Dexter’s Beat Laboratory is a weekly collection of songs from DA managing editor Robyn Dexter. With a taste that can only be described as eclectic — to say nothing of a name that lends itself to punnery — DA is happy to present a selection of tracks personally curated by Dexter for your listening pleasure.
There’s just something about drum ‘n’ bass that’s always spoken to my soul. I remember hearing my first Pendulum song a decade ago and thinking “what on earth is this, and where can I get more?”
The genre began making its way into the electronic music sphere in the early 1990s, right around the time I was born. Its rapid breakbeats took over London and Bristol, ramping up the jungle and rave scene to 160-180 BPM. While still more widespread in the UK to this day, the genre has slowly trickled into the United States EDM scene. We still have a long way to go before drum ‘n’ bass artists are regularly installed as main stage performers at major US festivals, but there’s so much to discover and embrace in the US drum ‘n’ bass scene (I see you, Flite and Boxplot). There’s also an endless stream of quality dnb being churned out overseas, with imprints like RAM Records, Hospital Records, and Liquicity Records as strong as ever in their supporters and fan base.
I regularly tell people that have never really gotten into drum ‘n’ bass to just try. It’s a diverse and ever-evolving genre, full of sub-genres and offshoots. I guarantee you’ll find something you like in some format. Dig through the 100-song playlist I’ve compiled to celebrate 100 installments of this series to see if there’s something there for you!
Thank you, drum ‘n’ bass, for your tireless energy, emotive vocals, and the ability you always have to yank me out of a bad mood and reignite my love for electronic music in today’s day and age. Here’s to you, and the brilliant artists who create you.