Grooving to the Beat of the Drum and Bass
Music has no finite shape or form. It constantly shifts, changes and evolves. The sheer diversity of music perplexes the mind. Counting the number of concentrations in music is indeed a steep task. This is because there are literally hundreds and thousands of genres in music. Each of these genres has their own subsidiary genres. Drum and bass is one such sub genre that has become a subject of great interest among music enthusiasts. While more commonly expressed as Drum & Bass, for the sake of browser readability we will refer to it as Drum and Bass
Introducing Drum and Bass
Drum and bass stems from electronic music. Also referred to as Jungle music, drum and bass came into being in the early 1990s. British musicians were the first to conceive the idea of drum and bass. This genre revolves around fast break beats, heavy bass and sub-bass lines. The bass lines are created with the help of synthesizers.
Drum and bass basically falls under the category of dance music. The original Jamaican dub and Reggae has a huge influence on the creation of drum and bass. Drum and bass music is not consistent. Like any other genre of music, it has variations too. The different types of drum and bass music include drumstep, breakcore, Ragga jungle, hardstep, darkstep, techstep, Neuro funk, Liquid funk, Drum funk and a few more. Although drum and bass was originated in UK, it has now spread to different corners of the world, and is well received by electronic music enthusiasts.
Drum and Bass Origins
Back in the 80s, the growing popularity of nightclubs led to the formation of a completely new brand of electronic music called “rave”. Rave music was a lot like hip hop since it made use of break beats. When musicians started playing rave music with a heavier bass lines and faster tempo, it turned into the form of music that is known today by the name of drum and bass.
Drum and bass achieved mainstream popularity by the year 1994. Different elements from different areas of music were fused into basic “jungle” or drum and base to enhance the quality of the sounds, and make it more upbeat. With time, drum and bass became less ragged and more “sophisticated”. This was done to cater to the listeners who were fond of polished and fine tuned electronic music. The reggae aspect of drum and bass soon faded away to be replaced by softer, lighter and funkier jazz style music.
Drum and bass was immensely popular during the 90s. However, towards the end of the millennium, the struggle to retain mainstream recognition became overbearing and drum and bass as a whole took a few steps back.
Drum and Bass Subsidiaries
As mentioned before, there are many faces of drum and bass. This is because drum and bass is a mixture of various genres from different times and regions. Each subsidiary of drum and bass has its own particular influence. Here are 5 of the most well known sub genres of Drum and Bass.
1) Ambient Jungle: These tracks put you in an atmospheric mood. They are often characterized by long intros and ambient breaks. Horizon by Bukem will give you a better idea of what ambient jungle sounds like.
2) Darkside: These tracks are void of optimistic and gripping hardcore anthems. Darkside, as the name suggests, takes its influence from horror movies. It bears resemblance to the spine chilling shrieks in those movies. There has been some major changes to Darkside over the years but it remains an essential component of drum and bass. Give a listen to Devil Inside by Blue Sonics.
3) Happy hardcore: This is actually the sole surviving remnant of the original hardcore style. The name makes it absolutely clear that Happy Hardcore sounds a lot different from the previously mentioned Darkside. Some Britons find this music too repetitive. As a result, it has fallen out of favour in the UK. However, Happy Hardcore has a found a place in the hearts of people in other countries.
4) Hardstep: The term “Hardstep” was coined by Grooverider. Hardstep tracks exude simplicity and consist of deep grinding basslines with very little breakbeats. Hardstep was created by artists who found inspiration in Jazz. Unlike a lot of drum and bass sub genres, Hardstep has stood the test of time. Listen to Bristol’s Roni Size Reprazent if you’re interested in Hardstep.
5) Jump-up- Well this is the style that gets everyone excited. It’s a perfect example of why drum and bass is dance music. It’s characterized by loud drums and powerful basslines. Vocal samples are often incorporated into Jump-up. It’s a DJ’s paradise.
Drum and bass may not be the most popular form of music out there, but it surely has a rich history and colourful diversity. It’s the kind of genre that takes you a while to get used to, but once you do, you’re bound to get grooving to the beat of the drum and bass.