Since the early 90s Drum & Bass has trail blazed its way through the public consciousness, starting out in the underground before erupting into the world of dance music and beyond. There is no surprise that the genre has risen to the pinnacle of bass music – the raw energy and emotion can be hard to find elsewhere. From the sounds of early Metalheadz to the new school of producers becoming increasingly apt at the synthesis of old Jungle era tropes with updated technology, in today’s Drum & Bass world there is something for everybody.
Like most dance music, especially the bassier strains, you cannot enjoy Drum & Bass to its maximum potential without being in a club (or festival) surrounded by like-minded ravers and a weighty sound system. It is music made for the dance floor, from the delicate and soulful sounds of Calibre to the frenetic and brutish sonics behind icons like DJ Hazard or DJ Hype, one things for certain – you’ll be hard pressed to stop yourself getting carried away.
Birmingham has always been one the leading destinations for Drum & Bass and Jungle music, quickly becoming a powerhouse in the UK. Indeed, after the initial wave of DJs from London, such as the influential Fabio & Grooverider, the midlands city was responsible for some of the finest names in the game – ever heard of Goldie? No wonder then that Birmingham offers some of the best events out there. The only question now is; where can I find the hottest Drum & Bass raves?
The Acid Experiment Summer Showcase at Lab11 (6th July)
Renowned Birmingham promoters The Acid Experiment are best known to bringing the authentic rave-era vibes to the city with parties that showcase the best of Acid-House, however this time they delve into the exciting world of Jungle as well. Both genres helped the UK rave scene expand into new heights, and they are actually more similar than people might think, both having close allegiance with Hardcore and Breakbeat. The Acid Experiment’s held a similar event in the summer of 2018 that ended up with 2000 ravers having it out under the fabled Lab 11 arches – will it be the same again this time?
Well, judging by the line-up on offer this may well be the case, as the popular events brand welcome Jungle and Drum & Bass royalty in Metalheadz staple DJ Storm. In many ways she was responsible for the formation of the label alongside Kemistry who was tragically killed in a freak car accident. The pair were good friends and helped to introduce Goldie to the burgeoning Jungle scene back in the early 90s – the rest, as they say, is history. As you might imagine, she is a selector who absolutely knows her stuff, take a listen to her 2016 dubplate saturated Boiler Room set for an idea.
Thirteen with Danny Byrd & 2shy at Amusement 13 (6th July)
Danny Byrd has been at the pinnacle of the Drum & Bass scene since 1999 when he became one of the first artists to sign to the instrumental Hospital Records. It didn’t take long for him to cause some pretty serious waves throughout the music world, with Fabio of BBC Radio 1 at the time giving his remix of London Elektricity’s “Wishing Well” a great deal of airtime. Since then Danny Byrd has become one of a few Drum & Bass producers who have truly managed to break into the mainstream, crucially without sacrificing musical quality in the process.
The single “Salute” featuring MC GQ, for instance, was picked up by Annie Mac and spun regularly on her primetime BBC Radio 1 show – not the easiest feat to do with the genre. Even more impressive was the fact that this was a proto-Jungle record, not always the simplest sound to bring to the masses, but Danny Byrd did it with ease. Fresh off the back of his fourth album “Atomic Funk” released in September of last year there seems to be no stopping the Bath born DJ. Thirteen is a new Drum & Bass fuelled venture from the team behind Amusement 13, and judging by their first booking it looks to be a permanent fixture in the Birmingham underground club scene. Don’t miss out!
MADE Festival 2019: After Party
The one downside of a good old day festival? They rarely last long enough for ravers to feel like they have truly used all their energy up, but that’s what the after party is for! The critically acclaimed MADE Festival team are well aware of this, and have accordingly made provisions for an after party at the clubbing institution Lab11. The line-up is well catered for all kinds of punters, with a House and Techno orientated affair going on in The Warehouse headlined by the Latin inspired icon Melé. But the most exciting part of it is the Drum & Bass heavy billing on The Terrace – both unique and certified in quality.
The Queen of UK Bass Flava D headlines, but crucially she will treat us to a Drum & Bass set, something that doesn’t happen very often at all and is therefore very special indeed. The Bournemouth native has been at the forefront of the burgeoning UK Bass scene for quite some time now, being a key part of the Grime world before that. Recent years have seen her expand into Drum & Bass, and her release “Human Trumpet” on the legendary Hospital Records proves this is no simple flash in the pan. With coaches running from the festival site to a location 2 minutes away from Lab11 this is bound to be an after party to remember. Tickets are limited, so buy yours now to avoid any disappointment.
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