Words by Sean Walsh

It seems like I’m starting to become a regular at the El Rey, and being so close and easy to get to has become quite a nice little treat. When it has come to traveling through the vast expanded areas of traffic that swallow Los Angeles, a nice quick ride really helps the ethos, but even if you somehow found yourself in a little bit of a slumpy-spirit before the start of this show, it would be short-lived, because the bands taking the stage are not going to let you stand there and pout. In fact they’re bound to make even the most senior of citizens get up out of their wheelchair and bust -a-move!

Seattle’s Beat Connection started off the night right as I got my first cerveza of the evening. Perfect. There was an open spot against the wall…Even more perfect. I must admit, I was feeling pretty good as Beat Connection rolled through their charmingly-witting and clever set which sounded a whole-helluva-lot different than when I remember seeing them in New York City in 2011. Anyway, that’s a good thing, as they clearly have taken the time to mature and refine their sound, mixing in a very cool-jammy-rock vibe to set up for the light-hearted affair that comes along with entering the Jungle.

If you have not heard of the group, or have not yet listened to them, its okay because you will most definitely be hearing about them in the near future, as they are gearing up to release their debut self-titled record on July 15th of this year via XL Recordings.

Their intro is fantastic, although a bit loud through the small house system, but its presence was undeniably felt. A myriad of animal sounds and nature-influenced rhythms dance across the curtain, when suddenly it opens and the “animals” begin to take the stage….but let’s be clear these are no animals, nor is this the music of animals. In fact I haven’t seen that many people dancing at an event in Los Angeles in a very long time. Soulful grooves like ‘Time’, ‘Platoon’, and ‘Busy Earnin’ brought the funkin’ house to its knees as they began to slide-smoothly between R&B laced beats and fantastically-livened vocal choruses conjured by the group in the front.

They brought not only the heat, but the cool theatrical smoke that steams off the skin of seasoned-showmen, and of course show-ladies. When the sounds of brilliance feel the air of a familiar space…these guys are good. Like so good, that if Michael Jackson were still alive, I’m convinced he would ask Jungle to open for him, or better yet, just be his touring band. Yep, they’re that entertaining too – no syncopated lasers and confetti needed here, just the wonderful sights and sounds of the Jungle.

Make sure to cop their debut release when it drops on the 15th and to see them as soon as humanly possible. Go visit the Jungle near you!


TheWaster.com | LA