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Drum and Bass

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Drum and Bass, also known as drum'n'bass, DnB, or jungle, is a form of Electronic Music that first came about in England during the early 1990's.

The first thing you need to know about drum and bass is that it's fast. It isn't necessarily the fastest genre of electronic music, but the overwhelming majority of DnB is between 170 and 180 beats per minute. If a song isn't above at least 155, it's not drum and bass. The reason for this—and the second thing you need to know about DnB—is that the genre is built around breakbeats. The Amen Break was the focal point of the genre's development, and producers have taken apart and rearranged that break in more ways than anyone can possibly count. However, it's certainly not the only break the genre has made use of.


Originally, DnB sounded pretty much like acid house and breakbeat hardcore, but with heavier bass and Reggae samples. Now, however, apart from the tempo, the breakbeats, and heavy emphasis on bass frequencies, there are few restrictions on what you can do within the genre. Drum and bass can be and has been combined with everything from jazz and RnB to funk, rock, and metal. Its intensity and mood can vary wildly from song to song, spanning from the lush, atmospheric sounds of LTJ Bukem to the intense, frenetic tracks of Shy FX and Pendulum.

The genre eventually faded out from mainstream popularity during the late 1990's, but still lingered on here and there. Most notably, the Nintendo GameCube demo discs and Nintendo e-Reader of all things prominently featured DnB soundtracks on their menus, helping introduce the genre to a new audience and giving it a new association outside of the club scene alone.


Tropes associated with drum and bass

  • Amen Break
  • Common Time: For all its syncopation and intricate drumbeats, DnB is almost universally in 4/4.
  • Everything Is an Instrument
  • Brazilians Love Drum and Bass: Brazil is second only to the UK in terms of its influence and prominence in DnB. It's even developed its own locally-flavored subgenre, commonly known as sambass.
  • Serial Escalation: The early years of the genre were a musical arms race, as people kept pushing up the tempos and complicating their breakbeats. After a while, though, the tempos settled into their current range, and nowadays the complexity of a song's breakbeats can vary wildly.


Artists associated with drum and bass

Alternative Title(s): Drum N Bass


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