La Jungle is a noise duo. From Belgium. This is their new album. It’s their fifth.
This particular album was born in the heart of successive lockdowns. And it sounds like it. Ephemeral Feast was conceived and recorded isolated from the band’s usual tours and parties. That and their situation took them quite a way from where they usually grab their dance bags. They work to and off an audience. They didn’t have one here.
Jim and Roxie composed the album in the spring of 2020 at their base in Charleroi, Belgium, their only real home during the weeks and months of the pandemic. Ten new titles. Sounding far colder, and clearly less festive, than their usual groove. As we’re learning, things can get to you when things get weird. Here’s what they’ve got to say for themselves –
“Inhabited by a need to describe both our declining society and a world that looks more and more doomed, we have given this new album a rather pessimistic and anxiety-inducing tone, which reflects a time when mankind looks bound to disappear. Ephemeral Feast paints the portrait of an outrageous banquet that is coming to an end. It evokes a feast during which humanity would have gone too far and shamelessly enjoyed the necessarily limited resources that its host Earth lavished on it. From now on, at the slightest shock, the statue of Mother Nature, as it appears on the album cover, could well collapse once and for all.”
Not exactly your Saturday night fare then. Grandad’s jive bunny cassette might be a better bet if you’re hot to trot and you’ve just dropped.
Where to start for the uninitiated? The sleeve of this album is a delight. All white and pink like a cd-rom memento you might be given at a wedding. Or a christening. Or after visiting an extremely expensive std clinic. There’s white writing inside on a pink background. It seems to be the lyrics to the track Hallow Love. It reads like the scrawl on the walls of bedlam. I had to stop.
Anyway, I don’t know if I feel any more paranoid after listening to this album than I did at the start. I’m pretty much peaking on that scale already most days though, so I’m a tough church there.
I guess Ephemeral Feast is a protest album. And I read writings that bemoan the fact that nobody, only those who always did, make protest records anymore. Well, here’s one that isn’t. Or is?
Ephemeral Feast is the soundtrack to Bladerunner. Or it could be. Or any dystopian setting where something’s always lurking and everyone wears black and wrap-around sunglasses all the time. But you can dance to this. You’ll probably want to dance to this. Despite what they tell you. Now and again they throw in tempos and loops designed to induce migraines, or dizziness, or projectile vomiting, but dancing at the end of time is certainly not going to be pain-free, children. No matter what they tell you. Which is a shame. In a way. I suppose.
Anyway, I don’t care how paranoid this album is supposed to make me feel, it will sound just fine booming out of the bad trips tent on a grassy knoll somewhere this summer. With the smell of woodsmoke in the air and the silhouettes of the blazing yurts up on the hill reflected against that old silvery moon slowly rolling across the sky.
Just keep your fingers crossed, I guess.