A few weeks ago, I wrote about how to best prepare for the new How to Dress Well album for The 405, and wanted to do one for the recent Jungle album. I’m hoping to turn this into a series.
Be ready at 8.
Barry Gibb, the 70s version, picks you up in a white limousine. In fact, everything is white – your clothing, the vehicle’s interior, and the ubiquitous sunglasses everyone wears – and is accentuated by thin accents of gold. As he opens your car door, you’re offered a flute of champagne and Jungle’s self-titled debut starts pulsing through the speakers.
You lose track of time and space, eventually pulling up to a massive, artful structure in the desert, possibly made from adobe but more than likely existing on a foreign planet altogether. The walls vibrate from the outside as you and Gibb stroll through the front door.
There are so many people it looks like everything is moving. You recognize everyone, forgetting how or where you met, but understanding the brevity of the situation enough to realize it doesn’t matter. B-Girl Terra from the “Platoon” video shuffles around the center of the dance floor with a cherubic yet defiant presence. You glance at her a few times throughout the party, realizing she is the indicator of the collective consciousness; she slows down when there’s a dip in energy, she practically cartwheels throughout the room during “Busy Earnin’”, she gets wildly introspective during “Drops”. She is the party canary in the funk mine.
The place is an M.C. Escher construct. There are many floors that bleed into one another causing metaphysical conundrum. One couple is making out on the third and tenth floor at the same time (you later learn the guy is Gibb!).
Servers glide through the space wearing “The Heat”-style green Adidas tracksuits and roller-skates, wielding silver trays decorated with neatly organized morsels of food. They are the only burst of color amid the sea of white, aside from Jungle’s Tom McFarland and Joshua Lloyd-Watson, who appear throughout the night in black jackets decorated with the band’s logo. They look so happy, singing along in exuberant falsetto.
All night, group posturing is crucial. The “Busy Earnin’” crew kicks everything off with their choreography and united poise. You build a crew comprised of yourself and the two men from the “Time” video. They’re goddamn spry; you learn a lot. Inevitably, a circle forms and, one-by-one, everyone has a moment to shine. Someone spins on their head, another person just b-boy walks until he’s carried away, and you watch as someone pantslessly slides into the middle Risky Business-style. Before long, everyone joins in, underwear-clad, and the circle dissipates.
You dance until the sun rises. Your fluid movements are outlined by heat waves, your silhouette morphing into lava amidst the inferior mirages. Everything starts to melt into the air. The party evaporates before your eyes and, in a blink you’re sitting at your desk-job, sunglasses clipped to your shirt collar, wondering when you’ll see Gibb again.