Drum and bass should be given a second chance

I’ve changed my view of DnB


Until recently, I would have described myself as falling very comfortably into the second of those categories. In the past, I’d have said with certainty that I would rather spend the night sitting in a box of ice, having my face periodically raked by nettles with only George Osborne for company – than listening to drum and bass.

please no, not DnB

Please no

Let’s take a journey to this seventh circle of drum and bass induced hell. There you are in the club and the “music” is all around you. It’s just such a horrendously torturous sound, isn’t it. That bloody awful incessant pounding bass line, those belligerent drums, that “melody” based on exactly the same chord sequence as it has been for the past hour. It is less pleasurable listening than the ambulance siren outside to deal for the latest casualty of those ridiculous mosh pits. Then comes the “drop” – wait for it – oh, oh – OH GOOD. Even MORE angry sounds. At an increased bpm. Oh bliss! How clearly this reminds me of how wonderful life is.

This was my view about two months ago. However, since then, I have somehow mysteriously found myself at a couple of drum and bass nights. Don’t ask why. But here comes the weird bit. I have actually not had a totally horrific time. In fact, I enjoyed them. This has led me to do some serious reflection.

not having a horrific time

Not having a horrific time

Please understand how far away from the drum and bass tree I naturally fall. My most played song on Youtube is “Everywhere” by Fleetwood Mac. For a recent idols-themed party, I dressed up as Chaka Khan. But in the wake of these accidental drum and bass experiences, I have been prompted to recognise this genre is more interesting than I previously thought.

Friends who like drum and bass have explained to me the sense of undiluted energy they feel it exudes. They get a sense of release and catharsis from a night of dancing to drum and bass. This leads me onto another big point. People who are into drum and bass are often astonishing dancers. So I think this is where the secret lies – good dancers tend to listen to good drum and bass, which is a different thing altogether to crap drum and bass. Apparently, it’s the intricate rhythm layers within good drum and bass that make it so appealing to good dancers. Good drum and bass is unpredictable, containing moments of brilliant surprise that make it, to quote a drum and bass fan, “constantly compelling listening”.

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Release and catharsis

You may have noticed this is the exact opposite of how I described drum and bass earlier. Therefore, I want to suggest that it’s rash to write off the whole genre, without first getting someone knowledgeable to take you out to hear some of the quality stuff. “This can’t be drum and bass!!” I said in awe and wonder when my friends  took me to a drum and bass night. There is much more to DnB than meets the ear at first.