London electrocrooning duo Jungle have perhaps the best marketing strategy in recent memory for a new band. With virtually no recognition outside of their home country and no releases yet to their name, last summer they quietly debuted the music video for their song “Platoon” on Vimeo and let B-Girl Terra, the six-year-old breakdancing viral sensation, do the rest of the work. By September, the video was popping up on Facebook news feeds the world over, leaving folks like this reviewer thinking, “Okay, great Terra, but who wrote that song?”
None of the other tracks on Jungle’s The Heat EP are quite as strong as the sexy, creeping toe-tapper of “Platoon,” but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot to love. It’s got hints of TV on the Radio’s dual, sometimes falsetto vocals; “world music” production choices a la Byrne/Eno; neo-soul crooning over sparse arrangements on “Drops” and everywhere, non-musical nuggets of sound, like a door creaking open, that lend the tracks character without feeling tacked-on. The EP, taken as a whole, is an urban groove that calls to mind something grimy and sub-rosa while sounding spit-shined and almost austere.