE, I guess, so here’s Hyper On Experience represented with Disturbance instead. Lots of darks sounds, and that snippet of a chilling’ laugh at 2:29 (and onwards), brrrrrrrrrr. Nightmarish stuff.

Steve C & DJ Monita – The Razor’s Edge

Aaaaaaand we’re back in the jungle with Predator samples. Pouring rain and jungle rivers and menacing planes in the sky. And such creativity and variation with the drums again, too! They really don’t make them like this anymore, unfortunately. Why oh whyyyyyyy.
Intense – Space Time Continuem

Oh, and what better way for the JUngLE calendar to end this list with the eerie Space Time Continuem and its perfect drums and ominous horror movie samples.❤

That was 13 BIG tunes and I just love them all. Darkside forever.

If you wanna know why, check out my childhood memories and a possible explanation in The DIY test: Is Your Child a Junglist?

Jump back a year: Last year’s day 7 –> The 7 best things about being a raver

Did you miss a day of JUngLE? Have no fear, it’s all right here: JUngLEkalenderen

Blasts from the Past: Pirate Party Pack

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Flicking through files on my old computer I found a whole bunch of photos with the date 06-06-06. Obviously the 6th day on the 6th month in ’06 is a rare occurence, so the collection had to end up in the JUngLE calendar – on day 6. Because we have to continue exercising the dark arts of number magic. Fortunately for you guys, it turned out to be an entertaining bunch of pics.

It’s time for a Blasts from the Past! – dedicated to a particularly sunny Pirate Party Pack morning on a boat.

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Alright, so this is where we kick off. We are at the Rum’n’Bass party at Stengade.

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This is what the Rum’n’Bass party looked like on the main floor. It’s quite clear why we didn’t want it to stop.

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To be fair, all this didn’t happen on the 6/6/06 – even though my t-shirt pretends to be evil.

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The Rum’n’Bass party was on the 3rd of June, so the journey you’re about to embark on happened on the 4th. And the pics were saved on the 6th. Thaaaaaaat’s why.

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Okay, so the Rum’n’Bass party ends, and the sun is definitely up outside.

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You use your remaining braincells to ponder where to go.

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And to pose for some photos while you ponder.

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Oh yeah. Pirate Party Pack. Let’s go. We have a bottle of transportation red wine ready.

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Junglist enthusiastically runs to get her bike.

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And off we go.

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Arrival at the boat!

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Beautiful Pirate Party Pack morning vibes.

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I love this pic.

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What time is it? Who cares. Everyone is here.

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Dancing on a boooooaaaaaaat. And that’s a bag of confetti waiting to happen.

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Bateman gets a hug.

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Bateman gets his groove on.

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Advocatorex poses in the sunshine like a juicy lemon.

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Watch out. A time portal has magically appeared on the deck.

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Dj Lab loses one of his heavy bag of vinyls through the time portal.

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People discuss what to do about this unusual problem.

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Some people are more worried about time portals and lost vinyls than others.

 

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Oh well. Time for confetti to happen.

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And mooooore confetti. Photo by jonask.dk

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Fortunately, an 11-year old brought some vinyls, too, so the party could keep going. Photo by jonask.dk

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Because that’s aaaaaall that matters. Nufie has himself a pretty babyfaced moment, too, in front of the speaker. Photo by jonask.dk

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Chriszka the Time-Traveler celebrates the time portal occurrence – pic by jonask.dk.

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A bunch of white people hiding from the sun. Picture by jonask.dk

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Bateman takes a nap in a hug with Loke, who is named after the trickster god of Norse mythology and somehow carries Chriszka the Time Travellers’s arm on his left shoulder. Pic by jonask.dk.

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See, this is what I mean. It’s right out in the open. 06/06/06. Pic by jonask.dk

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2xChr tries to stay awake by the water. Pic by jonask.dk

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White people trying to tan in the morning sun. Pic by jonask.dk

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Sunny moment selfie by jonask.dk

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Tom Collins found a friend. Pic by jonask.dk

More pics from that day? Check out some nice pics from the Rum’n’Bass party at Stengade right here: How to be a Junglist: The Dancefloor Moves.

Did you miss yesterday’s post? Go to Jungle Confessions: My First Big Raver Experience

Did you miss a day of jungle? It’s all here: JUngLEkalenderen

 

Jungle Confessions: “My first big raver experience”

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Diving deeper into the dark arts of number magic, today is dedicated to the confessions of Tim Driver – who really, really, REALLY likes the number 5. And JUngLEkalenderen likes Tim Driver, so here we are.

Tim is the co-founder of the magnificent OHOI! collective and managing director at Bas Under Buen – which might look like just another socially involved series of parties to you, but it’s really a company testing out if our motorways and cities and stadiums are built solidly enough by playing really deep bass lines at dangerously high volumes under passageways and bridges and anything else made out of concrete.

This is what a Bas Under Buen in Copenhagen looks like:

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And this is what Tim looks like, hard at work at Bas Under Buen in Århus, testing out the stability of some concrete construction using basslines to reveal the cracks in the system.

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So, Tim, what’s up with you and the number 5?
My favourite number has always been 5. And I just have this OCD thing going on with 5s and 10s and zeroes and 100. I like it when things add up. If I look at my watch at :58, it kind of has to swith to :00 before I can look away again. Yeah, that’s a little bit weird. But it’s always been like that.

I feel a certain kind of satisfaction if I play a dj-set and I realize afterwards that I have played exactly 25 tracks, or 30. I don’t think about it during the set, though – but if it adds up to 25 when I make the tracklist, it just feels good. It’s not something that bothers me in my day to day life. I just like order and square angles and the number 5.

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Tim Driver is not bothered by stepping on the cracks between the tiles on the garden terrace AT ALL.

 

When did you become a junglist?
The first jungle party I attended was Nis’ legendary party at Rugbyklubben on Christianshavn in 1994.

That was my first jungle party in Copenhagen, too.🙂
Back then there weren’t that many parties to choose from. It was nothing like today. A month could easily pass between one techno party and the next. So when a techno rave was on, everyone showed up. It didn’t matter if it was techno or house or jungle or goa trance or whatever it was. It was just ”Let’s go!” no matter what. For me, it all started out with techno. I went to my first techno party in 89. And I went to my first Baby Club (Kenneth Bager’s club night) in 1990. I was 16 year’s old at the time. Rave culture hardly existed in Denmark back then.

(If you want to go back to that very first jungle party we’re talking about – Jungle Fever II – you can read Chriszka the Time Traveller’s description of that very party in her diary here: The Jungle Diaries: Longing for the Tribe).

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This pic is not from back when  rave culture didn’t exist, but it’s from back when we didn’t have cameras in our phones so that people like jonask.dk were the only ones taking pictures at parties.

Why do you love jungle?
It’s the energy. And I have always been fascinated with different drum patters. Which is quite strange, really, because I grew up with techno and 4/4. But I always liked a breakbeat. Maybe because I also liked hiphop.

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Tim Driver loving breakbeats at Ohoi!’s 2 year anniversary party.

How does raving make the world better?
I was standing at the Outlook Festival thinking… okay, the world is fucked in many ways. Some people out there actually think that a suicidal death cult like Isis is awesome. Jeeez, they have just missed the point of life completely! I’m absolutely certain that if they were here right now, at the Outlook Festival, they would be able to see… … …They’ve just completely misunderstood everything. It’s just tragic that some people choose a path so destructive when they could have chosen to do something as awesome as raving instead.

I don’t rave as much as I used to, but I know how intense it is to just surrender to the music and dance for hours. That’s another way of canalizing your mental energies. And some people choose to use that energy on something destructive instead.

But my spirits are lifted when I’m at festivals, seeing so many happy people really enjoying themselves and the music. It’s important to remember that there are more people present at the Outlook festival alone than there are people doing terrorism in the entire world. We still outnumber you! You will not win!

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Tim Driver and Chriszka the Time Traveller enjoys being on the winning team at Roskilde Festival 2006.


What’s your favourite tune?

I don’t have an all time favourite, but ‘Brown Paper Bag’ by Roni Size made a big impression on me. Maybe it was the way it marked the transition from jungle to drum’n’bass, signaling a shift to something new. But there are so many tunes. ‘Incredible’ is a fantastic jungle tune, too.

What’s the best thing that happened this year?
I just spent a three week vacation in California which was really really nice, and I would like to be back there RIGHT NOW, lying on a beach in San Diego. Especially with this cold weather. It was a much needed vacation – my first one in a year.

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What’s your best party moment ever?
Okay, we’re going back to the 90s. It was the first time I was at Mayday in Berlin in Die Halle, this huge old train depot with room for 6- or 8000 people or something. When we entered the hall we were just like ”whaaaaaaaaaaat?!”

There was a whole bunch of us who had driven to Berlin by bus. It was all arranged by Pelle and Maximum Magazine. We partied all night at the Mayday rave and in the morning we went on to an afterparty club somewhere in Berlin where Laurent Garnier was playing. We stayed there until the afternoon and then we jumped back on the bus to drive back to Copenhagen. It was all so totally awesome, and people were still so hyped from the experience that everyone just wanted to keep raving, even when we were back on the ferry between Gedser and Rosstock. So we found a corner on the ferry and covered the lamps up with paper to dim the lights a bit and got a bit of a raver vibe going. No sleep, and no drugs. Just water and raver happiness. That was my first big raver experience.

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Whohoooo! Massively awesome scanned photo of youngster babyface Tim in the raver bus going to Mayday. Appreciate this, you pixel sucking vampires, photos from that time are SUPER RARE!

My first dubstep party at Plastic People in London was completely mindblowing, too. It actually made me feel like I felt when I was at my very first rave. Experiencing a completely new music genre like that… And in such a different setting. It was such a small, dark room. And people were so intense. It’s pretty incredible that I got to experience that kind of feeling twice. The feeling of being at your first rave. And this happened in 2006! I thought I had heard everything. I hadn’t.

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Tim Driver doing his thing. Photo courtesy of Vitus.

What’s the dark secret that no-one knows about you?
When I was younger, I was a big fan of Phil Collins. I still am, actually. I have all his old albums. I was a young kid, and I liked the grandiose sound of the synthezisers. And I thought he was cool. He played the drums and sang, which was a bit of an odd mix. And I’ve always been a sucker for a good melody of the melancholic kind. But I lost interest in Phil Collins when I really got into electronic music. I have all the old albums from the 80s right here on vinyl, though. Maybe I should give them a spin.

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Tim Driver sharing dark secrets with Chriszka the Time Traveller.

Do you want more Tim? Don’t miss out when Tim Driver and the crew returns with the good ol’ brain shattering Christmas tradition: JuleBass! – the craziest of all Christmas parties: (Here’s the facebook event). New location this year, same amount of bass, same old zombifying brew of glügg (rum’ified gløgg we assume) in the casserole. December 17th. 

More Tim? Scroll through Blasts from the Past: Garden Party People or the very popular classic: Blasts from the Past: Ohoi! turns 6.

Or go back that party in Rugbyklubben – Jungle Fever II – here: The Jungle Diaries: Longing for the Tribe.

Did you miss a day of JUngLE? Go to JUngLEkalenderen for every post and all seasons.

Jungle Confessions: “It’s against all odds, and it’s fabulous”

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It’s the 4th day of the Jungle calendar, and it belongs to the one and only dj Drop – born on April 4th so a real 4/4 kind of guy.

Drop ran the monthly DNBZone club nights in Copenhagen from 2005 to 2009, booking everything and everyone from Future Prophecies and Rolodex to Vicious Circle, Temper D and EBK.

Apart from having awesome mixing skills, Drop is also the friendliest dj in the known universe. As you will all realize after reading this interview, the secret to being that level of Super Friendly is dedicating your life to dark music genres and all the struggles that come with it.

Welcome to: The Hard Times of Dj Drop

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Wilcks sucks some friendliness out of Drop’s head and feels the buzz.

Drop!🙂 I can’t even say your dj name without smiling. Tell us: When did you become a junglist?
I’m from Jutland so I didn’t have access to all the goings-on in Copenhagen, so my first rave was at the Roskilde Festival, in 1996 I think, where Bukem was hosting DeeDay for an entire night. I was a hiphop dj back then and I liked listening to drum’n’bass. But what made me a drum’n’bass-dj was Bad Company’s The Pulse. I was shopping for hiphop records on the internet and stumbled upon it. And I just had to own it. That record started everything. If it hadn’t been for The Pulse, you wouldn’t be talking to me today. We wouldnt even have met.

Phew. Lucky day on the internet. Let’s give it up for Bad Company then. Thank you, Bad Company!

 


Why do you love jungle?
First and foremost it’s the energy of the music. My love for heavy metal plays a part in it as well. And I used to be a drummer, so the rhythm thing means a lot to me, too. And jungle used to be so diverse. Back in the day everything was mixed. Darkside tunes mixed with liquid funk in one set. I liked that. There was so much life in the genre. Especially in the 90s. Now it’s split up so that you get one particular sound from one record company, and that’s it. It’s much harder to make an anthem today. All the dj’s are bombarded with tracks from their own camp.

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Dj Drop and Chriszka the Time Traveller sharing a deepfelt ‘we love jungle’ moment at The Jungle Hut. This is totally our friendship photo, Drop!

 

How are you spreading the jungle gospel?
I’m from Ålborg, so I didn’t have access to all the parties in Copenhagen. If I wanted to hear the music, I had to create the parties myself. So I started doing monthly parties called 9000 Massive at Tusindfryd in Ålborg. And I booked all the dj’s from Copenhagen: Pyro, Nico, Vitus, Casparados and many more. I moved to Copenhagen in about 2004 and started doing the DNBZone parties. Primarily at Culture Box with free events on places like Stereo Bar, Riga and Nadsat as well – to lure new people in and get them to join us at Culture Box. DNBZone was running for four years, from 2005 til 2009, but then I threw in the towel. I got myself a drum’n’bass depression. Doing monthly drum’n’bass parties in Copenhagen was way too ambitious. People got completely saturated. I found it to be a hopeless project.

Pretty strong work running a hopeless project for four years, Drop. We salute you.
Well, if you want to survive with a club night in Copenhagen, do it 3 or 4 times a year, is my advice.

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A picture of Drop running a hopeless project at Culture Box. 

What’s the best thing that happened this year?
The jungle revival in Copenhagen! – kicked off by the first All Jungle party. The oldschool feeling is back, and it has hit Copenhagen, too. It’s beautiful! There were so many of the old crew at the All Jungle parties, and a lot of new faces, too, and then there’s the jungle stuff going on at Bolsjefabrikken, on top. To me, all this was completely unexpected. My faith in a healthy, thriving drum’n’bass scene in Copenhagen took a serious blow after giving up on DNBZone, so I’m really happy to se it. It’s against all odds, and it’s fabulous.

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Drop in the middle of things at the legendary dj Hype party by Ohoi! at Stengade 2005.

 

What’s your favourite jungle tune?
Can I pick two?

Yes, you can, Drop, because it’s you.
There are two tracks that I keep returning to. One is Doc Scott: Tokyo Dawn, and the other is Source Direct: The Crane.

They both have such an attitude and such an outer space vibe. I never play them at parties, though. They’re sitting in my record bag, but they’re not really crowd-pleasing tracks. There are no sirens or ragga vocals to keep the energy up. They go deep and only work if you’re in a trance. …Well, maybe I’m just too nervous that people will get bored on the dancefloor. We finally have this jungle revival going on and then I assume that people are not ready for it yet or just want full power stuff. But I do play them at radio shows and such.

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Drop winning the Weird Face competition in the JUngLE calendar’s Weird Faces Special.

 

What’s your favourite heavy metal tune, then?
Difficult question. I have engaged in just about everything the genre has to offer, from Mötley Crüe over Pantera to Behemoth. At the moment my favourite is Ghost. It’s a Swedish occult rock troupe. The identity of the band members is a secret, but it consists of Papa Emeritus and Nameless Ghouls. Visually they look like death metal, but musically it’s more like grandiose pop rock, and all their lyrics are about Satan. My favourite tune is by Behemoth, though: Blow Your Trumpets, Gabriel. The lead singer almost died of leukaemia, survives an operation and writes the masterpiece The Satanist, opening with this track. Pure evilness through and through, musically and visually.

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What’s your best party moment ever?
My first time at Fabric in London. It was in 2002 or 2003 I think. It was a True Playaz night with Hype, Zinc, Pascal and so on. But we ended up standing in line for four hours outside the club. I lost sight of all my friends and didn’t make it inside until 30 minutes before the last set. So I basically missed the entire thing. But then Andy C goes on the decks and tears off the roof. I waited in line for four hours to rave at Fabric for one hour, and it was the best thing ever. It was the first time I heard Andy C, too.

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Thank you, Drop!❤

If you want to know what the weird face in the above picture is about, jump back to Blasts from the Past: The Birthday Bash Edition (it’s a time portal thriller!) 

If you want more Drop, his finger prints are ALL OVER the JUngLE calendar, because the DNBZone parties are so heavily represented in all the selections of pictures. You could start out with our collection of pics from the DNBZone Temper D party: Blasts from the Past: Temper D  or read my recommendation of his EBK party on AOK.dk, where I geek out (a bit more than usual).

You could also have some scrolling fun with Jungle Feelings: The Weird Faces Special or Jungle Feelings: The Group Hug Special.

Did you miss a day of JUngLE? Do not despair! Everything has been collected for you here: JUngLEkalenderen

 

The Birthday Bash III: “Raving is like deep meditation”

This was my profile pic for MySpace like, forever. Probably still is, come to think of it. Thank you, Vitus. This is how I feel.

Time-travellers, tune in, and buckle up your seat belts once more – it’s time for the BIRTHDAY BASH ROUND III – The Up Close and Personal Edition.

It’s the birthday of Chriszka the Time Traveller, and that means that extra potent portals and loop-holes in time will be manifesting everywhere. So kick away your chronologies and lean back, were diving in for an interview and a time-imploding selection of pics.

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When did you become a junglist?
I was living in London and wanted to find somewhere exciting to celebrate my birthday on December 3rd 1993. I flicked through a TimeOut magazine and stumbled upon this place called The Paradise that seemed to have some remarkably long opening hours, so that’s where we went. And that’s where I heard jungle for the first time – in the mainroom of the legendary Paradise Club in Islington. So that was pretty much a straight to the heart of things kind of kick-off.

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I had no idea what I had heard, though. Afterwards I described it as ”really fast, dark techno” in my diary. Later on that month, on New Year’s Eve, I went to The Marquee for New Year’s Eve, and that’s when it really clicked. I recognized my first tunes (the original version of Champion Sound and Renegade Snares (Foul Play remix)) and started to realize what was going on – that the dj’s on stage were actually mixing vinyls, not playing about with drum machines and sound effects. Never looked back since that night.

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Chriszka the Time-Traveller and Svingsen points towards the interesting future.

Why do you love jungle?
The original jungle sounds had me completely hypnotized. The music felt so new and groundbreaking to me; this was going to change the world, I knew it, and I was going to help make it happen. I felt that it had the composition and the complexity of classical music combined with the sonic energies of a death metal concert. And a dance floor intensity that blew me away. If you have the stamina for it, jungle is the best dance music in the world. Some people say they find it impossible to dance to. Those people have absolutely no ear for music. Or maybe they’re really into ketamine.

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And for the first couple of years I didn’t bother with any other kind of electronic music. Jungle was so much more interesting than the rest – with that extra added buzz of feeling part of something completely new, completely undiscovered by the media, still. And I was still living in London, so there was plenty of high quality jungle to choose from – twentyforseventhreesixfive business.

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What’s your favourite jungle tune?
I have made so many collections of hand-picked favourites by now, and I seem to find a spot for Valley of the Shadows in all of them somehow. It’s on My 7 all time favourite jungle tracks, obviously, and on my The 7 saddest jungle tunes ever list, too, just to mention two. Magical tune.

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Physical time portal at the Boom Festival in scorching Portugal.


If you could timetravel to any point in time right now, where would you go?
As any reader of the JUngLE calendar will know, I’m a highly skilled time-traveller with my own time machine, so I time travel all the time. Right now, too. Next question.


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How does raving make the world better?
When you’re completely absorbed by the music and using your entire body to express that absorption, raving is like deep meditation. It’s suuuuper good for the soul, and raving surrounded by hundreds or thousands of like-minded people multiplies the effect. It’s a beautiful, mind-expanding experience that goes back to tribal rituals from thousands of years ago and points towards the future at the same time. It’s such a powerful and transformative environment, and I’m still amazed that anyone could have lived through the 90s and the 00s as a young person and not have caught on to this. Seriously. Hello.

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And it’s still going on, obviously. This is the powerful portal of Turmbühne at the Fusion Festival, this summer. This is where time melts away. Fusion forever, literally.

What’s your best party moment ever?
It’s the same cosmic peak moment I keep going back to. Open air festivals are good at providing it. Fusion always does. But it’s a place I discovered back in the day below the massive green lasers of the London Astoria, a place outside time. It needs space to materialize. Open sky. Or, in the Astoria case, extremely high ceilings with otherworldly laser tunnels.

What’s your favourite tune that’s not jungle?
Impossible question. But the one artist that takes up the most space in my music collection is David Bowie (by far), so I choose Time from Aladdin Sane.


What have you learnt this year?
I’m getting a lot better at cutting away distractions. This is absolutely essential in this age of digital overload. It’s very difficult, because there’s so much interesting stuff that pops up everywhere trying to catch your attention. But the rewards are magnificent.

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Do you want more cake and cava? More time portal incidents on the dance floors? Revisit Chriszka the Time Travellers previous (or, you know, “previous”) birthday bashes: The Blasts from the Past Birthday Bash Edition and The Birthday Bash Special – The X-panded Mix.

Did you miss a day of JUngLE? No worries – it’s all here: JUngLEkalenderen.

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Gamers and ravers: The amazing similarities between the two worlds

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Late last night the Danish game Inside by Playdead won two awards at The Game Awards in Los Angeles. Best Art Direction and Best Independent Game.

If you haven’t played Inside yet, this is the time to support the world class talent of our Danish game developers. You can google translate my review here: New Danish game is a nightmarish masterpiece and you can dive straight into the darkside nightmare yourself right here: playdead.com.

So this is a perfect time for me to reveal the astonishing connections between the world of games and the world of the ravers.

Anyone who knows what a truly darkside jungle tune feels like,  will appreciate the artwork of Inside: sombre, sinister and shadowy.

upside-down-gif5But the connection between jungle and games goes a lot deeper than aesthetics:

I have been writing about computer games since 2001 but I have been deeply involved in the electronic music scene for even longer, since 1993 – and I have found that the similarities between the two worlds are astonishing. To a hilarious degree.

So let me share them with you:

The 12 amazing similarities between the electronic music scene and the gaming world

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BOTH CULTURES EMERGED IN THE 80S

Even though the first computer game was made in 1952, things didn’t really get going until the 80s
 which is when the first techno tracks were made, too.
 Since then electronic music has exploded into a myriad of sub genres
 which are so different that you can hate one and love another. 
It’s totally the same thing with games.

Here’s a map of trance genres. Some of them are horrible and brain-numbing, like the worst match 3-game you can imagine. Some tracks are exquisite masterpieces that transport you to other worlds, like Inside.
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BOTH CULTURES ARE OBSESSED WITH TECHNOLOGY 


mixingpultBoth cultures explore the limits of the current available technology. 
The computers get bigger, the graphics gets better, the soundscapes evolve and evolve. There are wires, buttons, speakers, keyboards, equipment, blinking lights, studios, experiments, new software, new limits. Things that were impossible one year are normal the next.

Sometimes the explorations of the technology become physical towers of playfulness: How much can we boost the bass, for instance? Can we kill someone on the dancefloor with these walls of sound? Let’s try.
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BOTH CULTURES ARE MISUNDERSTOOD BY THE MASS MEDIA


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Okay, so electronic music doesn’t get blamed for school shootings. But the questions are similar. 
Is this culture or pure hedonism? What kind of damage does this do to all the young people?

And on and on and on it goes.


BOTH CULTURES LIKE TO STACK COLOURED BOXES ON TOP OF EACHOTHER

This is Tetris:
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And this is the Tanzwiese dance floor at Fusion, one of the best underground electronic music festival in the known universe:
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Fusion, I love you!

BOTH CULTURES HAVE AN INTERESTING GENDER BALANCE
Some people think this is a big problem. Some don’t. Either way, this is the dj mag list of the the most popular djs of 2013. There are a 100 names there and perhaps three women. It paints a picture.
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No matter what you think of the gender balance, this list is completely ridiculous, of course. Hardwell as number 1, Avicii as 3, hahahahahaha, and David Gueatta as 5, LOL! Oh, don’t get me started. I could dedicate a complete blog post on a angry rant describing the huuuuge divide between what’s popular and what’s quality. This is a list of popular dj’s.


BOTH CULTURES  WORSHIP FLOW


Flow – that magical sought after state, where you are completely absorbed, in tune with the universe, and your abilities match the escalating challenges exactly.

This is what flow looks like in a game:
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And this is what flow feels like at a rave:
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NOTHING beats the feeling of flow at a rave! – when the skill of the dj, the selection of the music and your body reaches a state of total communication. 
The really awesome thing about flow at raves is that it can last for hours if the dj is really good. I haven’t tried that in a game yet.

 (I took this picture at the magical S.U.N. festival in Hungary.)


BOTH CULTURES HAVE A STRICT DIVIDE BETWEEN THE CASUAL AND THE HARDCORE

I’m definitely a raver. There’s nothing casual about my interest in music – I’m all in. I’m also a gamer compared to the average person. I know that a lot of people in the gaming world don’t like the world gamer (“we all play games now”, etc.) – but I like the word. I would definitely call myself one. The funny thing is I don’t mind casual gamers at all. But I am very suspicious of people who are only casually into music.


BOTH CULTURES HAVE A PROBLEM WITH GETTING POPULAR

When I started listening to jungle techno in 93-94, I wanted the entire world to listen to my favourite music! 
But this is what it looks like when the entire world decides to show up at your party:
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It’s a picture from the Berlin Love Parade and as you can see it’s a horrible place. This is the Farmville of raving.


BOTH CULTURES HAVE MAGICAL PLACES THAT ARE DIFFICULT TO REACH AND REQUIRE CERTAIN SKILLS TO GET TO

You just saw the picture of the Berlin Love Parade (after it got (too) popular). To avoid that kind of thing we need the secret parties. The secret festivals. The underground clubs. Far far far away from facebook and cameras and n00bs and people who are only casually into music.

This building is Berghain, one of the most famous techno clubs in the world.
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Some would say that Berghain has already gotten way too popular and can no longer be considered the underground temple it once was, but anyways: It still requires a lot of skill and patience to get in. And that’s not mainstream skills like money or boobs or connections, that’s underground-y hard-to-figure-out-and-acquire-skills. People line up for hours only to get rejected at the door by a bouncer with facial tattoos. Meet Sven, the infamous head doorman/picker at Berghain (Gamers: think of him as a boss battle):
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But once you’re inside – it’s totally awesome! (I can’t show you pictures because cameras are not allowed).

And that brutal gateway thing is EXACTLY what happens in super hardcore games like Eve Online. It takes years to get into it – but THEN it’s fun.

 And once you have put in aaaaaall that effort, you know you are surrounded by equals.
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BOTH CULTURES LIKE TO STAY AWAKE FOR A LONG TIME


The New Year’s Eve party at Berghain lasts for three days in a row
 and of course it gets really messy in there. And fun.
 In the gaming world these things are called game jams.
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BOTH CULTURES HAVE AN OBSESSION WITH MAGIC POTIONS

health-potions-diablo-allYou know how awesome it is when you play Diablo and you have a ton of health potions and you can just stay alive forever.
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The raving world likes magical health potions as well, providing the ravers with amazing superpowers  and soul healing and extra energy, taking them to magical places where nothing bad ever happens.
 
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BOTH CULTURES ARE ENJOYING A RETRO MOMENT – AT THE MOMENT

When I started listening to jungle techno in 94, dj’ing meant playing vinyls. 
Today many dj’s use all kinds of software and electronic equipment instead, but to me, vinyls on the decks is the real way to dj.

Fortunately for vinyl aficionados like me, parties and raves where alle the dj’s play strictly vinyl are becoming very popular again, and JUngLEkalenderen obviously LOVES the massive oldskool jungle revival going on in London (you can revisit Chriszka the Time-Traveller and Mariiii the Jungle Monster’s retro adventures in oldskool jungle London here: Being a Junglist: Going to London.)

In the gaming world, the retro wave is almost too big to dive into here. It doesn’t even feel like a retro wave anymore, more like a permanent condition. Many reasons for this, too, but I’m outta here before this blog post becomes endlessly long. Here’s just one example: The massively retro, massively awesome game You Must Build a Boat from 2015:

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Those were 12 of the similarities. There are many more.

The above is a blog-i-fied version of a talk I did at Pumpehuset in front of a lovely crowd of game developers at the anniversary session of the magnificent SpilBar. Get in touch if you want to hear more. I would love to do the talk again. Both worlds can learn from each other.

I also love it (obviously) when the two worlds mix. Here is a pic I took on the main floor at the Fusion Festival. You might have to look closely to see it above the heads of the ravers: Pac-Man hunting 5 ghosts across  Turmbühne.

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Did you miss a day of JUngLE? Scroll through the entire calendar (including season 1 and 2) here: JUngLEkalenderen

Did you miss yesterday’s episode? Go here: Jungle Explained: It’s not earthbound, it’s more outer space

Jungle Explained: “It’s not earthbound, it’s more outer space”

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What you see above is a picture of me, taking a chance. Or playing with time portals, possibly, but anyway – here’s the story:

I have made The JUngLE calendar for two years in a row now. That’s 48 chapters packed to the brim with blasts from the past and more than a thousand pictures. It takes a ton of hours to collect and arrange that amount of pics. “Doing another round of JUngLEkalenderen is unrealistic”, I thought. “I know December is coming up, and it’s sort of a tradition now, but it’s completely unrealistic”.

But as Will Smith says: “What’s the point of being realistic?”

And he’s pretty succesful.

(Here’s one of the youtube videos where he says that. Forward to 6:00)

Also, being a junglist, I like an impossible challenge and just tend to run straight towards it when I see it, basically, so here we go, junglist, trancers, music lovers and all you other people with eyes and ears and JUngLE curiosity and time traveling urges out there: This is

The JUngLE Calendar III

– and THIS TIME IT’S PERSONAL!


You’re about to meet the stars of the JUngLE calendar. Up close and personal!

First up is the one and only Nico DeFrost – musician, producer, christianit (that’s a person living in Christiania for all those unfamiliar with that Danish word), tv-star and proud owner of a friendly horse. Or proud friend of a friendly horse, would probably be a more Christiania-like way to say it. They’re hanging out, anyway!

You’re meeting Nico today because he will be appearing tonight in the final episode of the entertaining and well-produced four part documentary Christiania Uden Filter – watch it, I highly recommend it.

So get ready for a one on one with the fabulous Nico DeFrost. We will be going to outer space, back to the legendary Prodigy concert in 1995 (a nerve-wrecking story!!!!) and to Ibiza! INTERVIEW TIIIIME.

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So, Nico – when did you become a junglist?
In the 90s – at a party in The Grey Hall in Christiania. I had heard jungle before because my dad was living in London, and I heard jungle coming out of every store and every hairdresser when I visited him. But the first time I really understood jungle was on that night in The Grey Hall. It was the best thing with horns and white gloves everywhere and a real raver vibe. And everything was covered in army nets. I hadn’t experienced that kind of vibe before. That’s when I realized it. I realized that jungle was me.”

Why do you love jungle?
I love jungle because it’s very high energy and it has double rhythms so that you can move fast and you can moce slow to the same kind of beat. And I love it because it’s not earthbound, it’s more outer space. It’s a little bit dangerous without being scary. Plus it’s very positive. Even the dark tunes. It’s like flying in a space ship and you’re kind of landing on a new planet and it’s a little bit dangerous but it’s not like you’re afraid, really.”

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How does raving make the world better?
Raving makes the world better because people get an out of body experience – a possibility to move without thought, without thinking about what other people are thinking. For me it’s like a spiritual thing. It’s a break in normality, a place to meet new people and a place to recharge.”

How are you spreading the jungle gospel?

I have been dj’ing since 2001. And when I’m producing in my studio I like to inspire musicians that normally work in other genres to do crossover projects with jungle vibes in them. I have done jungle things with people like Lucy Love and Lukas Graham. One of the newest things I made was this track with the Canadian hiphop rapper Unknown Misery (he’s called Mizo when it’s jungle), Joseph Agami og Jazz Malaika:
https://www.beatport.com/track/bring-it-back-original-mix/7998345

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What’s your favourite tune?
Document One – Run the Block. Because it has this funky jazzy oldschool vibe from the 90s that I miss. I can choose a new favourite every week – there’s so much good music.

 

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What’s your best party moment ever?
I have to say it’s not a jungle moment. It was Burning Man 2015 in Nevada – Black Rock City. It was the most creative party I have ever been to. My second best party moment ever must be when Prodigy played in The Grey Hall in 1995. I was stage managing the gig and they put up all the equipment and then they started the sound check and the sampler didn’t work. I was asked to get an AKAI 2000 sampler before 14 o’clock or the concert would be cancelled. I had 20 minutes. So I called the nearest music shop, and the sampler arrived in a cab ten minutes later. That was an intense moment in my life. Followed by the best music I ever heard.

That’s very superhero of you, Nico!!!! Saving a legendary concert where so many Danish junglists and junglists-in-the-making met each other back in the day!!! Or didn’t meet, but met later on. Everyone was there, anyways. Here’s a pic of you in secret superhero mode to celebrate:
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And so, superhero’ed up, we ask the final question: What’s the best thing that happened this year?
That was my holiday in Ibiza with my mother in January. I realized that I hadn’t spent a whole weekend with her for many years. Time flies by so fast. So I had to make it happen. And in January we got to spend two weeks together in Frank E’s house in Ibiza. That’s the best thing that happened this year.

Awww. Thank you, Nico.❤

You can catch some of Nico’s work if you go watch Nøddeknækkeren (The Nut Cracker) at Docken.  JUngLEkalenderen highly recommends it! (and fondly reminisces about that jungle party in Vega waaaaaay back when Steen Koerner and crew did a breakdance show. Here’s the flyer:

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Nøddeknækkeren at Docken is the breakdance version of the classic ballet and has been watched by 190.000 people by now, so that’s certainly becoming a bit of a christmassy tradition as well. It’s on from December 1st (yes, today) to December 30th. Nico has made three of the tracks. One of them is drum’n’bass, of course.

Tickets and trailers here: http://www.noddeknakkeren.dk and here (trailer).

And don’t forget, junglists, for even more Nico: Watch Christiania Uden Filter tonight – it’s on at 21:30 on DR3. 


More JUngLE
Would you like a JUngLE calendar rerun? Scroll through previous episodes (that’s the complete season 1 and 2) right here: JUngLEkalenderen.

Or choose these reruns featuring Nico:
How to be a Junglist: The Dancefloor Moves

Blasts from the Past: The Dressed-Up Junglists

If you LOVE your keyboard (like I do), this is the game for you

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100.000 games fans will get their hands on the newest gem from the Danish game developers Triband this week – if they buy the Humble Monthly.

The game is called Keyboard Sports and it’s this month’s Humble Original – available until Friday at midnight.

I had A LOT of fun playing this Karate-Kid-meets-keyboard-tribute. The better you know your keyboard, the harder it is! (maybe…..)

You can google translate my review here (and find the link for the Humble Monthly): Keyboard Sports – The Final Tribute.

Hunting zombies in the second-oldest amusement park in the world

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Tivoli in Copenhagen has launched an augmented reality game for their Halloween-themed autumn season.

You are attacked by hordes of zombies between the carousels and joyrides of the old amusement park. It’s a lot more fun than Pokémon Go – and playable until November 6th. My review (in Danish) here:

Tivolis nye forlystelse kan kun prøves via mobiltelefonen

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This VR game is a cosmic experience

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This (below) is what the Land’s End area in San Francisco actually looks like (when you stand on halfway down the stairs, with a iPhone):

lands end 1Yes,

I know, it looks like a magical adventure puzzle, like Myst.

But Land’s End is also the name of a virtual reality game made by the magnificent studio UsTwo Games – the people behind the bestselling mobile puzzle hit Monument Valley.

lands end 2I don’t often use the term “cosmic” when writing about computer games, but its a fitting term in Land’s End’s case.

When I finished playing I wanted to share the experience with other people immediately after because it was such a moving and beautiful experience.

I have never tried a game that gave me such a feeling of controlling my movements  with my own brain, like I had telekinetic superpowers (and the ability to fly).  Well done, UsTwo.

I have written about the experience in Jyllands-Posten:

Google translate the review here: Magic VR game lets you fly like in a dream

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