Drum and bass (also written as "drum 'n' bass" or "drum & bass"; commonly abbreviated as "D&B", "DnB" or "D'n'B"), is a genre and branch of electronic music which emerged from rave and jungle scenes in Britain during the early 1990s. The style is often characterised by fast breakbeats (typically 160–180 beats per minute) with heavy bass and sub-bass lines, sampled sources, and synthesizers.
The popularity of drum and bass at its commercial peak ran parallel to several other homegrown dance styles in the UK including big beat and hard house. Drum and bass incorporates a number of scenes and styles. A major influence on jungle and drum and bass was the original Jamaican dub and reggae sound. Another feature of the style is the complex syncopation of the drum tracks' breakbeat.
Drum and bass subgenres include breakcore, ragga jungle, hardstep, darkstep, techstep, neurofunk, ambient drum and bass, liquid funk, jump up, deep, drumfunk, funkstep, sambass, dnbnoise, and drill 'n' bass. From its roots in the UK, the style has established itself around the world. Drum and bass has influenced many other genres like hip hop, big beat, dubstep, house, trip hop, ambient music, techno, jazz, rock and pop. Drum and bass is dominated by a relatively small group of record labels. The major international music labels had shown very little interest in the drum and bass scene, until BMG Rights Management acquired RAM in February 2016. Drum and bass remains most popular in the UK although it has developed scenes all around the world, in countries such as the United States, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, New Zealand, Greece, Canada, Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Australia.
|Drum and bass|
|Cultural origins||Early 1990s,|
London and Bristol, United Kingdom
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, a growing nightclub and overnight outdoor event culture gave birth to a new electronic music style in the rave scene, which combined sampled syncopated beats or breakbeats, and other samples from a wide range of different musical genres and, occasionally, samples of music, dialogue and effects from films and television programmes. A faster subgenre was known as "hardcore" but from as early as 1991, some musical tracks made up of these high-tempo break beats, with heavy basslines and samples of older Jamaican music, were referred to as "jungle techno", a genre influenced by Jack Smooth and Basement Records, and later just "jungle", which became recognised as a separate musical genre popular at raves and on pirate radio in Britain. It is important to note when discussing the history of drum and bass that prior to jungle, the music was getting faster and more experimental. Professional DJ and producer C.K. states, "There was a progression as far as the speed of music is concerned. Anyone buying vinyl every week from 1989 to 1992 noticed this."
By 1994, jungle had begun to gain mainstream popularity and fans of the music (often referred to as junglists) became a more recognisable part of youth subculture. The genre further developed, incorporating and fusing elements from a wide range of existing musical genres, including the raggamuffin sound, dancehall, MC chants, dub basslines, and increasingly complex, heavily edited breakbeat percussion. Despite the affiliation with the ecstasy-fuelled rave scene, jungle also inherited some associations with violence and criminal activity, both from the gang culture that had affected the UK's hip-hop scene and as a consequence of jungle's often aggressive or menacing sound and themes of violence (usually reflected in the choice of samples). However, this developed in tandem with the often positive reputation of the music as part of the wider rave scene and dancehall-based Jamaican music culture prevalent in London. By 1995, whether as a reaction to, or independently of this cultural schism, some jungle producers began to move away from the ragga-influenced style and create what would become collectively labelled, for convenience, as drum and bass.
As the genre became generally more polished and sophisticated technically, it began to expand its reach from pirate radio to commercial stations and gain widespread acceptance (circa 1995–1997). It also began to split into recognisable subgenres such as jump-up and Hardstep. As a lighter and often jazz-influenced style of drum and bass gained mainstream appeal, additional subgenres emerged including techstep (circa 1996–1997) which drew greater influence from techno music and the soundscapes of science fiction and anime films.
The popularity of drum and bass at its commercial peak ran parallel to several other homegrown dance styles in the UK including big beat and hard house. But towards the turn of the millennium its popularity was deemed to have dwindled as the UK garage style known as speed garage yielded several hit singles. Speed garage shared high tempos and heavy basslines with drum and bass, but otherwise followed the established conventions of "house music", with this and its freshness giving it an advantage commercially. London DJ/producer C.K. says, "It is often forgotten by my students that a type of music called "garage house" existed in the late 1980s alongside hip house, acid house and other forms of house music." He continues, "This new garage of the mid 90s was not a form of house or a progression of garage house. The beats and tempo that define house are entirely different. This did cause further confusion in the presence of new house music of the mid-1990s being played alongside what was now being called garage." Despite this, the emergence of further subgenres and related styles such as liquid funk brought a wave of new artists incorporating new ideas and techniques, supporting continual evolution of the genre. To this day drum and bass makes frequent appearances in mainstream media and popular culture including in television, as well as being a major reference point for subsequent genres such as grime and dubstep and successful artists including Chase & Status, Netsky, and Australia's Pendulum.
Drum and bass incorporates a number of scenes and styles, from the highly electronic, industrial sounds of techstep through to the use of conventional, acoustic instrumentation that characterise the more jazz-influenced end of the spectrum. The sounds of drum and bass are extremely varied due to the range of influences behind the music.
Drum and bass could at one time be defined as a strictly electronic musical genre with the only "live" element being the DJ's selection and mixing of records during a set. "Live" drum and bass using electric, electronic and acoustic instruments played by musicians on stage emerged over the ensuing years of the genre's development.
A very obvious and strong influence on jungle and drum and bass, thanks to the British African-Caribbean sound system scene, is the original Jamaican dub and reggae sound, with pioneers like King Tubby, Peter Tosh, Sly & Robbie, Bill Laswell, Lee Perry, Mad Professor, Roots Radics, Bob Marley and Buju Banton heavily influencing the music. This influence has lessened with time but is still evident with many tracks containing ragga vocals.
As a musical style built around funk or syncopated rock and roll breaks, James Brown, Al Green, Marvin Gaye, Ella Fitzgerald, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Billie Holiday, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, the Supremes, the Commodores, Jerry Lee Lewis and even Michael Jackson, are funky influences on the music. Jazz pioneer Miles Davis has been named as a possible influence. Blues artists like Lead Belly, Robert Johnson, Charlie Patton, Muddy Waters and B.B King have also been cited by producers as inspirations. Even modern avant-garde composers such as Henryk Gorecki have received mention. One of the most influential tracks in drum and bass history was "Amen Brother" by The Winstons which contains a drum solo that has since become known as the "Amen break", which after being extensively used in early hip hop music, went on to become the basis for the rhythms used in drum and bass.
Kevin Saunderson released a series of bass-heavy, minimal techno cuts as Reese/The Reese Project in the late '80s which were hugely influential in drum and bass terms. One of his more famous basslines (Reese – "Just Want Another Chance", Incognito Records, 1988) was indeed sampled on Renegade's Terrorist and countless others since, being known simply as the 'Reese' bassline. He followed these up with equally influential (and bassline-heavy) tracks in the UK hardcore style as Tronik House in 1991–1992. Another Detroit artist who was important for the scene is Carl Craig. The sampled-up jazz break on Carl Craig's Bug in the Bassbin was also influential on the newly emerging sound, DJs at the Rage club used to play it pitched up (increased speed) as far as their Technics record decks would go.
By the late 1980s and early 1990s the tradition of breakbeat use in hip hop production had influenced the sound of breakbeat hardcore, which in turn led to the emergence of jungle, drum and bass, and other genres that shared the same use of broken beats. Drum and bass shares many musical characteristics with hip-hop, though it is nowadays mostly stripped of lyrics. Grandmaster Flash, Roger Troutman, Afrika Bambaata, Run DMC, Mac Dre, Public Enemy, Schooly D, N.W.A, Kid Frost, Wu-Tang Clan, Dr. Dre, Mos Def, Beastie Boys and the Pharcyde are very often directly sampled, regardless of their general influence.
Clearly drum and bass has been influenced by other music genres, though influences from sources external to the electronic dance music scene perhaps lessened following the shifts from jungle to drum and bass, and through to so-called "intelligent drum and bass" and techstep. It still remains a fusion music style.
Some tracks are illegally remixed and released on white label (technically bootleg), often to acclaim. For example, DJ Zinc's remix of The Fugees' "Ready or Not", also known as "Fugee Or Not", was eventually released with the Fugees' permission after talk of legal action, though ironically the Fugees' version infringed Enya's copyright to an earlier song. White labels along with dubplates play an important part in drum and bass musical culture.
The genre places great importance on the "bass line", a deep sub-bass musical pattern which can be felt physically through powerful sound systems due to the low-range frequencies favoured. There has been considerable exploration of different timbres in the bass line region, particularly within techstep. The bass lines most notably originate from sampled sources or synthesizers. Bass lines performed with a bass instrument, whether it is electric, acoustic or a double bass, are less common but examples can be found in the work of artists such as Shapeshifter, Squarepusher, Pendulum, Roni Size and STS9.
Of equal importance is the TR-808 kick drum, an artificially pitch-downed or elongated bass drum sound sampled from Roland's classic TR-808 drum machine, and a sound which has been subject to an enormous amount of experimentation over the years.
The complex syncopation of the drum tracks' breakbeat, is another facet of production on which producers can spend a very large amount of time. The Amen break is generally acknowledged to have been the most-used (and often considered the most powerful) break in drum and bass.
The Amen break was synonymous with early drum and bass productions but other samples have had a significant impact, including the Apache, Funky Drummer, "Soul Pride", "Scorpio" and "Think (About It)" breaks.
Many drum and bass tracks have featured more than one sampled breakbeat in them and a technique of switching between two breaks after each bar developed. Examples of this can be heard on mid-90s releases such as J Majik's "Your Sound". A more recent commonly used break is the Tramen, which combines the Amen break, a James Brown funk breakbeat ("Tighten Up" or "Samurai" break) and an Alex Reece drum and bass breakbeat.
The relatively fast drum beat forms a canvas on which a producer can create tracks to appeal to almost any taste and often will form only a background to the other elements of the music. Syncopated breakbeats remain the most distinctive element as without these a high-tempo 4/4 dance track could be classified as techno or gabber.
Drum and bass is usually between 160–180 BPM, in contrast to other breakbeat-based dance styles such as nu skool breaks, which maintain a slower pace at around 130–140 BPM. A general upward trend in tempo has been observed during the evolution of drum and bass. The earliest forms of drum and bass clocked in at around 130 bpm in 1990/1991, speeding up to around 155–165 BPM by 1993. Since around 1996, drum and bass tempos have predominantly stayed in the 170–180 range. Recently some producers have started to once again produce tracks with slower tempos (that is, in the 150s and 160s), but the mid-170 tempo is still the hallmark of the drum and bass sound.
A track combining the same elements (broken beat, bass, production techniques) as a drum and bass track, but with a slower tempo (say 140 BPM), might not be drum and bass but a drum and bass-influenced breakbeat track.
Drum and bass exhibits a full frequency response which can sometimes only be fully appreciated on sound systems which can handle very low frequencies, including sub-bass frequencies that are often felt more than heard. As befits its name, the bass element of the music is particularly pronounced, with the comparatively sparse arrangements of drum and bass tracks allowing room for basslines that are deeper than most other forms of dance music. Consequently, drum and bass parties are often advertised as featuring uncommonly loud and bass-heavy sound systems.
There are however many albums specifically designed for personal listening. The mix CD is a particularly popular form of release, with a big name DJ/producer mixing live, or on a computer, a variety of tracks for personal listening. Additionally, there are many albums containing unmixed tracks, suited for home or car listening.
Many mixing points begin or end with the "drop". The drop is the point in a track where a switch of rhythm or bassline occurs and usually follows a recognisable build section and "breakdown". Sometimes the drop is used to switch between tracks, layering components of different tracks, though as the two records may be simply ambient breakdowns at this point, though some DJs prefer to combine breakbeats, a more difficult exercise. Some drops are so popular that the DJ will "rewind" or "reload" or "lift up" by spinning the record back and restarting it at the build. "The drop" is often a key point from the point of view of the dance floor, since the drumbreaks often fade out to leave an ambient intro playing. When the beats re-commence they are often more complex and accompanied by a heavier bassline, encouraging the crowd to dance.
MCs do not generally receive the same level of recognition as producer/DJs and some events are specifically marketed as being MC free. There are relatively few well-known drum and bass MCs, Stevie Hyper D (deceased), MC GQ, Mc Moose, Mc Dett, Mc Fearless, The Ragga Twins, Dynamite MC, MC Fats, MC Conrad, Shabba D, Skibadee, Bassman, MC Stamina, MC Fun, Evil B, Trigga, Eskman, Harry Shotta, Mr Traumatik and MC Infinity as examples.
Many musicians have adapted drum and bass to live performances, which feature instruments such as drums (acoustic or electronic), samplers, synthesizers, turntables, bass (either upright or electric) and guitars (acoustic or electric). Samplers have also been used live by assigning samples to a specific drum pad or key on drum pads or synthesizers. MCs are frequently featured in live performances.
Smaller scenes within the drum and bass community have developed and the scene as a whole has become much more fractured into specific subgenres, including:
Despite its roots in the UK, which can still be treated as the "home" of drum and bass, the style has firmly established itself around the world. There are strong scenes in other English-speaking countries including Australia, Canada, South Africa, the United States and, New Zealand. It is popular throughout continental Europe, and in South America. São Paulo is sometimes called the drum and bass Ibiza. Brazilian drum and bass is sometimes referred to as "sambass", with its specific style and sound. In Venezuela and Mexico, artists have created their own forms of drum and bass combining it with experimental musical forms. In Colombia there is a large underground scene, The RE.set Label and Bogotá Project are two collectives that put on DnB events in the city, as well as a twice yearly event called Radikal Styles, that brings together local talent and international big names.
Austria has a large emerging DnB scene with many artists such as Camo & Krooked, Mefjus, Fourward, Body & Soul, IllSkillz and mainly the Mainframe record label being all based in or around Vienna. Notable venues and events include The Hive and Beat It at Flex held almost every Thursday and Saturday, Vollkontakt at Fluc, Switch at Flex and the monthly Mainframe Recordings Label-Night hosted at Arena by label head Disaszt.
The Czech Republic currently hosts the largest drum and bass festival in the world, LET IT ROLL, with attendance of approximately 30,000. The genre is also encountered Slovakia, and local producers in both countries like A-Cray, Rido, Forbidden Society, L Plus, B-Complex, Changing Faces, Lixx, Dephzac, Gabanna etc. becoming well known worldwide. There are several other drum and bass festivals being held each year in these countries, including Trident Festival, Exploration Festival or Hoofbeats Open Air in the summer, or one night events such as LET IT ROLL Winter, Imagination Festival, LET IT ROLL Winter Slovakia in the colder months. During the club season, it goes without saying that promoters are racing between each other to organise better events, often resulting in 10 parties being held during one weekend with no more than 2 hour travel between them.
Born around the same time as jungle, breakcore and digital hardcore share many of the elements of drum and bass and to the uninitiated, tracks from the extreme end of drum and bass may sound identical to breakcore thanks to speed, complexity, impact and maximum sonic density combined with musical experimentation. German Drum and Bass DJ The Panacea is also one of the leading Digital Hardcore artists. Raggacore resembles a faster version of the ragga influenced jungle music of the 1990s, similar to breakcore but with more friendly dancehall beats (dancehall itself being a very important influence on drum and bass). Darkcore, a direct influence on drum and bass, was combined with influences of drum and bass itself leading to the creation of darkstep. There is considerable crossover from the extreme edges of drum and bass, breakcore, darkcore, digital hardcore and raggacore with fluid boundaries.
The genre has influenced many other genres like hip hop, big beat, dubstep, house music, trip hop, ambient music, techno, rock and pop, with artists such as Bill Laswell, Incubus, Pitchshifter, Linkin Park, The Roots, Talvin Singh, MIDIval Punditz, Missy Elliott, The Freestylers, Bowery Electric, Nine Inch Nails, David Bowie (the last two both using elements of Goldie's "Timeless") and others quoting drum and bass and using drum and bass techniques and elements. Recently created in the United States is a genre called ghettotech which contains synth and basslines similar to drum & bass.
Drum and Bass is dominated by a small group of record labels. These are run mainly by DJ–producers, such as London Elektricity's Hospital Records, Andy C and Scott Bourne's RAM, Goldie's Metalheadz, Kasra's Critical Music, DJ Friction's Shogun Audio, DJ Fresh's Breakbeat Kaos, Futurebound's Viper Recordings and DJ Hype, Pascal, NoCopyrightSounds and formerly DJ Zinc's True Playaz (now known as Real Playaz as of 2006).
Prior to 2016, the major international music labels such as Sony Music and Universal had shown very little interest in the drum and bass scene, with the exception of some notable signings, including Pendulum's In Silico LP to Warner. Roni Size's label played a big, if not the biggest, part in the creation of drum and bass with their dark, baseline sounds. V Recordings also played a large part of the development of drum and bass. Roni Size, Krust and DJ Die produced some of the first tracks to be considered mainstream drum and bass tracks.
BMG Rights Management acquired Ram Records in February 2016, making a strategic investment to help RAM Records (a London-based drum and bass record company co-owned by Andy C and his business partner Scott Bourne). RAM Records has been pushing the boundaries of drum and bass further into the mainstream with artists such as Chase and Status and Sub Focus. Bringing back UK jungle music artists from LTJ Bukem's label Good Looking artists Bay B Kane, breakbeat hardcore heavyweight Nebula II and original junglist Gappa G. Other Bristol labels such as Cafe Bass have also helped to push through a sound categorised as 'bass music' with the help of influential artists such as Lone Ranger.
Now defunct labels, include Rob Playford's Moving Shadow, running from 1990 until 2007, which played a pivotal role in the nineties drum and bass scene, releasing records by artists such as Omni Trio.
Originally drum and bass was mostly sold in 12-inch vinyl single format. With the emergence of drum and bass into mainstream music markets, more albums, compilations and DJ mixes started to be sold on CDs. As digital music became more popular, websites focused on electronic music, such as Beatport, began to sell drum and bass in digital format.
The bulk of drum and bass vinyl records and CDs are distributed globally and regionally by a relatively small number of companies such as SRD (Southern Record Distributors), ST Holdings, & Nu Urban.
As of 11 September 2012, Nu Urban Music Limited ceased trading and RSM Tenon were instructed to assist in convening statutory meetings of members and creditors to appoint a liquidator. This left many labels short on sales as Nu Urban were one of the main Distributors for the vinyl market in the drum and bass scene.
Today, drum and bass is widely promoted throughout the world using different methods such as video sharing services (YouTube, Dailymotion), blogs, radio and television, the latter being the most uncommon method. More recently, music networking websites such as SoundCloud and MixCloud have become powerful tools for artist recognition, providing a vast platform that enables quick responses to new tracks. Record labels have adopted the use of Podcasts. Prior to the rise of the internet, drum and bass was commonly broadcast over pirate radio.
The three highest profile radio stations playing drum and bass shows are BBC Radio 1 with The Drum and Bass Show - formerly with Friction, who was replaced with René LaVice in 2017, simulcast in the US and Canada on Sirius XM, and DJ Hype on Kiss 100 in London. Fabio and Grooverider previously held a long-standing drum and bass show on Radio 1, and there was also Radio 1's 'One in the Jungle' show.
The BBC's "urban" station BBC Radio 1Xtra used to feature the genre heavily, with DJ Bailey (show axed as of 29 August 2012) and Crissy Criss (show axed as of August 2014) as its advocates. The network also organises a week-long tour of the UK each year called Xtra Bass. London pirate radio stations have been instrumental in the development of Drum and Bass, with stations such as Kool FM (which continues to broadcast today having done so since 1991), Origin FM, Don FM (the only Drum and Bass pirate to have gained a temporary legal license), Renegade Radio 107.2FM, Rude FM, Wax Fm and Eruption among the most influential.
As of 2014, despite higher profile stations such as 1Xtra scaling back their drum and bass specialist coverage, the genre has made its way into UK top 10 charts with drum and bass inspired tracks from artists such as Rudimental and Sigma. Earlier in August 2014, before Crissy Criss' show was axed, the BBC held a whole prime time evening event dedicated to showcasing drum and bass by allowing four major labels to participate.
As of November 2014, there have been 6 drum & bass songs reaching the no.1 spot on the UK's top 40 chart, since the genre was first being played on the radio, around 1993. The first of these was in 2012. The fact that all 6 of these songs have reached number 1 in only two years shows the increase in popularity and commercialisation of the genre in recent years. The artists that produced these songs are Sigma, Rudimental and DJ Fresh (all have had two No.1 hits).
Internet radio stations, acting in the same light as pirate stations, have also been an instrumental part in promoting drum and bass music; the majority of them funded by listener and artist donations.
Drum and bass was supported by Ministry of Sound radio from the early 2000s until 2014 and later featuring Tuesday shows from labels such as Metalheadz, Fabio & Grooverider, DJ Marky, Viper Recordings, Shogun Audio and Hospital Records. From September 2014, Ministry abruptly dropped all non-mainstream genres to focus on mainstream EDM, causing disappointment amongst the fans of the D&B community.
In North America, The Prophecy on 89.5 CIUT-FM With Marcus Visionary, DJ Prime and Mr. Brown Is North America's longest running Jungle Radio show (Toronto), Album 88.5 (Atlanta) and C89.5fm (Seattle) have shows showcasing drum and bass. In New York, "DNB NYC RADIO" show with Host Dj Benzocaine on 90.3 WHCR-FM has a weekly 3 hour show which broadcasts in New York and New Jersey which plays only Drum and Bass every Thursday starting at 3 am. "DNB NYC RADIO" is the only weekly Drum and Bass show on the FM dial in Northeastern United States. Seattle also has a long-standing electronica show known as Expansions on 90.3 FM KEXP. The rotating DJs include Kid Hops, whose shows are made up mostly of drum and bass. In Columbus, Ohio WCBE 90.5 has a two-hour electronic only showcase, "All Mixed Up," Saturday nights at 10 pm. At the same time WUFM 88.7 plays its "Electronic Playground." Also, Tulsa, Oklahoma's rock station, 104.5 The Edge, has a two-hour show starting at 10 pm Saturday nights called Edge Essential Mix mixed by DJ Demko showcasing electronic and drum and bass style. While the aforementioned shows in Ohio rarely play drum and bass the latter plays the genre with some frequency. In Tucson, Arizona, 91.3 FM KXCI has a two-hour electronic show known as "Digital Empire", Friday nights at 10 pm (MST). Resident DJ Trinidad showcases various styles of electronica, with the main focus being drum and bass, jungle & dubstep. In Augusta, Georgia, zarbizarre of the Cereal Killaz hosts a show called FreQuency on WHHD on Friday nights from 11 pm until 1 am, showcasing drum and bass during the 2nd hour of the show.
The best-known drum and bass publication was Kmag magazine (formerly called Knowledge Magazine) before it went completely online in August 2009. Although it's still live, after 20 years Kmag ceased updating their site at the end of 2014. Kmag's publishing arm Vision, published Brian Belle-Fortune's All Crews Journeys Through Jungle Drum & Bass Culture in 2004.
Other publications include the longest running drum and bass magazine worldwide, ATM Magazine, and Austrian-based Resident. London-based DJ magazine has also been running a widely respected drum and bass reviews page since 1993, written by Alex Constantinides, which many followers refer to when seeking out new releases to investigate. In 2012 Alex stopped writing the reviews and they are now contributed by Whisky Kicks.
Certain drum and bass releases have found mainstream popularity in their own right, almost always material prominently featuring vocals. Perhaps the earliest example was Goldie's album Timeless from 1995, along with Reprazent's Mercury Music Prize-winning New Forms from 1997, 4hero's Mercury-nominated Two Pages from 1998, and Pendulum's Hold Your Colour in 2005 (the best selling drum and bass album of all time).
Video games such as Bomberman Hero, Hi-Rez Studios' Tribes: Ascend, Electronic Arts' Need for Speed: Undercover, and Rockstar Games' Grand Theft Auto series have contained drum and bass tracks. Microsoft Studios' Forza Horizon 2 and 3 feature a Hospital Records radio channel. MSX/MSX 98 radio station in Grand Theft Auto III and Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories played drum and bass exclusively.
The genre has some popularity in soundtracks; for instance, "Ultrasonic Sound" was used in The Matrix's soundtrack and the E-Z Rollers' song "Walk This Land" appeared in the film Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. Ganja Kru's "Super Sharp Shooter" is heard in the 2006 film Johnny Was.
Drum and bass often makes an appearance as background music, especially in Top Gear and television commercials thanks to its aggressive and energetic beats. Cartoon Network's Toonami programming block employs it for television spots and show intros, like the 1997 relaunch of SCI FI Channel segue music by the Jungle Sky label. Also, the first Powerpuff Girls series opening is Drum and Bass/Jungle, as well as the opening of Teen Titans Go!.
Whether they were black or white, these artists reaffirmed drum and bass's place in an African continuum (dub, hip hop James Brown, etc...) whose premise constitute a radical break with Western music, classical and pop.
So when I talk about the vibe disappearing from drum and bass, I'm talking about the blackness going as the ragga samples get phased out, the bass loses its reggae feels and becomes more linear and propulsive rather than moving around the beat with a syncopated relation with the drum.
Where intelligent drum and bass suffers from a obsessive-compulsive cleanliness, techstep production is deliberately dirty, all dense murk and noxious drones.
When the drum and bass gradually fell into the orbit of techno, the MC — both as a samplesource taken from dancehall and rap records and as a live partner of the DJ in the club — began to disappear from the music.
Techstep is a subgenre of drum 'n' bass characterised by harsh noise, tonal dissonance and a discourse of sonic violence.
At clubs like AWOL, the ruling sound is the gangsta hard-step and 'jump up' jungle of labels like Ganja, Frontline, Dread, Suburban Base and Dope Dragon, made by DJ—producers like Hype, Pascal, Andy C, Ray Keith, L. Double, Shy FX...
the popularity of the sambass subgenre, exported to the dance clubs and pop charts of the UK by Brazil's DJ Marky in the mid-2000s, or the Asian drum 'n' breaks scene, which draws on classical Indian music, bhangra and Bollywood film soundtracks.
Bass music (also called UK bass or post-dubstep) is an umbrella term for club music that emerged in the United Kingdom during the mid-2000s under the influence of diverse genres such as dubstep, UK garage, R&B, wonky, house, and grime. The phrase "bass music" came into use as artists began ambiguously blending the sounds of these defined genres while maintaining an emphasis on percussive, bass-led rhythm.DJ Fresh
Daniel Edward Stein (born 11 April 1977), better known by his stage name DJ Fresh, is an English musician, DJ and record producer, best known for making electronic music. He was one of the principal members of the drum and bass group Bad Company, alongside Darren White (dBridge), Jason Maldini and Michael Wojcicki (Vegas). He also owns and runs the drum and bass label Breakbeat Kaos with Adam F.DJ Fresh released his third studio album, Nextlevelism, in October 2012 on Ministry of Sound Recordings, which includes the two number one hit singles "Louder" and "Hot Right Now" – the UK's first dubstep and drum and bass number ones respectively – "The Power", "The Feeling", "Gravity" and "Gold Dust".
DJ Fresh scored his fourth top five single with "Earthquake", a collaboration with Mad Decent label boss Diplo, featuring Dominique Young Unique, "Dibby Dibby Sound", a collaboration with St. Louis producer Jay Fay also featuring the garage vocalist Ms. Dynamite, "Gravity", featuring Ella Eyre and featuring on "Say You Do" by Sigala also featuring Imani.
DJ Fresh has 2.8 million record sales, two number one singles and a further eight top 10 singles to his name. He also has over 157 million plays on his YouTube channel.Darkstep
Darkstep (also known as darkside) is a subgenre of drum and bass that fuses elements of dark drum and bass with uptempo breakbeats and ambient noises (similar to those characteristic of neurofunk). Darkstep music is typically composed in a chromatic scale. Off-time and erratically cut breakbeat samples feature prominently. Darkstep comes from techstep, whereas neurofunk relies on science fiction soundscape and clean production. Darkstep uses traditional 1990s basslines like the Reese bass.Goldie
Clifford Joseph Price, MBE (born 19 September 1965), better known by his stage name Goldie, is an English musician, DJ, visual artist and actor from Walsall, United Kingdom.
Initially gaining exposure for his work as a graffiti artist, Goldie became well known for his pioneering role in the 1990s UK jungle, drum and bass and breakbeat hardcore scene. He released a variety of singles under the pseudonym Rufige Kru and co-founded the label Metalheadz. He would later release several albums under his own name, including the 1995 album Timeless, which entered the UK charts at number 7.
Goldie's acting credits include the 1999 James Bond film The World Is Not Enough, Guy Ritchie's Snatch (2000) and the BBC soap opera EastEnders. He has also appeared in a number of celebrity reality television shows, including Celebrity Big Brother 2 (UK), Strictly Come Dancing, Come Dine with Me and Maestro.Hospital Records
Hospital Records is an independent record label based in South London. Primarily releasing drum and bass, the label was started in 1996 by Tony Colman (London Elektricity) and Chris Goss, and has grown in recent years to become one of the most well known labels within UK dance music. The label is home to artists such as Danny Byrd, Camo & Krooked, Logistics, Nu:Tone, Metrik, Fred V & Grafix, High Contrast (formerly) and S.P.Y but also releases tracks from across the DnB genre. In Forest Hill, South London, Hospital also runs the more experimental label Med School, the publishing company Songs in the Key of Knife, and their worldwide events brand Hospitality.
In December 2011, Hospital Records won the Best Label title at the 2011 Drum and Bass Arena Awards.Jungle music
Jungle is a genre of electronic music derived from breakbeat hardcore that developed in England in the early 1990s as part of UK rave scenes. The style is characterized by fast tempos (150 to 200 bpm), breakbeats, dub reggae basslines, heavily syncopated percussive loops, samples, and synthesized effects. Long pitch-shifted snare rolls are common in old-school jungle. Jungle was a predecessor to drum and bass, a well-known genre of electronic music.Producers create the drum patterns by cutting apart breakbeats, the most common of which is the Amen break. Jungle producers incorporate classic Jamaican/Caribbean sound-system culture production methods. The slow, deep basslines and simple melodies are reminiscent of those found in dub, reggae and dancehall. These features give jungle its "rolling" quality.Killbot (band)
Killbot is an American electronic dance music trio formed in January 2012. The lineup includes JDevil (Jonathan Davis of Korn), Sluggo (Nick Suddarth) and Tyler Blue. Killbot's music is a fusion of dubstep, electro, drum and bass, and moombahton.Liquid funk
Liquid funk, liquid drum & bass, liquid DnB, liquid or sometimes just melodic drum & bass is a subgenre of drum and bass. While it uses similar basslines and bar layouts to other styles, it contains fewer bar-oriented samples and more instrumental layers (both synthesized and natural), harmonies, melodies and ambiance, producing a sentimental atmosphere directed at home listeners as well as nightclub and rave audiences. Music genres such as jazz, soul and sometimes blues have a pivotal influence on liquid funk.List of jungle and drum and bass artists
This is a list of jungle and drum and bass artists. This includes notable artists who have either been very important to the genre or have had a considerable amount of exposure (such as those who have been on a major label). This list does not include little-known local artists. Artists are listed by the first letter in their name (not including the words "a", "an", or "the"), and individuals are listed by last name.Music of the United Kingdom (1990s)
Popular music of the United Kingdom in the 1990s continued to develop and diversify. While the singles charts were dominated by boy bands and girl groups, British soul and Indian-based music also enjoyed their greatest level of mainstream success to date, and the rise of World music helped revitalise the popularity of folk music. Electronic rock bands like The Prodigy and Chemical Brothers began to achieve a high profile. Alternative rock reached the mainstream, emerging from the Madchester scene to produce dream pop, shoegazing, post rock and indie pop, which led to the commercial success of Britpop bands like Blur and Oasis; followed by a stream of post-Britpop bands like Travis and Feeder.Netsky (musician)
Boris Daenen (Dutch: [ˈboːrɪs ˈdaːnə(n)]; born 24 March 1989), better known by his stage name Netsky ( net-SKY), is a Belgian drum and bass producer and musician. The name Netsky is based on the computer virus of the same name.Neurofunk
Neurofunk (also known more informally as just neuro) is a subgenre of drum and bass which emerged between 1997 and 1998 in London, England as a progression of techstep. It was further developed by juxtaposed elements of darker, heavier, and harder forms of funk with multiple influences ranging from techno, house and jazz, distinguished by consecutive stabs over the bassline and razor-sharp backbeats. The first sounds of neurofunk's early evolution – when diverging from techstep – can be heard on Ed Rush and Optical's Funktion single for V Recordings in 1997 and on their first album Wormhole for Virus Recordings in 1998.
The first mention of the term was in the book Energy Flash: A Journey Through Rave Music and Dance Culture by Simon Reynolds. This is where the English music critic coined the name as a result of his personal perception of stylistic shifts in techstep – back beats replacing breakbeats, funk harmonies replacing industrial timbres and lack of emphasis on the drop – by referring to them as, "(Neurofunk) is the fun-free culmination of jungle's strategy of cultural resistance: the eroticization of anxiety".Pendulum (drum and bass band)
Pendulum are an Australian drum and bass and electronic rock band founded in 2002. Pendulum originally formed in the city of Perth, Western Australia, by Rob Swire, Gareth McGrillen and Paul "El Hornet" Harding. The band was later expanded to include members, Ben Mount, Peredur ap Gwynedd and KJ Sawka. Members Swire and McGrillen also formed the electro house duo Knife Party. The group is notable for its distinctive sound, mixing electronic music with hard rock and covering a wide range of genres.
In 2003, Swire, McGrillen and Harding relocated to the United Kingdom. The debut studio album, Hold Your Colour, was released in 2005 to positive critical reception. While Hold Your Colour was mostly of the drum and bass genre, the succeeding albums In Silico and Immersion saw experimentation of other genres such as industrial rock and electronic rock.
In August 2013, Swire announced that a new album may be released in 2014, although Swire and McGrillen later confessed on their Reddit AMA that they had become disillusioned with Pendulum and have no interest at present in producing any new material. Despite this, on 20 March 2016, Pendulum reunited to perform at the Ultra Music Festival in Miami, Florida, marking their official return as a live act. Soon after this, Swire, via Twitter, said that he would make a new Pendulum album, and later clarified that a remix album, The Reworks, would come first, followed by new material.Photek
Rupert Parkes (born May 13th, 1972), known as Photek, is a Los Angeles–based British record producer, film and TV composer, and electronic music DJ. Photek was born and raised in St Albans, Hertfordshire.
Photek has contributed music to several film, TV and video game productions, such as Blade in 1998. He also scored Gang Related with director Allen Hughes.
He received three consecutive Grammy Award nominations in the category of Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical for Daft Punk "End of Line" from the Tron: Legacy movie soundtrack in 2012, Moby "Lie Down In Darkness" in 2013 and Bob Marley "One Love/People Get Ready" in 2014.
Photek is the composer on the show How to Get Away with Murder.Planet Mu
Planet Mu is an English electronic music record label run by Mike Paradinas (also known as µ-Ziq). It was based in Worcester until March 2007, then moved to London and has recently relocated to Broadstairs, Kent. The label started out as a subsidiary of Virgin Records, until in 1998 Mike Paradinas set up the label independent of Virgin and was distributed through SRD.RAM Records
RAM Records is an independent record label established in 1992 by Andy C with the help of his friend Ant Miles. It is one of the labels specialising in drum and bass.
The label and business today is run by Andy C and business partner Scott Bourne (Red One). Ram Records is known for its label activities, the music it releases, and the artists it has signed over the years. Moving Fusion's Turbulence was instrumental in moving RAM forward in the early 2000s and was the number one voted-for track in drum and bass at the Mercury Music Prize in 2000. As well as Ram's musical output, the label is also known for its club nights, the most famous of which started at the London nightclub 'The End', and lasted 11 years till the club's closure in December 2008. Moving on from The End to super-club Matter in February 2009, Ram's attendees tripled from 1000 to over 3000 people within 2 months and lasted till Matter's closure in June 2010. Ram's new home is Fabric nightclub in Farringdon, London.
In 2002 RAM launched a sister label called Frequency, and in 2012 a new label called PROGRAM was launched, specialising in different flavours of drum and bass compared to the signature sounds of RAM. The first PROGRAM release was "Firethorn / Pandorum" by Frankee. In 2013 PROGRAM released its first Programmed EP, featuring songs from Nitri, Audio & Meth, EastColors and Paul B. Two more installments have since been released.
Some RAM signees have found chart success. Andy C, Chase & Status, René LaVice, Sub Focus and Wilkinson have all released singles through RAM which entered the UK Singles Chart.Rudimental
Rudimental are an English drum and bass band, signed to Asylum Records, Atlantic Records and Black Butter Records. The band consists of Piers Aggett, Amir Amor, Kesi Dryden and Locksmith.
They were nominated for a Mercury Prize in 2013, and won several awards including the Brit Award, and the MOBO Award for Best Album. Rudimental also received nominations at the MTV Europe Music Awards for Best New Act, and Best UK and Ireland act. Rudimental has achieved multiple Platinum awards for record sales in several countries including in the United Kingdom and Australia.
The band rose to prominence in 2012 when their single "Feel the Love", featuring singer John Newman, topped the UK Singles Chart, and for which they were also nominated for a BRIT Award in 2013. "Feel the Love" was also used for the opening credits of the 2013 documentary movie Spark: A Burning Man Story.
The band have released further singles, including "Not Giving In", featuring Newman and Alex Clare, "Waiting All Night", featuring Ella Eyre which also topped the chart in the UK, "Right Here", featuring Foxes, "Free", featuring Emeli Sandé, and "Powerless", featuring Becky Hill. Rudimental were named by the BBC as the festival band of the summer. In 2013, Rudimental's debut studio album Home debuted at number one in the UK Albums Chart and was also nominated for a Mercury Music Prize.Shy FX
Andre Williams (born 28 November 1976), better known by his stage name Shy FX, is a world famous British DJ and producer from London. He specialises in drum and bass and jungle music.Sigma (DJs)
Sigma are a British drum and bass DJ and record production duo consisting of Cameron James "Cam" Edwards and Joseph Aluin "Joe" Lenzie. They met at Leeds University at drum and bass nights. Their 2010 collaboration with DJ Fresh, "Lassitude", peaked at number 98 on the UK Singles Chart. Their single "Nobody to Love" topped the UK Singles Chart, becoming their first UK number one. Their second was the follow-up single "Changing", featuring Paloma Faith.
Drum and bass
decade of origin