Drum & Bass is a subgenre of Electronic music that is characterized by fast breakbeats, and it typically sits between 160-180 BPM. Drum & Bass started in the United Kingdom after emerging from the rave & jungle scenes during the early 1990s. It incorporates influences from many scenes, and its most major influences come from the Jamaican Reggae sound.
Drum and Bass has many different subgenres, such as Liquid, Techstep, Neurofunk, Jump-Up, and more. It has influenced many other genres of Electronic music, and has made its rounds across the international dance music scene.
The color associated with this genre for Monstercat releases is a bright red.
Commonly Referenced Subgenres: Edit
Ambient Drum & Bass: One of the more uncommon strains of the Drum & Bass sound, Ambient Drum & Bass puts more of a focus on percussive elements, such as light tambor and foley supporting the melodic elements, and ambience in the tracks to differentiate itself from a more common subgenre of Drum and Bass, Liquid DnB / Liquid Funk. Heavy emphasis is placed on the atmospheric structure, as is implied by the name. An ethereal soundscape is accomplished through the liberal use of reverb, delay and filtering, as well as deep, filtered pads / plucks and focus on an ample stereoaural field. Vocal pads and piano progressions / melodies soaked in reverb are also a common occurrence. The other ambiental elements are oftentimes accompanied by a deep sub / reese bass.
Dancefloor Drum & Bass: In the current ecosystem of the Drum & Bass scene, Dancefloor Drum & Bass can be easily seen as the most standard form of the genre. It focuses mainly on the heavily swung kick on beat one and snare on beat 2 groove (although some drum patterns within songs in this subgenre often use a double 8th note kick on beat one pattern) and melodic chord progressions through heavier tech styled bass leads being brought out within its production, such as the lead sounds in Muzzy’s tracks Worth The Lie and Break Away, Muzzy has also made numerous tracks using heavy futuristic synthesizers that bring out a lighter and less bassy, tech flavour, such as the 3rd drop in Endgame and the whole track in Spectrum.
Halftime: A style of Drum & Bass that is written at half-speed (as implied by the name), and influenced by many scenes such as Hip-Hop, Jungle, & Grime. It is typically more experimental and diverse than other Drum & Bass subgenres, including Hybrid Trap influences, using Neuro leads, heavy Techstep/Neurofunk drums, and Dancefloor synthesizers to create an amalgamation of Drum and Bass sound. With acts such as Vorso, Droptek, & Clockvice making many unique tracks in the genre.
Jump-Up / Jump Up: A very energetic subgenre of Drum & Bass, which often employs 3/4 time signatures; Jump-Up makes large use of more simplistic, less intricate single-note / rudimentary melodies and straight 4-on-the-floor (this iconic drum arrangement can be observed in tracks like Rameses B - Prometheus - 1:23 - 1:42 - for example, BUT the composition is nowhere near being a quintessential Jump-Up creation / fully Jump-Up - it is very influenced by Psytrance) / lesser-swung beat patterns - (although not always! A triplet groove or swing are often used to create less straight, more interesting drum structures) - as opposed to the common practice of swung breakbeat patterns in other forms of the genre. Throughout its evolution, swing and syncopation became fundamental principles it was built up on; hence, drum hits are oftentimes ommitted / skipped to create a more spontaneous, erratic atmosphere and to add to the "bounciness" of the energy. The subgenre oftentimes can make use of rapid, percussive, metallic and / or high pitched, FM-centered or otherwise, 8th or 16th note synths. FM-based, so-called "Crookers" / "Cooker" bass / synth patches, (named after the bass music project "Crookers" or Pegboard Nerds' Monstercat release "Pressure Cooker") are a classic staple of the subgenre, as well as of older-school Dubstep, mainly in Brostep. It still remains popular to this day within the UK Drum & Bass scene.
Liquid Drum & Bass: A more atmospheric side to traditional Dancefloor Drum & Bass, and somewhat similar to Ambient Drum & Bass, Liquid Drum & Bass makes use of more traditional Drum & Bass sound design, with vibrant melodic synths, busy percussion, and euphoric atmospheric elements while still keeping a more minimalist sound. There are labels dedicated to this subgenre, the most notable of which being Hospital Records.
Neurofunk: A subgenre of Drum & Bass that spawned from Techstep. It can be considered one of the darkest forms of Drum & Bass, and makes use of heavy reese basses, snares layered with higher pitched impact sounds, and sidechained sub bass patterns connected to the kick within its sound design. It is also typically heavily sci-fi themed.
Techstep: A subgenre of Drum & Bass that is characterized by its darker mood, it makes use of deeper basslines, industrial foley and tambor drums, very clean, polished drums, and special synths that rely more on a bass structure to give them a brash, metallic sound to create a polished sound, as if the track was being produced in a factory by robotic machines. Delta Heavy are main artists in this subgenre.