Drum and bass is the style characterized by the breakbeat, at first these were sped up hip-hop beats, this sound was pioneered by the likes of DJ Hype and others. Soon DJs and artists were creating more complicated breakbeats and the jungle scene was born. The style passed through phases of ragga - i.e. M-Beat Feat General Levy - Incredible and hip-hop i.e. Ganja Kru - Super Sharp Shooter - before emerging as a style in its own right. The drum and bass scene now in the UK is growing and developing all the time. The house music masses have been served up undiluted drum and bass from Grooverider and LTJ Bukem in the Cream Courtyard, Liverpool, UK. Drum and bass can not only be the music of outdoor events but the refined rollers for UK clubland.
D&B has developed into many new sub-genres, all with a very different style and audience.
Ambient jungle - Drum and bass tracks with an atmospheric feel/mood/style to them. Some have long intros or ambient breaks. The most popular example is LTJ Bukem's "Horizons."
Artcore/Intelligent - These were the tracks that were initially written in a backlash against the big ragga jungle scene. The term was used most famously for the series of React Compilations, which have included mixes by Kemistry (R.I.P) + Storm. This was and still is a favourite style for Good Looking Records - a label that was initially ignored as it did not base its music on the dance floor. However, good looking soon released the Logical Progression sessions by the legendary LTJ Bukem, which quickly became big hits, and still remain to be endless classics.
Darkside - The exact opposite to the optimistic and catchy hardcore anthems. Darkside takes in samples from horror movies, deep, dark basslines and screams. It has undergone some serious developments but an ever-present style throughout drum and bass history. Still popular with today’s producers i.e. Dillinja – Acid Track. It is not so much characterised by the samples now but more by the general sound and feel of the beats and synths.
Happy hardcore - This is what remains of the original hardcore style; after jungle split off in 1991/92 some DJs and ravers remained loyal to the manic pianos, cartoon samples and sped-up vocals. The music self-destructed to some extent by becoming stagnated and too repetitive; as a result it would appear to be fading fast in the UK but still retains a large following in other countries.
Hardstep & Jazzstep - A term borne out of Grooverider's seminal 1995 LP - "Hardstep Selection." Usually brings simple tracks with deep grinding basslines and minimal or simple breakbeats. Jazzstep: Another sub-genre for those artists who took in jazz influences for their productions. Originated with Alex Reece but more recently publicised by Bristol's Roni Size & Reprazent and 4 Hero. The style is still going strong.
Jump-up - One of the most popular Drum & Bass styles due to its danceability - Definately the style for the dance floor, with big, bad drums and strong basslines. Often utilise vocal samples so once you hear some tracks you never forget them. Most at home in a club or event and guaranteed to get people moving (even if it’s only head-nodding). A common style in Valve recordings by artists such as Dillinja or Lemon D
Ragga-Jungle - The style of the originators. Many of the early jungle tunes took in ragga influences - spawned one of jungle's greatest chart successes: M-Beat feat. General Levy's Incredible and Shy FX's Original Nuttah. The influence has died right down with the Tribe of Issachar's Tribal Natty being a lone example of recent years.
LTJ Bukem - Horizons (Ambient jungle)
Dillinja - Acid Track (Darkside)
The Prodigy - Out Of Space (Happy-hardcore)
Roni Size - It's A Jazz Thing (Hardstep & Jazzstep)
John B - Up All Night(Jump-up)
Shy FX & UK Apache - Original Nuttah (Ragga-Jungle)
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