Drum and Bass - Revision

For further reading check out this excellent article on the History of Drum’n’Bass and the comprehensive Wikipedia entry. Drum and bass developed from rave in the early ‘90s. As producers sped up tempos and began to use sampled breakbeats and heavier basslines (often generated from the Roland TB-303 bass synth) hardcore was born and this style developed into jungle which, in turn, gave rise to drum’n’bass. The influence of a style dancehall reggae from Jamaica – known as ragga was extremely important in the development of jungle. This meant that heavy basslines and ragga MC vocals were part of the style as well as the syncopated and heavily edited breakbeats. Classic examples of the style are "Incredible" - General Levy and M-Beat (1994) and "Original Nuttah" - UK Apache and Shy FX (1994) From the mid 90s some jungle producers began to move away from the ragga-influenced style and create what would become collectively labeled drum and bass Development By the mid 90s producers were moving away from exclusively building tracks with heavily syncopated and chopped breakbeat samples. They began to create a more minimal sound using single hit drum samples to provide the essence of the style’s two-step, half time drum beats. There were also moves towards incorporating more acoustic instrumentation and sung vocals.

Artists such as Goldie (and his Metalheadz label), LTJ Bukem and Roni Size were influential at this time. Goldie Timeless is the 1995 debut album from Goldie and is a groundbreaking release in the history of drum and bass music. The album blended the complex, chopped and layered breakbeats and deep basslines of jungle and drum and bass with expansive, symphonic strings and atmospherics, and female vocals, creating a crossover hit. Goldie was joined in the studio by engineer/producer Rob Playford (aka Timecode), founder of the renowned Moving Shadow label, who did most of the programming and production, with Goldie generating the musical ideas, rhythms and arrangements. Additional engineering and production came from Dego and Marc Mac of 4hero. Diane Charlemagne contributed the bulk of the vocals. Released on Pete Tong's FFRR label, the album reached #7 in the charts. Roni Size and Reprazent Roni Size came to prominence in 1997 as the founder and leader of Reprazent, a drum and bass collective. That year they won the Mercury Prize for their album New Forms. Whilst Roni Size was also strongly influenced by reggae, the signature sound of his production is less breakbeat-heavy and more minimal tech step sound of

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. Production Elements Drum and bass is usually between 160–190 BPM. In drum and bass productions, the bass lines are often subjected to many and varied sound effects, including standard techniques such as dynamic compression, flanger, chorus, overdrive, equalization, and so on. and drum and bass specific techniques such as timestretched beats and the "Reese Bass", a distinctive synthesized bass sound comprising layered 'clashing' sawtooth waves. Of equal importance is the "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.[30] 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.

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