Drum and Bass

Drum and bass developed out of the UK rave scene in the 1990s. Before drum and bass’ inception, breakbeat hardcore was dominating the scene with its fusion of hip-hop beats and sampling. This led to other genres such as Jamaican-based jungle music however artists began to depart from this by focusing more on creating tracks that combined basslines and breakbeats (a repeated, often syncopated drumbeat) at a high tempo. Whilst still rooted in jungle, artists such as Goldie laid the groundworks for drum and bass with tracks such as Terminator (1992). 

By the mid 90s the record label Metalheadz were advancing a harder, more ominous sound with their Sunday Sessions. 1995 saw Goldie’s debut album Timeless which achieved widespread success. As drum and bass entered the mainstream, various offshoot genres emerged, and drum and bass extended its impact. Drum and bass is typically at a fast tempo of around 160-180 bpm and relies heavily on syncopated breakbeats. As the name would suggest, as well as emphasising the drumbeat, the bassline is very important in drum and bass and is often created from a sampled Roland TR-808. Sub-bass patters are prevalent and very heavy, with the intention of being felt through a powerful sound system. You might also hear atmospheric synth melodies or melodic vocal lines.

Notable artists:


Andy C

Doc Scott

Shy FX


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