Mat Zo teases drum ‘n’ bass-focused Mad Zoo compilation album with new single

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Mat Zo teases drum ‘n’ bass-focused Mad Zoo compilation album with new singleMat Zo 1

Mat Zo just teased the upcoming Mad Zoo compilation project with the release of premiere single, “Blessed Be Thy Name,” on behalf of the head honcho himself. The drum ‘n’ bass trendsetter characteristically curates clever sound spaces within the rapid-tempo genre, and this track is no different. Through a mist of swift high-hat percussion, the production virtuoso slows the atmosphere with scintillating guitar echoes and dynamic synthscapes for an Arabian nights feels.

Mad Zoo’s second compilation album will center mostly around whiplash drum breaks with other styles mixed in for good measure, featuring a grip of talented sound smiths such as Acrillics, Tsuruda, and more. The album will drop on Beatport on January 20 and everywhere else January 24.

Photo Credit: Rukes

Whipped Cream goes hard on new VIP remix of ‘Told Ya’ with Lil Xan

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Whipped Cream goes hard on new VIP remix of ‘Told Ya’ with Lil XanWHIPPED CREAM 2

The industry at large has a close collective eye on Whipped Cream. Her energy and emotion is felt in every meticulously crafted release and seen in her vibrant stage energy during live performances. Last year she released a highly-anticipated collaboration drenched in hip-hop influence with Lil Xan, and now she’s released an even heavier take on “Told Ya” with her own VIP remix.

The “Told Ya” VIP stays true to the original mix in key places, highlighting the distorted vocals from Lil Xan, while adding a heavier drum ‘n’ bass spin to the first break. The second however, more experimental in nature, is a testament to the forward-thinking innovation that characterizes Whipped Cream’s output.

Forthcoming documentary, ‘United Nations: Three Decades of Drum & Bass’ viscerally traces the genre’s rise

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Forthcoming documentary, ‘United Nations: Three Decades of Drum & Bass’ viscerally traces the genre’s riseFabric Nightclub London 2016 Billboard 1548

A new documentary trains an analytical eye on drum ‘n’ bass to retrospectively trace the genre’s rise from the early 1990’s to its pervasion in the time since. Entitled United Nations: Three Decades of Drum & Bass, the Terry “Turbo” Stone-directed production invites drum ‘n’ bass influencers such as DJ Fresh, Sigma, Jumping Jack Frost, and Hype, among others, to trade insight on the storied history of the genre.

Forthcoming documentary, ‘United Nations: Three Decades of Drum & Bass’ viscerally traces the genre’s riseFINAL POSTER 2 Copy 2

United Nations focuses on the genre’s beginnings as a UK-centric sonic movement that galvanized the development and diffusion of electronic music. The film also acknowledges the genre’s contentious facets, from the illegal raves that quickly cropped up across London as a byproduct of the genre’s pervasion. The documentary also addresses the controversial drug culture that grew with drum ‘n’ bass, as well as the gang interactions that colored its early foundations.

Offering a visceral look at the arch of an electronically defining style, United Nations will premiere live at The Troxy London on February 15. United Nations will debut in theaters on February 21, and will be available via digital download and DVD on April 6.

Camo & Krooked detail pivoting to singles, upcoming Red Bull Vienna shows, and working with Jeru The Damaja [Interview]

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Camo & Krooked detail pivoting to singles, upcoming Red Bull Vienna shows, and working with Jeru The Damaja [Interview]Camo Krooked Press 2020 1

For veterans holding more than 12 years of music-making, Camo & Krooked continue to ignite the drum ‘n’ bass scene with the fresh energy of newcomers. The Austrian duo consisting of Reinhard Reitsch and Markus Wagner have proved an indomitable force since their formation in 2007—signing to mammoth Hospital Records and winning the Drum&BassArena’s Best Newcomers DJs Award just three years after their debut. After captivating listeners with their explosive debut album, Above & Beyond, Camo & Krooked went on to assert themselves as ambassadors of multi-genre productions in their colorful exploration of d’n’b and its relationship to electronic music as a whole.

If d’n’b were a canvas, the color palette would be sub-genres and the painters: Camo & Krooked. Fundamentally loyal to their d’n’b roots while welcoming intuitive influences from dubstep, house, techno, grime, electro-house, and more, the d’n’b influencers have made it their standard to challenge the boundaries of genre-centric lines and push the sonic expectations exceedingly further.

They have embraced dubstep in their hit single “All Fall Down,” emulated disco in Zeitgeist, played off hip-hop in their 2019 single, “Set It Off” featuring Jeru The Damaja, and recreated their d’n’b sound with ever-cinematic expressions in their latest UKF10’s “Atlas” VIP remix. Now, with two massive orchestral Vienna shows locked in, a highly anticipated Rampage performance, and a pipeline of new music, Camo & Krooked are poised to take on 2020.

Dancing Astronaut sat down to catch up with Camo & Krooked on their pivot to single releases, insights into their Red Bull Vienna show, and the creative process behind “Set It Off.”


For a while, you were quiet on the music front, but 2019 was a massive year of releases with “Atlas,” “Sidewinder,” and recently “Set It Off” among other tracks. Will 2020 be a music-centric year as well or focus more on the tour side?

We are completely back on track musically so 2020 will continue along the lines of 2019 with lots of new music, trying to evolve in music production skills and find new directions. Really loving writing music at the moment!

You mentioned that the two of you went into studio hibernation to concentrate on new music. Do we have a new album in store? 

We are planning on working single-based, as it leaves us more freedom of creativity and we can fully concentrate on one track at a time. Writing an album of 12 tracks you have to apply new learned techniques on each of the tracks while writing over and over again, it takes lots of power and we really like the ease of releasing one tune after another at the moment, feels more up to date.

What inspiration came first for “Set It Off”—wanting to produce a hip-hop/funk-infused track or wanting to collaborate with Jeru The Damaja? 

As always, we tried to make a drop that is different to what everybody is doing at the moment, because that is basically what excites us when producing music, reinventing ourselves over and over again. After nailing it we thought that adding hip-hop flavor would give the tune more character than just your usual DJ tune. After nailing the halfstep part we approached some ’90s hip-hop legends and Jeru got back to us, being totally excited about the project!

Coming up on 12 years since you started releasing music, how has your respective approaches to the creative process evolved? 

When you start making music you imitate and recreate your favorite producers, learning all the techniques needed to find you own niche to explore. Now we feel like being in a position where, with every tune we make, we want to learn something or use new techniques, what makes the tune feel more special and valuable for us. Making simple sounds sound as pristine and big as possible and including new influences in each track.

Speaking of milestones, UKF’s decade anniversary saw your track “Atlas” on UKF10 and the release of its VIP counterpart. What elements did you want to add in remixing the cinematic aspects of the original? 

The VIP got even more cinematic actually and been influenced by the techniques we learned for the Red Bull Symphonic Show, C&K orchestra shows in Vienna beginning of February, at which we perform our biggest tunes with a 70-person symphony orchestra.

We’re just a few weeks away from the Vienna orchestra shows. How did this collaborative concept come alive and what type of experience would you like attendees to take away?

Red Bull approached us with this project and we loved the idea from the very first second. We have been working hard on it for the last three months and its going to be a really special event that no one really can say how exactly it will turn out in the end. We reworked most of our tunes to make space for the orchestral elements, so it’s not just the original tune with another layer, it’s a melting pot for both genres creating something completely unique.

Learn more about the Feb. 1 and 2 Vienna shows here.

What can we expect of your first ever back-to-back with Mefjus at Rampage 2020? 

This back-to-back was on our minds for very long already and what better platform than Rampage could you ask for as Introduction of Camo & Krooked b2b Mefjus. We will have lots of exclusive material and looking forward how the set will turn out, will start preparing soon!

Rampage 2020 has locked in an incredible program including you all. Who are you excited to see?

Lots of our friends are there and its going to be good times! Special acts are the Noisia farewell tour and the Pendulum Trinity Show!

You’ve mentioned that Tame Impala and Flume are musical influences for you, respectively (Krooked the former, Camo the latter). They both had returned this year with some pivotal releases. What did you think?

We are huge fans from all their recent output and took some influences from Flume especially as his sound is always changing and very exciting!

Any resolutions for the new year? 

Make new music, be healthy, be happy!

Drum ‘n’ bass champion Eward Holmes reported dead

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Drum ‘n’ bass champion Eward Holmes reported deadOptiv

Edward Holmes, better known under his stage name Optiv, has passed away. Holmes first gained a following for his work in the influential group Cause4Concern. He went on to have a successful, multi-pronged career in dance music. His prolific catalog includes solo work under his Optiv alias, as well founding his Red Light Records imprint.

The cause of death, as well as circumstances surrounding his death, have yet to be specified. Many public condolences have poured in from Holmes’ producer peers, like Andy C, The Prototypes, and fellow Cause4Concern counterparts.

Cant even believe I’m having to write this but as many of you will already know by now it’s with great sadness that we…

Posted by Cause4Concern on Monday, January 6, 2020

Photo Credit: Facebook via Optiv

Rampage to host farewell tour stop from Noisia, Pendulum Trinity reunion, and more

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Rampage to host farewell tour stop from Noisia, Pendulum Trinity reunion, and moreRampage

Perpetually confounding US festival crowds, drum ‘n’ bass is only just launching a forward foray in the states. However, it’s been a cornerstone of the European electronic music market for decades. Gearing up for its 11th year, Belgium’s token drum ‘n’ bass display, Rampage festival has been at the helm of spreading the genre’s good word and cementing its global audience.

The Antwerp affair has some serious selling points for its 2020 installment, landing March 13-14. In addition to hosting a slot on Noisia’s farewell tour, Rampage will see Pendulum’s Trinity alliance (featuring the iconic act’s founding three members, Rob Swire, Gareth McGrillen, and El Hornet) reunite for their first performance outside the UK and their first rendezvous in the last decade. More genre staples like Dirtyphonics, Virtual Riot, Black Sun Empire, and Delta Heavy are also pegged for the 2020 Rampage ticket.

The impending arm of the festival promises next-level audio-visual production to complement its world-class roundup of drum ‘n’ bass firepower. The event will return to Antwerp Sportpaleis, one of Europe’s largest indoor event stops and self-described “rave haven.”

Tickets are available here.

Rampage to host farewell tour stop from Noisia, Pendulum Trinity reunion, and moreRampage 1

Flite re-doses RL Grime’s ‘Core’ with drum ‘n’ bass magic

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Flite re-doses RL Grime’s ‘Core’ with drum ‘n’ bass magicFlite 2019

In spite of his young age, Flite has navigated the drum ‘n’ bass scene with the prowess and maturity of an experienced artist. Producing as early as 16 years old and breaking onto the scene at 19 years old in 2014 with debut single “Featherfall,” the Texas-based talent has gained rapid momentum in recent years—following through with 14 releases in 2017 and garnering support from drum n’ bass giants like Andy C, High Contrast, Netsky, and more. With diversity ingrained in his artistic pursuits, Flite and his sound fluctuate in its exploration of the drum ‘n’ bass spectrum. Now, the rising star reworks an RL Grime classic, “Core,” with his latest UKF release.

In his flip of “Core,” Flite transforms the original trap soundscape into a massive drum ‘n’ bass track. Energizing the quintessential drop with flesh-crawling synthesizers and rolling breakbeats, the remix kicks the tempo up while maintaining the dark essence of the original. Deliciously sinister with potent pace, Flite’s remix delivers the drum ‘n’ bass makeover without straying from the skeleton of the beloved RL Grime original.

Pendulum prep Trinity Live production for headline slot at Rampage Festival

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Pendulum prep Trinity Live production for headline slot at Rampage FestivalPendulum Trinity Press Shot

One of the world’s premier bass festivals, Belgium’s Rampage, is coming off of a major 10th anniversary outing in 2019. The lineup boasted a thick cast of dubstep and drum ‘n’ bass heavyweights including Andy C, Excision, Sub Focus, Dimension, and more. Though now, as the festival preps for the 2020 iteration, Rampage has revealed their first headliner—Pendulum, performing their Trinity Live concept for just the second time. And judging by the festival’s lead off booking, 2020’s talent roster is already looking mighty fine.

Pendulum Trinity feature’s the group’s original three members: Gareth McGrillen, Rob Swire, and El Hornet, performing atop a pyramid of LEDs, making for one of the most sensory-overloading live electronic shows of the last decade. The trio have only performed together one time outside of Australia in the last ten years, debuting the Trinity concept at London’s South West 4 Festival in early 2019. Now, the group is locked in for a headlining slot in Antwerp next year for Rampage, which takes place March 13 – 14, signaling to a massive low-end lineup soon to follow.

H/T: DJ Mag

Hospital Records works toward gender equality with first Women in Drum & Bass London Workshop

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Hospital Records works toward gender equality with first Women in Drum & Bass London WorkshopHospitalRecordsWomeninDNB

“At Hospital Records, Med School and Hospitalitydnb we recognise the gender imbalance within drum & bass. We want to be at the forefront of pushing through a positive change for the scene and music that we all love, towards a more representative community that creates equal opportunities for everyone.”

Being the change that you want to see in the world is often easier said than done—unless you’re Hospital Records, that is. On Sept. 17, the south London drum ‘n’ bass co-op took a massive stride forward in remedying the gender inequality found both within their genre and the wider music industry by hosting their very first Women In Drum & Bass London Workshop.

The Shoreditch event featured an industry-wide panel of tastemakers that evaluated gender issues facing the underground bass scene and brought in Hospital’s Head of Business & Sync Megan Bean to host a workshop on getting demos heard and eventually signed.

The Women In Drum & Bass London Workshop follows a pledge from Hospital Records earlier this year to increase their efforts to sign more women to the label roster and host more female DJs at their flagship Hospitality events. While there is no doubt that the industry is still male-heavy, it’s ultimately refreshing to see record labels and brands alike using their amplified voice in the industry not just to sell the next release, but to bring attention to the social issues that they resonate with.

Kanine, Philth, Becca Jane Grey, and Simula celebrate massive 60-track ‘Drum&BassArena 2019’ [Q&A]

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Kanine, Philth, Becca Jane Grey, and Simula celebrate massive 60-track ‘Drum&BassArena 2019’ [Q&A]Kanine At Glastonbury 1

Birthed out of the UK’s early ’90s jungle scene and rapidly gaining mainstay status shortly after, drum ‘n’ bass has celebrated its popularity at its heights notably in concentrated pockets—although never quite enjoying the mainstream bliss of its newer peers like dubstep and trap in the U.S. However, the veteran genre has shown resilience and a particular resurgence in the past few years as first-time listeners tread new territory, devoted fans continue to push its popularity, and both the underground scene and festival circuit champion diverse forms of drum ‘n’ bass on its stages.

Now, drum ‘n’ bass follows suit in the massive growth of the electronic dance music scene as a whole, but with its own persuasive milestones that signal it intends to stay whether or not the EDM bubble bursts. 2019 has been a particularly telling year for the genre’s success, from it experiencing the most growth of any EDM genre on Beatport until now, to trending when Adele joked about making her own drum ‘n’ bass album. The genre is once again hitting its cyclical sweet-spot in the industry; Pendulum has new music in the works, Chase & Status celebrated 15 years together with the release of RTRN II JUNGLE, and newcomer Benny B landed the genre’s first-ever No. 1 on Beatport.

As drum ‘n’ bass nears 30 years of existence, the scene finds itself in a uniquely exhilarating space where it’s simultaneously unbound by genre limitations and empowered by young and old blood that evolve the sound while maintaining its roots in the underground. All of this finds itself translated in Drum&BassArena 2019—Drum&BassArena’s long-standing annual album, chock-full of 60 tracks, seven exclusives, and a bold appreciation of the multifaceted talent built across generations of drum ‘n’ bass. Recognizing another year of the genre and its momentous acts, Dancing Astronaut has curated a round table discussion from a selection of Drum&BassArena’s most anticipated and coveted artists: Kanine, Simula, Philth, and Becca Jane Grey.

Read our Q&A and listen to Drum&BassArena 2019 below. Check out bonus questions for Kanine at the end of the round table Q&A.


Have there been any noticeable shifts in the drum ‘n’ bass scene in recent years and if yes, why do you think so?

Kanine: Definitely. I think everyone can agree most of the sub-genres have opened up and the lines between them have blurred. I think this is due to two things. Firstly, I think there’s been a change in opinion in the ravers/fans where people now tend to be more open-minded and don’t just listen to one main sub genre. This is probably because of how easy it is to access new and different music nowadays through streaming platforms. Secondly, I think across all styles of drum ‘n’ bass, the production value has increased drastically making it easier to appreciate previously un-preferred music styles.

Simula: In the last few years I’ve noticed a rise in popularity of a new style that people have affectionately dubbed “foghorn rollers,” a style pioneered by artists like Benny L and Serum. It is a hybrid style, incorporating elements from jungle and jump up as well minimal. Many of the new generation producers are now making this style and pushing it. 

Philth: One interesting and very positive development in recent years is the new generation of artist-run labels: 1985, Sofa Sound, Guidance, The North Quarter, Ish Chat, Index… This is a generation of producers who came through around a decade ago and changed the game with their production skills and style, the bar was raised by Alix Perez and the Shogun camp, DLR, Ulterior Motive, Lenzman. Now they are running labels and using their platforms to push things forward again, getting new music out quickly and taking risks that the established bigger labels might be afraid to take. It’s refreshing the scene, and these guys are bringing through a new generation of artists now to continue that breath of fresh air.

Becca Jane Grey: There have been shifts in different aspects of the scene. Consumption, for one; we’ve become a culture of quantity over quality, pressing two tunes per side on vinyl, good music seems forgotten about quickly and doesn’t stay too long in rotation. There aren’t many modern classics. There are novelty songs that do the rounds, bootlets etc. (nothing wrong with these but) they seem to be more popular than original tunes. The throwaway culture doesn’t allow for a good tune to develop in a club environment unless it’s a hyped dub.

Drum ‘n’ bass has both influenced and taken influence from a diversity of other music genres. Name your top three classic drum ‘n’ bass songs as well as three songs that have inspired you heavily (regardless of genre). 

Kanine: Hard pick but my top three would probably be “No Problem” by Chase and Status, “Time Warp VIP” by Sub Focus, and Pendulum’s “Tarantula.” All three are undeniable anthems that will always stand the test of time. So much great music out there so couldn’t possibly pick another three, but I’m a massive fan of techno hip-hop and basically all other bass music. All have inspired me a lot.

Simula: My top three classic drum ‘n’ bass songs are DJ Fresh’s “All That Jazz,” Netsky’s “Pirate Bay,” and Technicolour’s “Ascension.” These are all tunes that got me into drum & bass so they had to be mentioned. The three songs that have inspired me the most are Konichi’s “Field Of Vibrations,” Neosignal’s “Planet Online (Culprate Remix),” and Decimal Bass’ “Dronezone.” All of these tunes have had a huge impact on my work and are still mind-blowing to me to this day. 

Philth: Ed Rush & Optical’s “Medicine (Matrix Remix),” Marcus Intalex & ST Files’ “Love & Happiness” and Konflict’s “Beckoning.” Also Fleetwood Mac’s “Everywhere,” Lynn Collins’ “Think (About It),” Amy Winehouse’s “Tears Dry On Their Own,” Max Richter’s “On the Nature of Daylight,” and Vangelis’ “Blade Runner Love Theme.”

Becca Jane Grey: High Contrast ft Diane Charlemagne’s “If We Ever,” Chase & Status ft Jenna G’s “In Love,” Lenzman ft Riya’s “Open Page.” Also James Blake’s “The Colour In Anything,” Cinematic Orchestra’s “To Build A Home” and Deftones ft Maynard’s “Passenger.”

With all the milestones this year, do you see drum ‘n’ bass crossing over into mainstream anytime soon? 

Kanine: I think drum ‘n’ bass has always had its place in the mainstream. Acts like Sigma and Rudimental are needed to introduce (especially younger fans) to the genre. The less commercial scene has grown massively in recent years yes, but I feel that no matter how big it gets it will always retain its underground sound and feel because that is what defines the genre.

Simula: I would like to think so! With some of the most talented artists to date coming through at the moment, I can only see the quality of the music getting better. A lot has changed in the last five years and I’m excited to see what the next movement to push the scene forward will be.

Philth: Drum ‘n’ bass has flirted with the mainstream for a long time, going back 20-plus years ago to Goldie and Roni Size. Then we stop being cool for a while, and then the media decides to pretend we are on a comeback when really the genre has been pushing on in the underground forever. We had it again a few years back with Fresh, Pendulum, then Sigma, and you’re hearing drum ‘n’ bass in TV adverts again, but really I don’t care about what is happening on Top of the Pops as long as the underground is healthy… and right now we’re at a real high point and showing no sign of slowing down 🙂

Becca Jane Grey: Drum ‘n’ bass has always had a toe dipped in the mainstream. Or rather mainstream music always keeps its little finger in the drum ‘n’ bass pie. The genre is built from the underground, you can’t take that away from it, certain producers have made it more accessible to the masses by softening it up. Just like any other genre that ends up with its 15 minutes in the commercial scene, its because it’s being presented to the masses in a nicer, more gentle, pleasant way. Die-hard drum ‘n’ bass fans call any mainstream drum ‘n’ bass songs that they like “guilty pleasures.” For another cheesy simile, look at it like mainstream drum ‘n’ bass is like asking for a snakebite at the bar: you’ll still get served but the barman will be judging you silently. Producers like Sigma and Wilkinson for example will always bridge the gap between the genre and mainstream music.

Both drum ‘n’ bass and the sub-genres within drum ‘n’ bass itself have evolved tremendously since the early days, from liquid to dark, breakcore, jungle, neurofunk and more; the term “drum ‘n’ bass” has been expanding to encompass a lot of different meanings. For you personally, what is drum ‘n’ bass?

Kanine: Anything 160-180 BPM that has drums a b-line. There never has been and never should be any rules. If people like it then who cares!

Simula: Drum ‘n’ bass is music you can lose yourself in. It is an escape and a release. Everyone likes different sub genres and in my opinion that is a great thing. Anyone and any style is welcome in drum ‘n’ bass, and that is something truly special.

Philth: Breakbeats, dark rooms, big subs. Futuristic music, making you lose yourself on the dancefloor…. the anticipation as the DJ builds you up to the drop, then the satisfaction as the bass hits you in the chest. No other music is as physical as drum ‘n’ bass, and that sensation of being squeezed by bass is what hooked me on the genre as as kid and has never let go. No matter what sub-genre, it’s all about the bass really, isn’t it?

Becca Jane Grey: Drum ‘n’ bass is a melting pot of culture, angst, happiness, expression, euphoria. It’s the meeting of seemingly every type of person suddenly having something in common. The energy and emotion it stirs seems to connect us all in a similar way. For me, I enjoy the softer emotive side of a vocal-heavy drum ‘n’ bass tune, but spend more time these days listening to vocal-less, beat-heavy nastiness. And the latter definitely makes me run faster at the gym… The genre for me is the variety of sub-genres that we’re lucky to have, with talented producers spread across the board.

There’s no arguing that drum ‘n’ bass is virtually a mainstay of the UK dance music scene, but are there any other places that you’ve either played or been to that have burgeoning drum ‘n’ bass scenes? How has the fan base for drum ‘n’ bass changed throughout the years? 

Kanine: The whole of Europe has pockets of drum ‘n’ bass fans of different sub-genres, and as an DJ it’s been lots of fun travelling and experiencing these different communities. Coming up through the jump up scene, I played a lot in Austria and Belgium in my earlier years. Austria has a wicked open minded crowd who tend to like any style you play for them. Events like Switch! XL and Mainframe in Vienna are always mad parties. Belgian ravers in the clubs prefer a certain jump up sound which I’ve strayed away from but the bigger Belgian events, like Rampage are some of the best parties in the entire world. In recent years I’ve spent a lot of time in the Czech Republic which has an amazing scene for drum ‘n’ bass – which is probably why they’re home to the biggest (and best!) drum ‘n’ bass festival in the world, Let It Roll.  

This summer I’m doing my debut New Zealand and Australia tour which has completely opened my eyes to the global reach of drum ‘n’ bass. The demand for the genre down under is actually crazy and shouldn’t be slept on

Simula: Every country that has a drum ‘n’ bass is different from the next. I’ve played all over Europe in the last three years and it’s interesting to see the differences in the music and the ravers. One thing all these countries have in common is that there is a constant influx of younger listeners and ravers that influence trends in the music. I can see drum ‘n’ bass continuing to spread to new countries and new fan bases.

Philth: When I first started raving, it was primarily a UK thing, but nowadays it truly is a worldwide movement – every country you can think of will have a drum ‘n’ bass scene whether it is big or underground. The internet has helped to spread the music so rapidly and as artists social media helps us to reach new fans. I’ve played in the U.S., Australia and all over Europe and it’s always a special moment seeing people in a different country singing along to my music <3

I hope the current tragic political situation in the UK doesn’t restrict artists ability to travel and take our music to new places, I love meeting people in new cities, trying new food, experiencing different cultures all united by our love of bass. Just last month, I played an amazing party up a mountain in Spain and met a crew of DJs pushing a sick style of dark rollers – I live for these moments and hope we can continue to share these experiences with our European cousins.

There’s been an accelerating decline in nightclub venues with the number in Great Britain declining by 21 percent from December 2017-2018. What do you think this means for the underground scene, in particular drum ‘n’ bass? 

Kanine: This is always really sad to see. The nightclubs, especially smaller ones, are the lifeblood of the drum and bass scene. It’s how communities, movements and sounds are born. Also, I think it’s important for society to have places were people can go express and enjoy themselves whether it be as a punter or as a DJ.

Simula: The UK is known for its underground music, from drum ‘n’ bass to garage to dubstep, they all started here! I think if the number of nightclubs continues to decline, the nation will lose something very special. With drum ‘n’ bass widely played at festivals and huge events across the UK, I don’t see the scene slowing down just yet, but declining numbers of nightclubs is never a good thing.

Philth: Losing venues hurt smaller promoters the most – the bigger promoters will always be able to find another 1,000-plus venue but the small places are where you get the most exciting nights with DJs taking risks and making true connections with the crowd. When I talk to my friends who run nights in London they say it’s the lack of venues and high DJ fees (driven up by the super-promoters who can pay more and lock DJ’s in exclusively) that are making things harder for them. I just hope that we can continue to have a wide cross-section of parties – it’s the small grassroots events where new DJs get an opportunity to earn their stripes and fans get a chance to see artists up close and personal. I think it’s important that in the current climate where the big parties are firing we don’t lose sight of the small intimate shows – I love playing these parties so much and always will.

Becca Jane Grey: The distinct lack of small, good venues (good sound system, 200 – 300 cap) in London (I can’t speak for other cities) is not helping the scene. Unless you have a loyal following (Rupture for example) or a die-hard fan base, or a promoter willing to spend loads on big acts that will sellout, you’re not going to be able to push certain sub-genres of drum ‘n’ bass. 

Cable is a larger venue but an example nonetheless. It was a staple for so many ravers at the time and when it went, it hit the drum ‘n’ bass scene pretty hard.

I think the decline in venues means promoters are facing an uphill battle trying to push to the fore underground labels and artists who deserve to be heard. Not impossible, but certainly an obstacle to overcome.


You’re regarded as one of the leading jump up acts right now, but you’re also incredibly versatile with your sound as well. What’s the key to specializing in your niche while still evolving and producing outside of your brand?

Kanine: Thank you. I think it really depends on what kind of artist you want to become. For some acts like Benny L, Serum and Macky Gee – they have an undeniable style that they have perfected and their brand follows suit. On the other hand there are acts like Chase & Status, AMC and arguably Noisia who have their own brand and fans but touch on different aspects of the genre. For me, as a fan of all forms of drum ‘n’ bass, it’s much more rewarding to branch out my production into different styles while still keeping one brand and sound behind it all. It’s also fun to keep people guessing.

Congratulations on having your latest single “What I Said” featured on Spotify’s New Music Friday UK playlist not too long ago. Why do you think Spotify picked up this particular track?

Kanine: Cheers was great to see! Was a cool feeling seeing it playlisted along with some UK chart toppers. Initially I never planned to do anything with this track but it seemed to connect with a lot of people so I’m really happy I put it out. I’m guessing the people over at Spotify felt that same connection.

Photo credit: Jack Kimber Photography