Bad Boy Selector, Bass in yo Face, Rewind, Turboskank: Welcome to the world of Drum & Bass.
Drum & Bass has grown from its roots in Hardcore and Jungle to be one of the worlds most popular genres, which is just as well because otherwise we totally would have died of 4/4 poisoning by now. I mean I love the disco/house thud as much as the next dance floor warrior, but thank God Moby invented Drum and Bass when he did, or we’d all be dancing in regimented lines, facing the front by now. Wait…
This week, Prinks have decided to offer some insider tips to budding journalists on how to write about Drum & Bass. First though, a warning; if you’re new to the game, you’ll need to be aware, there’s lots of rolling in Drum & Bass. Quite a bit of tearing-up too, but luckily only a very small quantity of skanking.
The ‘Liquid to Jump-up’ Scale
So the first thing you’ll need to establish when reviewing a Drum & Bass tune is where it falls on the ‘Liquid to Jump-Up’ scale. This can be measured quite simply using DJ Regulatory Body OFFSPIN’s recommendations regarding the use of warm pad chords: “If it’s got ’em it’s liquid, if it hasn’t, it isn’t.”
Next, you’ll need to let the reader know which part of the ‘tech’, ‘core’ and ‘step’ universe that the tune inhabits. Drum and Bass has continued to be incredibly creative in terms of its use of the terms ‘step’ ‘core’ and ‘tech’ as prefixes and suffixes which are used as ammunition in endless online beefs and spats: see Step Core, Hard Step, Core Step, Tech Step, Step Tech, Core Tech, Blow Step, Bro Step, Mo’ Step, Tech Mo’, Core Core and so on. Arguing about sub-divisions of sub-genres online is a big part of Drum & Bass, so make sure your techcorestep game is tight.
Although the D&B scene is notoriously fractious, one of the few things the Drum & Bass scene can agree on is that commercial house is bad. Thanks for that Drum & Bass scene, perhaps later you could tell us what colour the sky is, and maybe help us to count the sun.
When writing about Drum & Bass, we would recommend you use a selection of these or similar type of words:
Futuristic, high octane, high tempo, high pressure, soundscapes, velocity, wreckage, damage, ricocheting, razor sharp (loads of things in D&B writing can be razor sharp, the snares, the hats, the percussion, the drum programming, the production, the pencils, etc.), rewinds, dub-pressure, swagger, anthemic, Andy C, booming, galloping, breakneck, breakbeat, breakdown & breaktime.
“We listen to both sorts of music here: Drum & Bass”
It’s also notable that the Drum & Bass scene often refers to things like breakbeat science, dub technology, neuro, inventive drum programming and the like, and it compares its producers to scientists in their labs. So clearly when writing about D&B you should always try and squeeze some science words into your copy, they love all that. Here are some:
Test tube, bunsen burner, microscope, magnet, thermometer, calculator, instruction manual, diabetes.
Finally to wrap up your piece, say Amen once or twice too, not sure why but the D&Ber’s always seem to appreciate it. Christians, probably. See you next week.