Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Bring That Beat Back (Drum n' Bass Edition)

I had a very brief fling with drum n' bass just after college. It has already been well established that dancing and I are at odd with each ohter, and adding to the mix is that drum n' bass music tends to be very hard to dance to to begin with. Nevertheless, I did find the music very appealing mostly because it was a way to indulge in my jones for Hip-hop without being the poser white guy who bought NWA and Public Enemy. What I did appreciate about artists like GOLDIE, LTJ BUKEM and RONI SIZE was their seemless combination of hip-hop, jazz, techno, and rave cultures into a aural pallette that was danceable, listenable and memorable all at once. The closest American version of drum n' bass I could get was MEAT BEAT MANIFESTO. Jack Dangers and his various producing partners took some of the drum n' bass textures into their later works, but I think as a musical style it was more fitting for British artists.

Although over time the music began to be very repetative in nature and later artists were not as original as the groups I was listening to at the time, the genre still has some appeal for late at night work sessions when I need something upbeat but not hard to ignore. Not the most ringing endorsement but a good description of it's current place in my life.

(mp3) Goldie -- Inner City Life

Kind of the gold standard (no pun intended) of the drum n' bass tracks and the only one to be any sort of hit in the US.

(mp3) Meat Beat Manifesto -- Edge of No Control Part Two

Not a true drum n' bass track but more of a mix of tecno and industrial with the same hip-hop influence as the others.

This is the vocals verison that was the single which I think is far superior to the verison on their record which was just an isntrumental. Great jazz influenced bass line.

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