Jungle duo Tom & Jerry and their samples

George Palladev 14.12.2021

Jungle duo Tom & Jerry and their samples

We continue to learn about the sources of inspiration of jungle and drum‘n’bass musicians. Without any words, requests or greetings, the YouTube channel Original Jungle Samples tells us what kind of instruments and voices we hear in our favourite tracks. Today—what the duo Tom & Jerry use to make their music. Once someone posted a question on Reddit: Why are the vast majority of second-hand vinyl records by Tom & Jerry sold for 100—200 dollars? They say that other jungle pioneers have less expensive records. The collector was quickly reminded of the context: the beginning of the 1990s, the rise of the genre, the label Reinforced at the peak of its form.

Tom & Jerry was a side project of Marco and Dego from 4hero, the founders of Reinforced. Together they went through all the stages in the development of jungle on their records: they made acid house, mixed breakbeat with techno, turned to hardcore, tried deep house and recorded soft jazzy drum‘n’bass. Cartoon records, however, seemed to be an attempt to create one-day hits, quickly recorded and printed. Despite this, many of them became dance floor classics during the jungle fever of 1993—1994 and weren’t reissued either on vinyl or digitally later.

Marco 4hero

Marco: “Myself and Dego produced the Tom and Jerry records as a little fun side project from the usual Reinforced output. We channeled both our Manix and TEK9 monikers into the tracks and 90% of the tunes were made in a few hours, the 1st 12″ was made in under an hour (both tracks), we had a production race lol, like I said it was about fun and capturing the moment, the vibe as quick as possible. The serious part of this was that we mainly sampled things we liked, music we grew up on or was into, breaks, rare groove soul, reggae records we owned on vinyl and sound tapes straight from my pops in Jamaica at the time. The tracks are a snapshot of us.

I reckon they were set to be rare from the get go, we only press small amounts and would sell stock from the back of Ian’s van. (Ian Bardouille—one of the founding four members of 4Hero.) I’m talking 300—500 units. The later releases maybe a little more but at that point in time that was considered small quantities, I still don’t have a full set of shells myself. And before you ask, we have no plans to repress. We made a pact in 1993. Why were some tracks reissued back in the early 00s? Because someone broke the pact. People kinda hate on Tom and Jerry records now because the prices are crazy but that’s not down to us or the music, love or hate.”