Archive for drum and bass

What Can Save Drum and Bass?

Posted in Note to Readers with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 29, 2009 by worldromper

The article I wrote months ago has finally been published! Read it here in Covers Magazine.

Update October 8: I just noticed the magazine cut out about half my article including the end paragraph which sums up the entire piece. So, I am just going to post the whole thing here:

What Can Save Drum and Bass?

The only thing people seem to be saying about drum and bass these days is that it’s dying.

But how can a musical genre that so recently burst onto the scene with such power and aggression be dying, especially in a city like Los Angeles, which is the biggest stronghold of the DNB sound outside of the UK? What can save drum and bass? Moreover, does it need, or even want to be saved?

When people start declaring an artistic movement dead, it is usually because of a lack of innovators in the genre, which may be true for drum and bass as fresh young minds head towards other bass-heavy styles over the perceived-to-be-dying DNB. Drum and bass producers and deejays are defecting by the masses to dubstep, grime and electro or taking a multi-genre approach to their music, and in doing so they are finding an upswing of success. Drum and bass artists Infiltrata, Evol Intent, Ewun, Terravita, Gigantor, Orion and DJ Daniel now play out more often as 12th Planet, Treasure Fingers, Kill the Noise, Hot Pink DeLorean, Computer Club and LA Riots. Each performer has abandoned a strict drum and bass regimen in favor of a more eclectic approach, which in the past has been eschewed by many DNB fans who tend to avoid other genres like bad acid. It is often said that drum and bass heads play only for other drum and bass heads; that they are out of touch with the rest of electronic arts culture, too busy holding up their anointed genre as the end-all-be-all of the musical experience.

Some people blame the drum and bass heads themselves for the fatal wounds to their own genre. DNB is extreme music for extreme people, and the defiant sound has always attracted certain “harder-than-thou” permascowl, urban-warrior types who prefer an aggressive style in their music, dress and life. Most DNB heads are actually very nice, chill people; and some in the EDM community find this artifice of hostility to be more off-putting than actual antagonism would be. The overt machismo of the drum and bass sound as well as the über-exclusive nature of the DNB community exists in contrast to usual electronic music crowds, who are accepting, tolerant and anything but homophobic; anyone and everyone is welcome with their fuzzy backpacks and green hair. Wave a glow stick or make out with your gay boyfriend at a DNB show, however, and you just might get your ass kicked faster than the BPMs.

It is this exclusivity that has turned off many drum and bass fans who say that they now only listen to the genre at home, avoiding the contentious crowds, MCs and haterade that is too often served at DNB nights, which are decreasing in attendance and frequency in Los Angeles and across the globe. The “I Love LA” drum and bass-heavy event series threw its final night in June, and there seems to be a disturbing lack of action in the DNB crews around the city. At the time of this writing, LA’s biggest DNB crew Respect hadn’t updated the news on their website in six months, and other local music collectives like Bassrush, Tonz of Drumz and Ghettolife seem to be suffering from an acute lack of activity in social media sites and upcoming parties and shows.

However, DNB by no means stands for dead and buried. The genre continues to have a fairly large presence in many parts of the world, Los Angeles included. Drum and bass is still going strong in its drizzly birthplace of the UK, although multiple sources confirm that the shows are a mere shadow of the mad parties thrown five or ten years ago. DNB boasts many experienced producers such as Stunna and B Complex who are skilled in the sound production and harmonics characteristic of the genre and are still releasing innovative new tracks. LA’s biggest electronic music event, the Electric Daisy Carnival, devotes an entire stage to drum and bass, showcasing local and international talent in front of dozens of thousands of electronic music fans, from candy kids to jaded been-there-done-thats. DNB’s signature sexy sound can also be found at the local Scion House Parties, free events taking place around LA that feature DNB along with dubstep, electro and house. There is no room for bullshit in drum and bass; the genre has always been faster, harder, louder, angrier and darker. Perhaps it is just finally evolving past its trendy stage and the energetic core of DNB producers and deejays, all very experienced at this point, will be taking the reigns to slow what is only an ebb of the frenzied and forceful genre.

For many electronic music enthusiasts, drum and bass was a new and exciting niche genre, a fetish of sorts that had its time exposed in the sun and is now fading and receding to a nucleus of a few producers and fanatics: those DNB heads who lead and follow the sound with a religious intensity and will never, ever stop. These passionate DNB zealots were the ones whose fervent devotion made the genre and the community so special and inspiring, and it is now those same heads with whom the future of DNB rests. It is in their hands, and therefore, drum and bass will never die. However the days of flash popularity and main stage appeal are gone. Drum and bass is returning to the heads, and isn’t that exactly where they want it, and where it should be?

Drum and bass must save itself. If DNB heads want to end the downswing and attract fresh producing minds and enthusiastic fans, the genre needs a major breakthrough. To save itself, drum and bass must touch people again, which is kind of hard to do when it is so busy punching them in the face. The future of DNB is yet undetermined, but one thing is certain: drum and bass is not going down without a fight.

Since I submitted the piece in June, LA drum and bass crew Respect has started back up their weekly, held at the Dragonfly in Hollywood. It is the longest running night of dnb in the city and this week features Infiltrata vs. 12th Planet, aka drum and bass vs. dubstep!

Back in June, I asked my readers what could save drum and bass and received some great insight! Check out the comments at the bottom of the original post here.

12th Planet/Infiltrata

Temporal Fusion Podcast

Posted in LISTEN TO THIS with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 8, 2009 by worldromper

Hello bass freaks! Hey I want to make sure everybody out there knows about the Temporal Fusion Podcast out of Denver featuring dubstep, drum and bass, hip hop and glitch music. Click through the link or subscribe in iTunes. You know the drill.

The bass music coming out of the Denver area right now is top-notch and extra dirty, contaminated by all that sunshine and clear mountain air. The mile-high (hold it in!) city is a thriving, gurgling part of the West Coast Future Sound Movement.

Originally DNB-heavy, the podcast now leans like purple towards dubstep and glitch hop (along with the rest of the world), although it also includes a variety of genres from booty house to breaks. The Temporal Fusion podcast regularly features some of my favorite artists and has free mixes for download from the Glitch Mob, Subvert, S.P.E.C.T.R.E, Jansten, Ale Fillman, Propa Tingz, the Gaslamp Killer and many, many more. Keep up the filthy work, Temporal Fusion!

And the rest of you, get on the mountain tip and crank that shit up.

What Can Save Drum and Bass?

Posted in Note to Readers with tags on June 3, 2009 by worldromper

I am writing an article entitled “What Can Save Drum and Bass” for an LA magazine and have set off to research this intriguing subject. I like drum and bass but agree that the genre needs a huge breakthrough, and soon, to keep things fresh and to continue to attract new listeners and passionate supporters…but what?

I am running into a problem however with my research (which entails me going out to DnB shows in LA and talking to everyone I can as well as mad internetting). Every DJ or producer I talk to who doesn’t play drum and bass just tells me, “Drum and bass is dead,” and that they have no interest in saving it.

All the drum and bass heads I pose this question to say, “Drum and bass is in no way dying. It is huge, just look at the lineup for the Electric Daisy Carnival” (or something similar). Actually, they usually say “Fuck you, Shilo” before shooting me down.

So I am getting nowhere.

I admit, I do talk the cheddar cheese occasionally about my drum and bass head friends, mostly because of their “harder-than-thou” images (when most of them are actually really chill, nice people). On the flip side, I have thrown one show in my life; it was a drum and bass show featuring the live stylings of drum master KJ Sawka. It totally kicked ass and was hailed by many as the best Thursday night in Pioneer Square in Seattle, ever. I have danced to drum and bass nights probably more often than 99% of EDM heads and have been a big supporter of the genre since I started listening to electronic music.

Do you have an opinion on the subject? What can save drum and bass? Does it need saving? Does Shilo need to fuck off? Please leave a comment below or email me at shilonikelle at gmail.com. I would really love to hear what you think. Thanks!

KJ Sawka performing live drum and bass @ BASSNDRUMS

Howl at the Moon @ the Day Out of Time Festival

Posted in Events, Festivals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 2, 2009 by worldromper

ilovemyseattletribesoverymuchCould the Day Out Of Time Festival, happening July 24-26 in southern Washington, possibly have more of my friends on the lineup?

Wow. Five stages of glitch, drum and bass, dubstep, breaks, house, techno, downtempo, live reggae, and more, all brought to you by the awesome Emerald City Events, Midnight Sons, Buddhaful, LiveNLove, Booty Resin, Covert Ops, and Atmospheric InfernOasis. AKA my people.

Check it:

Aaron Simpson
Nikon
Dowlz
Geno Cochino
novaTRON
Northstar
Noisemaker
Loki
Dirty
PrEssHa
Grym
Aksion
Sonny Chiba
Richie Spoonz
Randall Glen
Mendicants
B-Fly
Nyx
Mickey Procon
Dig Dug
NAHA Army (HOLY SHIT)
Bryan J. Furious
Danger
Let’s Go Outside
Von Dewey
Ben Shelton
Lovevirus
Flave
Adlib
Kadeejah Streets
Jeromy Nail
Lloyd Tatum
Dev J
Ctrl_Alt_Dlt
Packy
Rhines
Milkplant
Awggie
Pantycontrol
Goner
Creepy Tom
Gel-Sol
Electrosect
Skoi Sirius
Hendrik

PLUS hella hella hella other DJs that I do not personally know. Perhaps a trip to Seatown in late July is in my future? I could stick around for the Glitch Mob, Daddy Kev and Nosaj Thing show on the 28th…hmm…

If you are in Seattle, do not miss this festival. Tickets are $60 before July 1st, $75 after. Holy Day Out of Time.

Photo by Arkku.

Congrats DJ Flave: How I Found the Flavor

Posted in Artists, Music News with tags , , , , , , on May 21, 2009 by worldromper

DJ Flave won the second round of the Northwest DJ DNB Battle this past Tuesday night at the Baltic Room; I am a bit late on this post but I just wanted to share with you guys how I met the epic Seattle DJ who is Flave:

It was a Wednesday night in Pioneer Square, cold and a bit rainy no doubt. This was back in the day when I danced to house music at Community (now Pulse) at Trinity every single Wednesday with Jason Curtis and company. My friend Si and I decided to walk over to Club Heavens and check out the new night which had just started.

Heavens was empty (ha) except for the tatty bartender, Bob, DJ Flave, and two kids on the dance floor who had obviously come with the DJ. The room was almost empty- but Flave was playing like he had a crowd of ten thousand. Throwing down, hyped up, loving it and taking no prisoners.

Si busted out his drum and the four of us dancing freaks got down to Flave’s beats like it was the rave of the century or something, which is just how he was spinning. Most DJs in this situation would be checking their text messages, running out for a smoke break or getting drunk. Not Flave- he straight delivered beats to the tiny gang of dancers on his floor like there was no tomorrow and it was dance or die.

And then he pulled out a motherfucking saxophone.

Those of you who know Flave (aka all of Seattle) can attest to this man’s epic skills. He plays many genres and many instruments. He scratches with his foot. And on a rainy Wednesday last year, he threw down for a dance floor of four harder than many DJs ever do and won a blond girl’s heart for life. Mad props to Flave!

And good luck at the NW DNB Finals, held June 3 at Crush in Portland where the battle will be Seattle vs. Portland; with Flave on the side of the 206, Portland better bring something epic, like a mountain.

flaveistheshit

Random Photo #13

Posted in Random Photos with tags , , , , , , on April 20, 2009 by worldromper

kevinsawkarocksthatshitAin’t no drum and bass like LIVE drum and bass!

Seattle DNB legend KJ Sawka prepares to kill, with novaTRON, Forrest and live art from Burgundy in the background.

From the only show I’ve ever thrown: BASSNDRUMS

That shit kicked ASS, too.

Drum and Bass Church Ravers Wish YOU a Happy Easter!

Posted in Videos with tags on April 12, 2009 by worldromper

Enjoy this sweet video along with your chocolate-covered marshmallow fertility symbols! Eostre would approve- that’s the pagan goddess of fertility who gave us the name Easter as well as the word estrogen, the female sex hormone. Or maybe I just missed the Bible story involving bunnies and chicks.

Who says drum and bass is dead? Looks like it has risen again.