Preview: London’s Hottest Drum & Bass Raves: July

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.


One of the great things about Drum & Bass is how universal a genre it really is, go to most places on earth now and you will certainly be able to hear some kind of variant. Nonetheless, you absolutely cannot discount London’s critical position in all of this – if it was not for the capital city and its wealth of clubs the genre may not have been born. It was Fabio & Grooverider, for instance, accidentally playing a Hardcore track at 45rpm instead of 33 that is widely acknowledged as being the catalyst for Jungle and subsequently Drum & Bass.


With so many incredible nightlife destinations it is not surprising that London has had and continues to have a formative influence on the Drum & Bass scene. Historically clubs such as Fabric have spearheaded the genre’s movement, and now, whilst there have been multiple closures, new venues such as the monolithic Printworks have popped up. It all proves that London underground nightlife is a hard one to stifle. So, with this in mind let us answer the question: where can I find the best London Drum & Bass raves?


Fabriclive x Randall Presents Mac II at Fabric (26th July)

[Event Listing]

The combination of Fabric and the legendary Randall should have any Jungle or Drum & Bass fans licking their lips, and for good reason. These are two institutions in the genres, two pillars in the movement that ensured things were constantly moving forward in the early days. Randall, in particular, is a DJ that was instrumental in bringing together the Breakbeat and Hardcore scenes of the early 90s. Alongside people like Fabio & Grooverider he helped set the foundations for Jungle and Drum & Bass, something all ravers should be hugely indebted too.


The 26th July sees him bring his iconic Mac II imprint to life once again in Fabric’s hallowed club-space, and what a line-up Randall has curated here. Legends in the game Krust and DJ Die play a b2b set that will hark back to the early days of Fabriclive where they were both very much formative influences. Star of the new-school Chimpo is also on the bill after releases with some of the most highly regarded labels in the game like Critical Music. If you like your Drum & Bass and Jungle you just cannot be missing this night – think of it as a certified history lesson.



Planet V ‘Future’ Album Launch at The Steel Yard (5th July)

[Event Listing]

One of the most highly celebrated labels in the history of Drum & Bass and Jungle return to The Steel Yard after a sold-out show back in November of last year, and it’s certain to be bigger than ever. V Recordings have been synonymous with top-end music for well over two decades, starting out life in the early 90s and pushing the likes of Roni Size, Calibre, Adam F and Dillinja. In other words, if it wasn’t for the label Drum & Bass would not be in the position it is now, and that is no over-estimation.


Label head Bryan Gee has done a sterling job over the years, and the fact that V Recordings are still very much a current label is testimony to this. This is something embodied in their latest offering – the “Future” album, a piece of work that seeks to place the new blood in the scene alongside the old. And the line-up for the album launch party is also reflective of this, with accomplished acts such as Serum, Voltage, Krust and Need For Mirrors all on the bill. It’s a lovely mix of the old and new, encompassing the whole spectrum of the Drum & Bass and Jungle world. This event sold-out well in advance last time out, so don’t wait about.



Document One – Album Launch Party at Camden Assembly (18th July)

[Event Listing]

Document One have been crafting high-octane Drum & Bass music for several years now, turning a lot of heads in the process. One of which was the celebrated DJ Friction, who in turn signed them to his massively successful label Shogun Audio. The duo are an incredibly versatile outfit, with one side of their back-catalogue being incredibly heavy yet refined, and the other soulful and smooth. It is no surprise that they have risen to be one of the most hotly tipped acts in the whole Drum & Bass scene at the moment, something that their debut self-titled album is sure to amplify even further.


It comes on Shogun Audio, a perfect home for a body of work that has taken a serious amount of time to complete. It is also something very much worth celebrating, hence the album launch party happening at the Camden Assembly. Alongside Document One will be some special guests off the Shogun Audio roster, the likes of which are being kept a tightly guarded secret, but are sure to be huge. And it’s also free – what are you waiting for?



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