· im · wish

stay updated

subscribe to updates
by RSS feed or by email
read_me.gif Southern Voice Washington Blade

Deck The Halls With Drum ‘n’ Bass

Beats galore for a winter’s day.

by j. brotherlove

Don’t take my blog silence for inaction. The brotherlove has been rippin’ and runnin’ for a good minute and deserves a break. Yesterday morning was colder than a witch’s tit in Atlanta. The perfect day to lay under the covers, listen to music, fiddle with Photoshop, watch movies and eat ice cream. Don’t think I didn’t do all of things at once. You’d be wrong. So, so wrong.

I’m semi-officially dumping Media Center for MusicMatch. Don’t get me wrong. I’m still for trying alternative software and methods instead of blindly adopting the status quo.

In the case of Media Center, I’ve been working with it for well over a year and still get confused how to achieve certain actions. Enough is enough. I chalk it up to a program that wants to do too much. I just want to hear the music, man. I used MusicMatch eons ago and it’s nice to see how it has changed with the times.

But about the music…

Today’s choice is Drum ‘n’ Bass. It’s sometimes called Jungle or Electronica. However, there are differences between the three. I won’t split hairs today, though. I have always had a soft spot for Drum ‘n’ Bass (DnB) which I attribute to its “fusion factor”. I love straight-ahead music. But when artists combine elements to fuse, or grow a genre, I’m all ears. DnB goes well with R&B, vocals, live instruments, jazz, even sweeping orchestral soundscapes. It’s all beautiful to me.

The biggest complaint I hear about DnB is that the frenetic drums all “sounds the same”. That complaint can be attributed to Country or Hip Hop, of course. Any genre of art can be dismissed unless you develop an ear or eye for it. With practice, one can detect the difference between Degas or Monet, 4hero or Roni Size, 2-Step or Garage.

It’s partially true of modern music, where it seems everyone wants to jump on the latest bandwagon to make a quick buck. Nevertheless, there are plenty of standout artists and tracks to fill a wintry DnB seclusion.

To prove it, I put together an exhaustive playlist via I assembled a set covering several approaches to DnB, beginning with the easiness of Satoshie Tomeii’s “Heaven” and ending with Everything But the Girl’s melancholy “Good Cop, Bad Cop”.

I’m perfectly aware of the possible, DnB overkill factor. So if you want some highlights, I’d suggest the jazzy and dramatic flavor from D*Note. Roni Size’s definitive “Brown Paper Bag” and “New Forms”, featuring the incomparable Bahamadia are a must. And Zap Mama’s cut “Ca Varie Varie” is golden.

I’ve included musical legendaries like 4hero (including, “Loveless” with wordsmith Ursula Rucker) and Goldie and intertwined works by The Angel’s 60 Channels and James Hardway (another favorite of mine).

Guilty pleasures (and selections that may annoy you) would include The Art of Noise’s opera-fusion “Born On A Sunday” and the Nicolette joints. Nicolette was ahead of her time.

Ladies and gentlemen: brotherlounge vol ii - dnb deluxe.

pub: 12/16/2004 | previous entry | next entry | feedback x 4 | subscribe

Thanks for this. Lately, I’m not only nostalgic for what drum ‘n’ bass sounded like when I first heard it, I’m nostalgic for the future it seemed to promise.

this is beautiful. great mix.

Stumbled onto your blog through Google, and being a music critic, this post caught my eye. I would also recommend anything from High Contrast. Nice track selections of some classic jazzy tunes!

I’m loving this playlist too! I found your blog via Sister Outsider by way of and am glad I did. I’ll be back for sure.