5 Minutes With: Uncle Dugs

5 Minutes With: Uncle Dugs


Ribena Jungle, a name most die hard fans already associate with Uncle Dugs and his unique brand. A certified historian, Dug’s has paved the way like no other with his concrete relationship with jungle music, his dedication and passion for music is an inspiration and this really is only the beginning.

Jamie S23 breaks it all down..

The term ‘Ribena Jungle’ seems to have really caught on, who coined the phrase and why do you think it works?

“Ribena Jungle means undiluted, straight out of the bottle music and no watered down vibes. I remember saying it live on Rinse FM a while ago, it’s not like I sat down and conjured up a slogan for a brand, usually I don’t think before I speak when I’m doing my show! It’s just caught on and when I heard people saying it back to me is when I knew it was right. I’m trying to describe proper jungle, not the stuff everyone is used to hearing. I’m certainly not knocking the well known tunes, they have their place in history but I couldn’t ever play them at a Ribena Jungle event.”

Where are we going again?

Picture the scene, a week or so before the date of Ribena Jungle 2 and an email pops in my inbox confirming the location of the venue. It’s almost unheard of these days for a venue to remain undisclosed until the last minute but if anything this adds to the magic surrounding Dugs’ event. It’s a great feeling of suspense that recreates the vibe of early 90’s illegal raves, all we need now is a convoy of Ford Escorts on the motorway.

Turning up at the venue was like a school reunion with people you didn’t really know but then you kind of did. The connection here is jungle and the passion installed in the hearts of every raver wedged into the venue, not to say it’s an exclusive club, everyone was welcome and I would have been quite happy turning up not knowing a single person.

The venue itself suited the night perfectly, it’s not a huge place hence why only 100 tickets were made available but that’s exactly what made the vibes so ridiculously big. That combined with the near 100 degree heat, lack of lighting and being only a few inches from Dugs and his turntables meant it wasn’t a case of recreating the vibes from the early to mid 90’s but if anything, improving on them.

How did you come across such a great venue that suited the event perfectly?

“I found it by chance when I was doing an interview. I was looking around at the brick walls and low ceilings and it just felt right. A few days later I rang the club and the woman on the phone recognised my voice from the radio, it turned out she was a fan of my #RCFF show on Rinse which really helped obtain the booking.”

Tune selection plays a massive part in these nights, when pulling out massive amount of vinyl in advance what’s the thought process?

“I like to plan these nights in sections, for example I’ll have segments from Bukem, Moving Shadow, Metalheadz, various ragga jungle labels, instrumentals that the MCs can ride and everything inbetween. I draw for the enthusiast but also for those who appreciate an educational trip right across the history of jungle.

You can’t play this type of set at a large scale event, the crowd is far too mixed in their musical knowledge. That’s another reason why I love doing these parties because I can play an obscure b side and the crowd all know it.

Aside from my brother Jono D warming up it’s just me on the decks for 5 hours so the selection is always very diverse and certainly one for the true junglists.

It’s very similar to doing my radio show, in fact it’s a radio show in a rave although now I can look up and see the crowd appreciating every tune as much as I do.”

With so many tracks being played can you begin to choose a favourite?

“It would have to be ‘Atlantis’, especially after watching the video replays sent to me by various people in the crowd! When Navi comes in over the bassline and the crowd are actually cheering over the sound coming out of the speakers all calling for the reload it was like a dream come true. Especially considering that tune came out in 1993 and it’s still doing so much damage.”

Viber provider, that a Stevie Hyper..

Navigator, a fine choice of MC and one that fits the essence of Ribena Jungle perfectly could only be joined by someone in the same league, someone with the same presence and enthusiasm so what better way to compliment him than MC Shabba D. The way both MCs took to the stage and communicated with the crowd was one thing for us but also must have meant so much to both of them in terms of the vibe created. This wasn’t faceless MCs hiding behind a stage but two veterans of the scene doing what they love.

“I always try about build the night up in stages, the music does the talking predominantly so we never feature an MC for the first part of the event but come 11pm the vibe steps up a gear as Navigator is introduced to the crowd. That’s also why I also booked Shabba in secret, he’s a real energy burst so combining the two of them on the mic really took it to the next level”

What’s next for Ribena Jungle?

“I’m definitely doing another event, it’s going to be around October time so watch out for that and be quick to get a ticket as Ribena Jungle 2 sold out in less than 30 minutes.”

If you missed Ribena Jungle 1 and 2 then whatever you do, don’t miss out on 3. I can safely say that after covering many events over the years and attending most of the well known raves in the 90’s nothing came close to the vibes I experienced at the weekend. Sure you can go to some of the big scale branded jungle nights but this wasn’t about hearing ‘Bad Ass’ or ‘6 Million Way’ and painstakingly wishing I was 16 again, this was about being part of a movement and sharing a passion for everything jungle.

Call it ‘Jungle Part 2’…

Check the exclusive video from the event, vibes a plenty!

Quotes from some of the original junglists in attendance on the night:


“Ribena Jungle is simply the most pristine, purest old School jungle party I’ve ever had the pleasure of performing at representing 100% pure old School Vibes, music and full on party attitude. It was like we were actually folding time rather than reminiscing, because the feeling it gave me was like being teleported back to that time period when this music was born. I’m sure all who were in attendance will agree that there was such an elated feeling in the house that encompassed the source energy of the burgeoning jungle scene. I can assure you all that both nights were very VERY SPECIAL. So I have to say hats off to Uncle Dugs & I feel very honoured and privileged to have been invited to be a part of the experience. Salute!”

Shabba D

“Got a call from the man like Dugs asking me if I could pass down Shoreditch Saturday night. From the moment I walked in I could feel the vibes and heat, it was a small but rammed out club. Dugs was drawing the classic jungle tunes, most of my favs. Navigator was already blessings the mic then I did my bit using lyrics I don’t really use any more – all classics. Was a great response from crowd, they went nuts!. All 3 of us created a vibe that words could not explain, was epic and going off big time. Fully enjoyed it from my heart this just woke me up again about jungle. It surely will never die and I feel blessed that I took part, needs to be done again real soon.”

Ed Bale

“Just like the old days but it took me twice as long to recover”

Dave Mulheran

“Pure vibes. Made an old Junglist very happy”

Will McCarthy

“I have never seen vibes at a night like that before. The music and the people really were something else. Roll on RJ3”

Lee Caz Carrigan

“Every beat that dropped caused a crowd reaction, there was serious vibes in the place, loved it. Bangin night – big up Dugs, Jono D, Wigz, Navi & Shabba”

Original Gidman

“After going to #Ribena Part 1.. I was expecting the same amazing vibes for Part 2. How, I was wrong …. It was better !! Off the hook… god damn it”

You can follow Jamie Section 23 on Twitter, @JamieS23
Jamie S23 is part of the editorial team at Drum&BassArena, has a huge collection of vinyl from the 90’s and spends many hours wishing music still came on cassette. He’s stupidly into fitness and most importantly, a devoted Dad. Reminisce about air horns, lighters and The Sanctuary with him via Twitter or Soundcloud