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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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.[3] The style is often characterised by fast breakbeats (typically 160–180 beats per minute[4]) with heavy bass and sub-bass lines,[5] 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.[6]

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.[7] 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.

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  • ✪ Peter Szendofi: Drum 'n' Bass & Jungle Grooves - FULL DRUM LESSON (Drumeo)


(lively drum music) (steady techno drum music) - Well played, man, well played. There's a lot of energy in that. - Thank you. - Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Peter Szendofi. - Hi. - Ya. Welcome to Drumeo. - Thank you. It's a great pleasure to be here. - Peter has come all the way out from Hungary, Budapest, correct? - Yes. - And he's joining us here for a live lesson, obviously, on drum and bass and jungle grooves, so it's an honor to have you out. We've actually chatted quite a bit over the last couple years. We met up at PASIC 2016 and that has led to this. Man, Hungary's got a lot of great drummers. You're not the first Hungarian drummer we've had on Drumeo. - (laughs) Cool, cool. - But if you guys don't know who Peter is, I'm glad to introduce you to him and hopefully you become a fan because his drumming is very energetic; it's very, very well-played, too. He's done a lot of stuff in his life. You've been in over 130 albums, you've done a lot of stuff with, you're a visiting instructor, I guess you could say, at the Drummer's Collective. - Yes. - You've also won what they call in Hungary The Golden Drumstick Award in 2003 and 2004, which is like best drummer in Hungary. - Wow, yes. - Which is a huge honor, man. - Yes, that's it. - So you know your stuff. You also play in a couple bands, too. Now the first song you just played for us now, what's the story behind that? Is that your band? - This is a brand new song which will appear on my upcoming solo CD which will release in some weeks, I think in 21st of March. - Okay. - So, that's my new and original composition. - [Dave] Very cool. - And on this album, we will have some great artists, like Will Lee on bass and George Whitty on keyboards, and many other Hungarian great musicians. So I'm so happy to launch that CD and play this studio as a first intro song. - Ya, give us a little taste of what's comin'. - Ya, ya, ya, ya. - If you guys are watching this on YouTube it's probably already released so go and check it out And if you want to follow Peter, your main way of communicating is through Facebook you said, your Facebook page. - Ya, ya. - Which is just, I believe. - Yes, ya. - So make sure you go and follow him on there as well. And a huge thanks to the sponsors for helping bring you out. We got Remo, we got Tama, Regal Tip, Humes & Berg's cases. So ya, a huge thanks to you guys for helping out with this lesson as well. The kit sounds incredible. - Ya, ya, ya, ya, ya I love it. It's a beautiful kit. - You got two really cool snares. - Ya, thanks. - Very, very cool. And if you guys are watching this on Facebook or you're watching this on YouTube and you like what you're seeing, we do this kind of stuff all the time inside of Drumeo Edge. We also are going to be filming a unique course just on drum and bass and jungle grooves with Peter that'll be exclusive only to Edge members, as well as an interview asking him some questions, and a Q & A session. So if you guys like this, head on over to and sign up. You can get a free trial at and check out what we have inside. But, let's get to the lesson. - Okay. - Jungle grooves and drum and bass. Now there's a PDF you guys can download that has a bunch of little exercises or a bunch of grooves that he's gonna teach. Also, the cool thing about this lesson is all the songs you're gonna hear Peter play today are gonna be available as play-alongs in Drumeo in the near future. So it's very cool, thank you for that. - Sure, my pleasure. - But let's start out by, what is drum and bass and jungle groove? What is the definition of that? - You know, it's interesting. It's a quite new thing. There are two different ways where the drum and bass drumming came from. The first is from the late '60s and early '70s when the most famous funk and Motown drummers like Clyde Stubblefield and Steve Jordan started to play a certain kind of funk grooves with different types of accents, not only to play the 2/4 backbeats, but they started to play, they started to change the accents. And then the other side came from the intelligent DJ culture when about the late '80s and the early '90s, the DJs started to use sound software to make many differences on the old taped recording. And they started to put a certain groove into a computer and they started to speed it up, and then they try to cut the grooves away. For instance, if we have a two-bar phrase, it contains like, the first bar is 16 of 60 notes, the second bar is the same. And they started to cut like the first half of the first groove, and then again and again. So they did, basically, five, six different cuts from a two-bar phrase, and then they changed up the order. So they actually put it again together just like in a random order. That's why they got finally, this, the groove with the same elements, but they were sounding totally different. - Ya, because it's cut and cut and cut up. - Ya, so they changed the accents on the kick drum and the hi-hat and the snare drum. That's why when we listen to a groove like this, it sounds like a big chaos, just like a big jungle. That's why they call it jungle grooves because you can hear a two-bar phrase or a four-bar phrase or eight-bar phrase, but the accents are just like a drum solo. It sounds like there is no, any clear system, like how to do it. Actually, when I play jungle things, my jungle playing, for example, in the first tune what you could hear, those are 95% of improvisation in between these accents and the sixteenth notes and ghost notes and eight-- - No kidding? Ya, ya, okay. - Ya, ya, ya. So, because it gives me a lot of freedom, but the other thing is first of all, I had to spend a lot of time with the slow time practicing, with really simple drum and bass grooves. So the difference between the drum and bass and the jungle is like the drum and bass grooves are simple, basically, one-bar phrase, two-bar phrase. Like, I would say-- - Ya, show us an example. - If I play a simple drum and bass groove, it's like ... (steady drum music) Right? It's like one, two, three, four, two, two, three, four. (steady drum music) In the slower tempo, like one, two, three, four. (slow drum music) Right? If I would say like, okay, I wanna change the accents, I wanna change the accent of the 2/4 backbeats and maybe I wanna put the notes of the kick drum to another place, so I'm just gonna replay the snare and the kick part. It sounds like this with a same element, like ... (steady drum music) Right? So I play basically the same, like ... (steady drum music) - Gotcha, ya. - Right? So, this is the difference between the jungle and the drum and bass. If I play drum and bass beats, that's simple because we have 2/4 backbeats, some ghost notes, quite simple things, but it's difficult to play because the drum and bass beats tempo starts from one to 60, 70 BPM, up till like 220, 230, I don't know. That's a big challenge to keep the right time playing constantly during six, seven, 10 minutes within one song in fast tempo. So, let me give you guys a couple of examples what I brought. The first groove, what I wanna play, it's a simple drum and bass groove. I try to pick five different grooves from the quite very beginning level to the up like more advance levels. - Advanced, ya, okay. - So, the first sounds like this. Let me show you in slow tempo first. Like one, two, three, four. (slow drum music) Right? A bit faster. (steady drum music) A bit more faster. (fast drum music) A bit more faster. (lively drum music) A bit more faster. (rapid drum music) Right? So, that was the first groove which is quite simple. For me, when I start to practice the drum with jungle things, I had two things what I had to figure out a lot. The first was the dynamic level. When I play, for example, funk fusion or Latin or jazz things I was practicing during last three years to play as wide dynamic range as is possible. When I play ghost notes, that should be just a really a tiny little notes because we have no absolute notes, absolute pitch on a drum set, but we have a huge dynamic level what we can use. So, to make music in the other styles, we really have to use a huge dynamic range. But when we play the drum and bass jungle things, it's not possible because if I would play the same groove what I demonstrated before with the dynamic level and phrasing, if I play, for example, a normal funk tune, it sounds like ... (slow drum music) (moves into steady drum music) It sounds more like funky something, not like a drum and bass. If I change, if I compress the dynamic level like this ... (steady drum music) That sounds like a real drum and bass jungle groove because this kind of electronic music, we have totally different approach and the function of the drum set playing in this kind of music is totally different. That's why I turned to this kind of music about 10 years ago, because I could find a totally different path for my playing and they were so exciting to be in a totally different part, be in the music, than if I played funk or fusion stuff. And also, so when I play these things I have less dynamic possibilities on a drum set, but I can use a lot of effects, a lot of sounds and also a lot of rhythmic variations. So when I play a jungle groove, it's basically, a drum solo could be, because I change always the accents, the parts of the right hand and left hand and everything. So I try to create interesting sounds on a drum set. That's why I use three snare drums. Actually, at home when I do studio recordings I use actually four snare drums. - No way. - For this kind of music. Like one, two, three, there's this snare drum here and here. And I use only one floor tom because this music needs a lot of different snare sounds, a lot of different cymbal sounds because the DJs create this kind of music with a lot of pre-created patterns and loops and drum beats with different effects. So if I would just use one hi-hat and one ride cymbal, maybe there wouldn't be enough. So that's why I try to use different stacks and different cymbals, two ride cymbal because, because that kind of music really needs these things. Okay, let me give you the second example which is a same kind of groove, but a little bit more difficult. There's a little variation in the second half of this groove. It sounds like ... (slow drum music) Right? A bit faster. (steady drum music) A bit more faster. (lively drum music) A bit more faster. (rapid drum music) I also can play the same groove, in for example, a different snare drum. (rapid drum music) Or. Or. So I have many, many, many possibilities to change the location of the right hand and the left hand. Okay, this groove is a little bit similar than, for example, if you listen to the late '60s and early '70s recordings from James Brown or Allman Brothers or these bands, I used to listen to a lot of Clyde Stubblefield stuff. You know, I'm sure most of you guys know the really famous groove, this is the funky drummer groove, which is actually a really popular lick for the DJs to cut away and speed up the tempo and create a totally different chaos-oriented groove by the simple elements of this groove. So it sounds like ... (slow drum music) Alright? So this is basically a funk groove, but Clyde changed the accents and also, he played different things on a hi-hat, not only eighth notes or not only sixteenth notes, but he changes the accents in between the kick and the snare and the hi-hat. So that's why it's so interesting stuff. The other thing from Clyde Stubblefield, what I used to listen to a lot which is a typical break beat or basic of the jungle grooves because he replays again, the accents between the snare drum and the kick. This is the groove of the tune Cold Sweat which is a famous James Brown tune which sounds like ... (steady drum music) Right? So he did basically the same things while the DJs did later. So he was absolutely genius in terms of the groove playing and this kind of rhythmic part. So let's see the next groove which is a two-bar phrase actually, and it also contains a little changing in terms of accents, so it sounds like, in slow tempo like this ... (slow drum music) Right? So when you guys listen to it first, that can be a little bit confusing because the location of the 2/4 backbeats are gonna be changing. So it sounds like one, two, three, four, and ... So I put the second snare drum accent, actually for the one, two, three, four, and. So like ... (slow drum music) Right? So this part, like, it's repeating three times, like ... (slow drum music) Right? - Okay, I get it. Ya, ya, ya. - So that's a kind of, if I can say a three against four. Like if I play at a faster tempo, that sounds cool, like ... (steady drum music) Right? - Very cool. You gotta show us that on the other snares too. - Ya. (steady drum music) - That's so cool. - Also, the other recommendations for all of you guys who want to start to practice the drum and bass jungle things is to be really, really patient and spend a lot of time with the slow time practicing, because in this kind of music we have to be extra careful of the time playing. So it's not possible to play the beats a little bit behind or for example, a little bit rushed from the first and second and third and fourth quarter notes. Because usually in this music we use a lot of other loops and programming and arpeggios from the keyboards. So we have to spend a lot of time with slow time practicing, and play each note to the edge of the grid. Otherwise, in a faster tempo there will be a huge chaos-- - [Dave] I can see it, ya. - In terms of the time playing. So believe it or not, I spent like 95% of all of my practicing, when I practiced drum and bass things, with really simple things and in really slow tempo. And I keep my concentration constantly to play each notes to the correct place. - [Dave] Ya, make sure that spacing's there. - And this long time practicing at slow tempo, we really need to reach the faster tempos. As I experienced, the fast tempo playing will come automatically when we spend a bit of time with the different grooves in a slow tempo. - Cool. - So that's why I would truly recommend you. If you guys would be unpatient and after like 20 minutes just want to speed up the tempo to 100 to 180, your muscle would be tight, your concentration would be like tricky, and you guys will get low. So that's why I actually spent two or three years from the beginning to practice drum and bass things, when I did the first album, when I played actually a real drum and bass jungle grooves because it-- - Takes time. - It really takes time to focus on the beats and the concentration and the technical side and everything. - Which makes sense. It's a pretty intricate style of music to play-- - Absolutely. - With all those little notes there. Let's check out number four. - Okay, okay. Let's do it. So, that's a little bit more complicated, not too much, just a little bit. So, let me play it again, a bit slower. Like one, two, three, four. (slow drum music) Right? A little bit faster. (steady drum music) A bit faster. (lively drum music) Right? - That is a cool beat. The displaced downbeat on the and of the second bar of line one really makes it sound on time a little bit but it's not. - Ya, and also it's sounding a little bit like if I would play a kind of half-time oriented thing like ... (steady drum music) So that's a kind of mixture of half-time sixteenth note oriented groove than a simple jungle groove. - So can you show us an example, maybe do it in just a straight ahead time, and then going into that, so we can hear the difference and feel? - Yes. - Something very simple. - Ya, ya, ya. I also could change a little bit for example, the hi-hat part. I can play eighth notes constantly on a hi-hat. For example, like ... (steady drum music) Right? So I played basically the same groove, but if I change the hi-hat parts, that would be a totally different sounding groove. So that's why I usually use improvisation. There are some common drummer bass licks or movements, but I basically, I listen to a lot of this kind of music which basically doesn't contain live drumming. Because if I listen to it from DJs, the mind of the DJs are totally different and that's refreshing of my mind and gives me a lot of fresh ideas because they don't think about the right hand as a hi-hat part, the left hand is-- - Totally dude, ya, ya. - plays three notes. It's too much. No, they just programming and try to find perfect balance between the programmed drum parts and the other parts. I received actually, a lot of great ideas from DJs. So that's why it's so interesting to practice these things. - Ya, that makes sense. Let's do number five and then we'll get you to play some more music for us. - Ya, the last one, the number five is a little bit, looks like kind of a linear thing. So, I stop to play the eighth notes constantly. So it sounds in slow tempo like one, two, three, four ... (slow drum music) Right? Once again in another-- - Do it again really slow, 'cause this is a sweet sounding beat. - Okay, one, two, three, four. (slow drum music) To play this kind of linear beat oriented drum and bass grooves, it's much more difficult than when I play a drum and bass groove for example, with a straight eighth notes like ... (steady drum music) Because like this, I have my click track actually on the right side. So I can hear constantly the downbeats, but like this, it's not possible because I play almost constantly the sixteenth notes in between the kick and the snare, and the snare and the hi-hats, so it's switching constantly. So it sounds like this, a little bit faster. Like one, two, three, four. (steady drum music) A bit more faster. (lively drum music) Or maybe here. (lively drum music) A bit more faster. I'm trying. (laughs) (rapid drum music) Right? - That is so cool. (laughs) - So that's why I said like these kind of grooves in really fast tempo, for me, is much more difficult for my brain, not like my hands and feet. So, I think to play fast tempos and by the hand side or feet side, that's possible in 200 BPM if you are just have to play like single stroke rolls in a pad or something. But to play this kind of linear grooves-- - [Dave] Oh, it's so difficult. I was gonna say it's deceptively hard. Like, you don't think it's that hard, but you sit down, not only to get the patterns happening but to get the right space in between the notes and then also to get the right sound that you want from it, because it's a unique kind of texture that you have going on there. Do you mind playing us another song? - Yes, sure, sure. - I would love that. 'Cause I got a couple questions for you after. These beats are great. - Okay. - You guys, make sure you practice these. You have to watch it over again, that's totally cool 'cause there's a lot happening there. But let's get you to play us another tune and then we'll get to some of the questions like how do you develop that speed, how do you tune your drums to sound like drum and bass. I got a few questions from the members too. So what song do you want to play for us next? - The next tune called Take One, that's a really fast one. That song I think is 220 BPM. - Hoo! - Which groove contains basically only single stroke rolls because it's too fast to play, I mean for me. - No doubt. (laughs) - Too fast to play any other variations. - Awesome. Well that's sounds-- - It's fun. - Let's check out Take One. - Ya, ya, Take One. - Alright, cheers. ("Take One") That was unbelievable. - Thank you. - You had to be so loose to be able to play that at 220 beats per minute. You seemed like you were pretty chill the whole time, man. - Ya, you know, as I said, it's much more difficult for me to keep the perfect balance between the sixteenth notes. - No doubt. I have a hard enough time doing that at 180 beats per minute, you're doing it at 220. - Thank you. - But I got a bunch of questions for you if you don't mind. - Sure, sure, sure. - Something just for myself, for those who are interested in this style, I know it's not like there's a lot of top 40 drum and bass songs out there. So what kind of bands do you recommend we check out if we want to dive into this style more? Or artists, or drummers even, too? - I would give you two examples. The first is Jojo Mayer's playing, of course. We are great friends with Jojo since more than 20 years, and it was interesting because there was a couple of drum festivals in Hungary in 1994, 1995 actually, and we played together. And after one of the shows we went to a disco. And Jojo said to me, he was smoking, and he listened to that kind of music which at that time for me was so boring. Like a (mimics drum rhythm). This kind of thing, and then he said to me, he feels something with this music and he will do something really fresh with this kind of music, and I absolutely didn't understand it. Like what do you mean, what do you want to do with this kind of music. But then when I listened to his recording I decided to start to play these things. That was around 2005, 2006 and his band is called Nerve. They play the same kind of things with a DJ, a keyboard player, a bass player, and the drums and that's a really progressive, hard-edged, electronic fusion music. - Kind of tribal based, tribal stuff. So Jojo Mayer, the band Nerve. - Ya, he's fantastic. - Maybe one other suggestion, one other band that you know of? - Ya, the other one is actually a bass player. His nickname is Square Pusher. - Okay, can you spell that? - He's a fantastic DJ and bass player. He does live shows with a lot of laptops and bass guitar. And he does the cutting of the loops and editing and to play bass in live situation, in real time. That's fantastic. - What's his name again? - Square Pusher. - Square Pusher? - Ya, Square Pusher. - Okay, got it. - He's fantastic. I bought almost 20 different recordings from him. He's quite popular since the late '80s, early '90s. So he has at least 25 recordings, and I truly recommend all of you guys to listen to Square Pusher because in his albums there's no any pre-created or downloaded loops. Each of the notes was created by Square Pusher. - Very cool. - So that's fantastic. - Very cool. Definitely check out those two groups. I know I've listened to a lot of Nerve and Jojo's an incredible drummer. Hopefully we'll have him on Drumeo at some point, but a couple more questions for ya before we wrap up, 'cause we're getting close to the end. There's a lot of questions in here from different members that are all very similar and the one question I keep seeing a lot of so I'll ask you is what kind of technique are you using to get that kind of speed while you still look very loose? Can you just maybe talk a little bit, or maybe give a couple tips of how drummers that want to get into this style can keep their tension down and to get these kind of speeds? - Actually, I don't use any tricky things. I don't use basically, a Moeller or a push-pull or this kind of things. I play basically, simple wrist and finger control. That's it. The only thing is I always try to find the perfect balance between the drum set and myself. So I never play by muscles. I try to be always very loose and relaxed. Otherwise, like 85 of my concentration would be to play out somehow the things by muscles, by arms. So I try to play with wrist and fingers as much as is possible. I play actually with these beats simple stickings, like singles, doubles, some paradiddle things. I also did practicing like to play right hand simple eighth notes, and during this playing I tried to change the single and double beats of a snare drum. Just like, if I would say like, like I play eight eighth notes. One and two and three and four. (slow drum music) Right? So these little elements, these little slices are the really basics of the really speed tempo. Also, I'm sure if you guys spent enough time with the slow time practicing and you would be extra careful of your hands and feet. Like no any pressure, don't choke the sticks because that would be a trap. It's not possible ... - [Dave] I like that would be a trap. - It's maybe possible, but I would be suffering a lot if I would have to play by muscles in these fast tempos. - Which makes sense. It's very loose grip, especially because you do it all in traditional grip too, which is really crazy. But we'll dive more into your technique in the course that we're gonna be filming for Drumeo Edge. And if you guys watching this, we're gonna do a Q & A tomorrow so you can dive in to the more technical side of your technique in there. But the other question I get a lot of is your tuning and your set up for this. You talked a little bit about having four snares on your recordings at home. Can you talk about why you have your setup like this and maybe why you chose the tunings for your snares? - Because I think in this kind of music we have to use different type of snare drums because most of the time, like this music doesn't contain any long drum solos or something like this. I did a drum solo right now in the first tune and I will do one more in the last tune. That's why I use three toms here. But actually, when I play these kind of beats, I mean, it's not necessary to use three toms because this music needs much more like more right cymbal sounds and more hi-hat sounds and more snare drum sounds. Maybe more kick sounds. I also use some triggers during the recording sessions to mix it, the electronic trigger sound with the acoustic kick sound and a snare too. So, basically this is the reason. So I usually play like one snare drum, two and three and four when I do drum bass recordings. And only one floor tom here, that's it. - Very cool, ya. Well, I'm excited to see what you're gonna bring to us tomorrow and I'm excited to see you play one more tune for us if you don't mind. It is almost five so we're gonna wrap it up there. - Okay. - A lot more questions came, but we'll do that tomorrow for the Q & A. Just want to thank everyone for watching. Hope you got something from it. I definitely got inspired to want to get into this style of music more. - Thank you. - You know, every time I'm on your electronic drum set, you scroll to the drum and bass thing and you're like oh, I wish I could play this, but I can't so I gotta practice it more. So very cool beats, thank you very much. - Thanks very much for having me here. That was a great pleasure to be here. It's a beautiful place and everything is perfect. - Well, thank you. You're always welcome, always welcome back here. Make sure you follow him on Facebook if you haven't, just and his name is S-Z-E-N-D-O-F-I. - Yes, that's correct. - Yes! I did it! - You got it! - Yes, alright so we're gonna leave you with one more song. What's the song called? - This song is called Shotgun Approach. - Shotgun Approach? - Ya, Shotgun Approach because I have a band, it's called Loop Doctors. That's actually a dual formation with a great keyboard player and rapper guy from Hungary. And we did our last recording which was recorded in Brooklyn a couple of years before and we took like two or three takes from this tune. And all of the takes contain some big mistakes. And we said, to the sound guy, okay, let's do one more take. And he said, "Okay, shotgun approach." And we just like it. - There ya go. - So that's why this is it. - Those are sometimes the best stories when it comes to the studio, recording. - Ya, ya, ya, absolutely. - So, again, thanks everyone for watching. If you guys like this go to and sign up. Also, for those who are watching, all the songs that he played, or Peter played, sorry, in this lesson are gonna be available as a play-along so you can try what he's doing on them as well. So, hey. - Thanks very much. - No, thank you. - Thanks. - We'll see you guys later. ("Shotgun Approach" by Loop Doctors) ♪ Just listen to the groove of the bass and the drums ♪ Beating a sonic path, now here it comes ♪ The art of arranging noise to the limit ♪ Thin airwave architecture within a five- minute blueprint ♪ Prohibit the visual ♪ Free your mind, let go of the usual concept ♪ See the music grow graphics in your mind ♪ An exclusive personal blind ♪ Right now all you need is imagination ♪ Some motivation, association ♪ Sound is open to interpretation, a sonic sensation ♪ Step up to the abstract plate ♪ Open the gate, never underrate ♪ The mental power of instrumental ♪ Intercontinental music ♪ Which element is fundamental (lively drum music)



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.[8]

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[9] and successful artists including Chase & Status, Netsky, and Australia's Pendulum.

Musical features

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.[5][10] The sounds of drum and bass are extremely varied due to the range of influences behind the music.[citation needed]

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.[11][12][13]


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.[14][15] 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.[16][17][18][19][20][21] Jazz pioneer Miles Davis has been named as a possible influence.[22] 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.[23] 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.[6]

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.[24]

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.[25][26] 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.[27]

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.[28][29][30][31] 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.[27][32] White labels along with dubplates play an important part in drum and bass musical culture.

Drum and bassline elements

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.

The Roland TR-808 Rhythm Composer, produced 1980–1984, had a bass drum sound which became very important in Drum and bass.
The Roland TR-808 Rhythm Composer, produced 1980–1984, had a bass drum sound which became very important in Drum and bass.

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.[33]

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.[6]

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.[34][35]

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.[36]

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.[37]


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.[27][38]

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.[39]


Pendulum performing live in 2010
Pendulum performing live in 2010

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.[40]

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.

Although it has declined in popularity,[41] DJs are often accompanied by one or more MCs, drawing on the genre's roots in hip hop and reggae/ragga.[42]

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.[43]

Live drum and bass

Aphrodite in 2009 at Pirate Station, the world's largest drum and bass festival at that time, in Moscow.
Aphrodite in 2009 at Pirate Station, the world's largest drum and bass festival at that time, in Moscow.

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.

List of drum and bass artists who perform using live instruments


Congo Natty, a ragga jungle artist
Congo Natty, a ragga jungle artist

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:

  • Drumstep or Halftime is a combination of drum and bass and dubstep where the beat structure is half time, while the remaining elements still adhere to the usual sub-bass and tempo of drum and bass.[44][45]
  • Breakcore is a style of electronic dance music largely influenced by hardcore, jungle, digital hardcore and industrial music that is characterized by its use of heavy kick drums, breaks and a wide palette of sampling sources, played at high tempos.[citation needed]
  • Ragga drum & bass was inspired by the original ragga jungle style, with influences from reggae and dancehall music. Notable artists include Shy FX, T Power, Congo Natty, Potential Bad Boy, Marcus Visionary, Serial Killaz, Ed Solo, Deekline, Isaac Maya, Run Tingz Cru, Psychofreud, Benny Page and vocalists such as David Boomah, Top Cat, Tenor Fly and General Levy.[citation needed]
  • Hardstep is a harder style which uses gritty basslines and heavy yet simple electronic melodies.[3] Notable artists include Dillinja (early work), DJ Krust, Mampi Swift, Dieselboy, Current Value, Tre Technics, MachineCode[citation needed]
  • Darkstep is characterized by fast drums and a general dark mood, drawing influences from dark ambient, industrial and hardcore music. Prominent artists include Technical Itch, Dylan, Kryptic Minds & Leon Switch, B-Key, Resonant Evil, Infiltrata, SPL, Counterstrike, Evol Intent, The Panacea, Limewax, and Current Value.[citation needed]
  • Techstep is characterized by sci-fi soundscapes[10] and samples from science fiction culture. Pioneered by artists such as Bad Company UK (DJ Fresh, D-Bridge, Maldini & Vegas) Ed Rush, Optical, Konflict (Kemal & Rob Data), Dom & Roland, Dillinja, Ram Trilogy (Ant Miles, Andy C & Shimon), Moving Fusion, Decoder & Substance, Digital & Spirit, Future Cut, Dylan, Loxy & Ink, Total Science, D.Kay, Stakka & Skynet and Keaton with Usual Suspects or Universal Project, Klute, Concord Dawn, and the label Moving Shadow.[46][47]
  • Neurofunk or Neuro is the progression from techstep[48] incorporating more elements from jazz and funk. Prominent artists include Ed Rush, Optical, Matrix, Bad Company UK, Cause 4 Concern, TeeBee, Future Prophecies, Black Sun Empire, DLR, Calyx, Hive, Gridlok, Noisia, Phace & Misanthrop, Silent Witness & Break, State Of Mind, The Upbeats, Chase & Status, Jade, Mindscape, Spor, Psidream, Catacomb, Rregula and The Clamps.[citation needed]
  • Jump-up, appearing in the mid-1990s,[49] employs heavy and energetic drum and bass,[49] characterized by robotic and heavy bass sounds. It also is generally less serious and contains more humor than other subgenres. Notable artists include DJ Hazard, Generation Dub (Original Sin & Sub Zero), Baron, Desire, Cabbie, Clipz, Nightwalker, Callide, Hedex, Epsy, Taxman, Jaydan, Sub Zero, Original Sin, Annix, Konichi, Decimal Bass, Spaow, Nu Elementz, Tyke, DJ Zen, Majistrate,[50] Twisted Individual, Distorted Minds, TC, Heist, DJ Guv, Looney, Premium, Upgrade, DJ Pleasure, DJ Hype[51] and his label Playaz Recordings.
  • Ambient drum & bass, Atmospheric drum & bass, Intelligent drum & bass, Jazzy drum and bass or Intelligent jungle is a smoother style, influenced by ambient music, chillout, jazz and Soul music. It was pioneered by such artists as Omni Trio, Foul Play, Seba, Blu Mar Ten, Nookie, Hyper-On-Experience, DJ Pulse, Higher Sense, Deep Blue (Sean O'Keefe, Cause4Concern Records), Photek, Jack Smooth (Basement Records), Blame,[52] LTJ Bukem[52] and his label Good Looking Records,[3] and the label Moving Shadow.
  • Jazzstep or Jazzy jungle demonstrates heavy influence by jazz. It uses typical jazz scales, rhythms and instrumentation. Notable artists include Roni size & Reprazent,[53] Goldie,[53] Utah Jazz,[54] Morgan Sullyvan, Makoto, Alex Reece,[3] and DJ Dextrous.
  • Liquid funk (or simply Liquid) draws heavily on harmonic and melodic grooves, and samples from funk, jazz, soul, R&B, disco, house and breakbeat, while intelligent drum and bass or atmospheric drum and bass creates a calmer yet more synthetic sound. It was pioneered by Fabio, Calibre,[55] Zero Tolerance (Zero T) & Beta 2, London Elektricity,[55] High Contrast,[55] Logistics, Nu:Tone,[55] Danny Byrd, Cyantific, Netsky, Lenzman, Technimatic (Technicolour & Komatic), Hobzee & Zyon Base, Paul T & Edward Oberon, Hybrid Minds and labels such as Hospital Records, Fokuz Records and Liquid V. The first Liquid only events were Liquidiser at Bristol Academy.
  • Sambass (or Brazilian drum and bass) incorporates elements from samba, bossa nova and other Latin music styles. Pioneered by artists such as DJ Marky,[56] XRS, DJ Patife and Bryan Gee's label.
  • Drill 'n' bass (also known as Fungle and Spunk jazz) incorporates double-time drum 'n' bass with undanceable rhythms, low-brow humor, and ambient vibes.[57] The subgenre was developed by Squarepusher and Aphex Twin, whose rapid and irregularly syncopated basslines discouraged dancing. Other pioneers include Bogdan Raczynski and Datach'i.[58]

Regional scenes

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.[59] It is popular throughout continental Europe, and in South America. São Paulo is sometimes called the drum and bass Ibiza.[citation needed] 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.

Genres influenced by drum and bass

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).[60] 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")[citation needed] 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.[38][61][62][63][64]

Record labels

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,[65] Goldie's Metalheadz, Kasra's Critical Music, DJ Friction's Shogun Audio,[66] DJ Fresh's Breakbeat Kaos,[67] Futurebound's Viper Recordings and DJ Hype, Pascal, NoCopyrightSounds and formerly DJ Zinc's True Playaz (now known as Real Playaz as of 2006).[68]

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.[69] Roni Size, Krust and DJ Die produced some of the first tracks to be considered[who?] mainstream drum and bass tracks.[citation needed]

BMG Rights Management acquired Ram Records in February 2016,[7] 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.[65] 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.[citation needed]

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.

Formats and distribution


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.

Distributors (wholesale)

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.[70]

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.[71]

Media presence

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.[72]


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,[73] 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[74]) 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.[75]

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

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.[76]

North American Radio

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[citation needed] (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.[77]


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.


  • All Crews: Journeys Through Jungle / Drum and Bass Culture (2005) by Brian Belle-Fortune (ISBN 0-9548897-0-3), nonfiction
  • "Roots 'n Future" in Energy Flash (1998) by Simon Reynolds, Picador (ISBN 0-330-35056-0), nonfiction (British edition)
  • Generation Ecstasy: Into the World of Techno and Rave Culture (1998) by Simon Reynolds, Routledge. (ISBN 0415923735), nonfiction (American edition)
  • Rumble in the Jungle: The Invisible History of Drum and Bass (2002) by Steven Quinn, in: Transformations, No 3 (2002), nonfiction (ISSN 1444-3775) PDF file
  • State of Bass: Jungle – The Story So Far (1997) by Martin James, Boxtree (ISBN 0-7522-2323-2), nonfiction
  • The Rough Guide to Drum 'n' Bass (1999) by Peter Shapiro and Alexix Maryon (ISBN 1-85828-433-3), nonfiction
  • King Rat (1998) by China Miéville (ISBN 0-330-37098-7), fiction

Mainstream acceptance

Certain drum and bass releases have found mainstream popularity in their own right, almost always material prominently featuring vocals.[citation needed] 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).[78]

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.[79][80] MSX/MSX 98 radio station in Grand Theft Auto III and Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories played drum and bass exclusively.[citation needed]

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.[81] Ganja Kru's "Super Sharp Shooter" is heard in the 2006 film Johnny Was.[82]

The Channel 4 show Skins uses the genre in some episodes, notably in the first series' third episode, "Jal", where Shy FX and UK Apache's Original Nuttah was played in Fazers club.[83]

Lately, drum and bass have found more mainstream popularity than ever with tracks like Sigma's Nobody to Love and Rudimental's Waiting All Night getting over 100 million views on YouTube.

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!.[citation needed]

See also


  1. ^ Some of these influences are only influences in particular styles of drum and bass, not drum and bass as a whole.
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  2. ^ Reynolds, Simon (2013). Energy Flash: A Journey Through Rave Music and Dance Culture. Soft Skull Press. 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. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
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  4. ^ IMO Records "The History of Drum and Bass" Archived 12 January 2012 at the Wayback Machine, IMO Records, London, 8 November 2011. Retrieved on 22 November 2011.
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  8. ^ Reynolds, Simon (2013). Energy Flash: A Journey Through Rave Music and Dance Culture. Soft Skull Press. 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. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  9. ^ Global Bass on the music landscape
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External links

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