If you’ve ever listened to the Russian electronic madness that is Proxy, you might have an inkling of what you’re in for with Pt 1. of his debut LP Music From The Eastblock Jungles. With a theme of electronic violence that permeates throughout the 11 tracks, Proxy transports you to a musical battleground. Starting off the LP is ‘Red Juke’, an intro with an imperial anthemic build that develops into a dark esoteric drum ‘n’ bass rhythm. ‘Raw’ follows up introducing you to the rough and grungy synths that ultimately brings out the darkest elements in the LP. Proxy’s eerie classic ‘Raven’ takes it’s place as the third track on the album, giving everyone the Proxy sound we’ve come to know and love; deep and epic synth lines that are enforced by full-standing forceful drum lines. This same experimental-electronic-Proxy-formula with a bit of funk is what the 5th track ‘Junk’ is all about. Proxy chops the “breakdown” vocal sample from ‘Raw’ and brings it back with a House & breakbeat vibe. Never mind though that this track is called ‘Junk’; it stands out as one of the funkiest high-energy tracks on the LP. Oh, I can’t forget ‘Revolution’ either, also standing out as one of my favorites. The off beat kick sends you into a dreamy space; it’s hard not to think you’re watching an army march in front of you.
It doesn’t take long for Proxy to bring it back to hard crushing pulsing electronic synth lines as the beautiful and illustrious feminine vocals in ‘Dance in the Dark’ preludes too. Suddenly, we get hit by a wave of Proxy’s grungy and hard-hitting synths which slaps us back into shape. It’s not surprising that this track made quite a buzz a couple years ago; I mean, people all over went heads over heels for it. My least favorite track ‘Raja Ganja’ hits next, portraying the true extent of Proxy’s experimental side, but amidst the dark bells and vocals I simply can’t get into it. Still, the track grows nicely, incorporating a whole new electronic melody before the final drop. The skit ‘In Time’ acts as the namesake of the album; a beautiful rendition of the rhythms and grooves you might see in a jungle in Africa, combined with lush electronic pads. Then, ‘8000’ offers a futuristic look at Proxy’s experimental electronic sound, keeping in time with a tribal vibe but on top of a rough and funky synth line. Here’s where Proxy’s experimental genius truly comes into play, as ‘8000’ fully switches experimentally. It’s great. ‘Abyss’ ends Pt. 1 of the LP, beginning with a deep atmosphere and inaudible vocals prefacing a dangerous vibe. After the build, we get hit with another dark audio siege of bass and war drums. There’s a bit of dub in ‘Abyss’ too on the second drop which makes me think Proxy’s 2nd part to Music From The Eastblock Jungles, might go in a completely different direction.
‘Shut Up’, a House track layered with battered beats, Hip-Hop funky vocals, and an atmospheric bass that propels it forward comes out as another single on the LP, with remixes from GTronic, Sound of Stereo, John Roman and VCO. Take it from me when I say this remix EP is a must have. Each remix has its own identifiable vibe, but all of them keep Proxy’s deep atmosphere in place.
Bottom line, Proxy’s debut LP Music From The Eastblock Jungles Pt. 1 takes you to a different time and place. You become surrounded halfway through by dream-like states and war time beats that change your entire perspective of what electronic music is capable of. It’s no surprise that Proxy has remixed everyone from Moby to Boys Noize; his sound is elaborate and spans across numerous genres, making it just about impossible to define.