Ever since Ultra 2014, we’ve seen a shift in the run of the mill dutch house sets, this is because of a new ‘vibe’ that Dutch producer Wiwek has been pushing called ‘jungle terror’. If you’ve listened to almost any set from Ultra last month you’ll find his tracks littered throughout the weekend. Afrojack, Skrillex, GTA , DJ Snake and many others have also endorsed the new sound, causing a massive surge of interest in this oddly named genre (more or less). Most producers who aren’t Wiwek would call it a genre but he insists otherwise, but more of a ‘vibe’.
Rooted in dutch house like Angger Dimas, Chuckie and Afrojack, jungle terror follows a similar format but it’s far less tamed than it’s predecessors. Creating a much more aggressive, in-your-face sound, jungle terror features more of a tribal based sound that typically includes anything related to well…the jungle. Filled with elephant and lion roars or intense rhythms provided by bongos or other related precussion, jungle terror brings dutch house to a whole new world. We decided to settle all of this confusion about jungle terror’s origins and what it means when Wiwek made his massive NYC debut at Webster Hall last weekend, along with NYC jungle enthusiasts Fight Clvb.
DB: What do you think of New York? Is it your first time in America as well?
Wiwek: No it’s not my first time in America, but my first time in New York, I’ve been here for 3 hours, haha, I think. But I love it! It’s the best city haha.
DB: Have you played a venue like Webster, in regards to size?
Wiwek: Actually I haven’t really seen what it looks like (gets up to look out of green room window at the crowd) is it always this packed in the beginning? Yeah I’ve played sort of this size before some clubs like this yeah.
DB: Is Wiwek your only project or did you have something before this?
Wiwek: I was producing under a different name but it was pronounced differently, Oui’ Wack, but in the beginning of 2012 we changed it because it was too hard to pronounce, in Holland everyone can understand it because it’s French and English.
DB: Your Barong Family EP‘s and, “On Your Mark,” serve as a cornerstone for jungle terror, obviously dutch house plays a huge role but what were some of your influences that helped you craft such an energetic and original sound.
Wiwek: Everything that was made before 2010 like Afrojack, Anger Dimas, Gregor Salto, etc. It’s all based on that and then on top of that there’s the whole organic feeling like Indian traditional music. I grew up with that so it’s on the radio all the time in my place so all of those kinds of influences, it’s not only house music.
DB: But what about the aesthetic of jungle, for instance all of the animal sampling.
Wiwek: It started with a cool vibe. When you hear it in a club or a big event it’s just the total vibe you get into and it’s like BAM! One of my first tunes, “Jungle Wars,” there’s this whole break with just animal noises and there’s a tropical feeling.
DB: So your earlier stuff set the stage for jungle?
Wiwek: It’s just a cool vibe, it’s not that I’m only doing that. I like themes. Now it’s jungle themed maybe next year it’s a space themed? haha I don’t know.
DB: But will it all relate back to Dutch House?
Wiwek: Yeah it’ll be rhythmic and will still be hard hitting.
DB: In a way your considered the ‘godfather’ of jungle terror, does that put a lot of pressure on you to further the sound?
Wiwek: No not really. It’s a title other people other people have given me, just like other people think it’s a genre, but those are all things that I don’t see that way. For me it’s just a personal trademark and if everybody wants to follow it, I’m cool with that.
DB: So you don’t see jungle terror as a genre?
Wiwek: No because if someone asks me to explain to them how to make jungle terror, I just walk because I have no idea how to explain it. Like, there aren’t any rules for making jungle terror, it’s a vibe you know? Jungle terror is a vibe not a genre.
DB: How did you come up with the term?
Wiwek: Oh I just came up with it. I think terror because definitely during that time it was a bit harder than everything that was coming out so I just said terror and then the jungle just came from the jungle vibes. When I combined the two into jungle terror I thought it was a pretty cool name so I just went with it. I didn’t do a whole study about it, I didn’t plan it, it just happened.
DB: There’s been huge rise of interest in the past 6 months or so, do you think it’s moving too fast? After Ultra last weekend everyone was dropping your songs how do you feel about that? Is it going too fast for you?
Wiwek: No no it’s perfect. I think even last year, everybody was dropping my tunes, only my name wasn’t really out there I wasn’t really picked up by everybody. There was already kind of a vibe around Wiwek already and then everybody dropped my tunes at Ultra so they were like “Wooww, there’s Wiwek again and there’s Wiwek again,” so now there’s hype. But even last year almost everybody dropped my stuff. Afrojack dropped “Angry Birdz,” again, even last year he dropped it. But now that he dropped it and suddenly everybody’s like wow he dropped, “Angry Birdz,” but he did it last year too. So it just took a year for everybody to realize that everybody’s dropping my tunes.
DB: Are you pleased with where it’s gone? Where do you expect it to go?
Wiwek: Yeah, it’s cool. I think the whole jungle terror brand is living it’s own lane right now, it’s not just the Wiwek personal trademark anymore because everybody’s using it.
DB: Are you happy with that?
Wiwek: Yeah, it goes both ways. People misuse it or give their own meaning to it or almost terrifying meanings like cannibal shit and that’s not it. It has to be woman friendly and club friendly, that’s the whole thing. I’m sorry, haha, did that answer your question?
DB: Haha I was just asking if you’re pleased with where it’s gone and where it’s headed?
Wiwek: Yeah definitely because it also helped Wiwek, you know, so in that way I’m kinda pleased about it.
DB: And where do you expect it to go? do you think people are going to run their own thing with it?
Wiwek: I think people will run with it. Well it’s not up to me to be okay with it anymore, I think it’s just living it’s own life and I’m just doing my thing.
DB: So you’re not 100% committed to the whole jungle terror ‘vibe’?
Wiwek: Well I’m doing the same thing with jungle terror as I was doing 2 years ago only it’s more popular, that’s how it works. And of course now that’s popular we plan on doing some merchandise to push it towards individuals.