Drum and Bass is a wild, unpredictable beast.

Just when you think it is dead and gone, it rises up again with more subgenres attacking you from all sides with obscure melodic interpretations on top of the driving percussion. There is no stopping the DnB Hydra.

Let’s take a look at 7 of its most prominent sub-genre heads…

1. Darkcore / Darkstep

Artists of note: Noisia, Spor

Between 150bpm and 160bpm lies the Darkcore, or Darkstep head – this one is a terrifying sight, using samples from old horror films and chromatic scales to create a chilling, dark atmosphere.

2. Drumstep

Artists of note: Crissy Criss, Taxman

An unpredictable offshoot of the DnB Hydra is Drumstep, with beats around 170-180bpm, but generally dabbling in half-time percussion, making it seem like dubstep at times!

3. Jazzstep / Intelligent Drum and Bass

Artists of note: LTJ Bukem, Photek

This head clearly thinks it is musically above the others with a name inferring that the other sub-genres aren’t capable of matching its IQ. Obscure chord progressions and Jazz, Lounge and Ambient influences bring together a mellower, but still dancefloor-friendly take on the Drum and Bass vibe.

4. Liquid / Liquid Funk

Artists of note: High Contrast, Mistabishi, Chase and Status

This head will often be found in a chilled-out daze; Liquid DnB is a much more chilled take on the genre, with heavy usage of authentic instrumentation to accompany the electronic percussive undertone.

5. NeuroFunk / Techstep

Artists of note: Ed Rush, Optical, Noisia

A harder, funkier take on DnB, this head brings together heavily synthesized percussion with positively demented basslines – This often overlaps with the Darkstep sub-genre to bring a crushing, industrial overtone to the drops and a driving backbeat to the builds.

6. Breakcore

Artists of note: Venetian Snares, Bong-Ra

Brain-meltingly high BPMs have pushed this head over the edge into positive insanity. Breakcore mashes practically anything together, from complex classical to heavy metal, all over some of the most complex and intricate drum programming imaginable.

7. Jump Up

Artists of note: DJ Zinc, Hazard

A light hearted head that is probably too busy bopping away to cause any real damage, at least intentionally, Jump Up is a simple genre with big, clean basslines and hip hop samples to give it that catchy edge.

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9 Responses to “The DnB Hydra – 7 Subgenres of Drum and Bass”

  1. Neurofunk is where it’s at!

    Love that dark, sweeping basslines. Crushing snares.

    Hehe, don’t forget Clownstep :P

  2. How bout StepCore? Doesn’t exist you say? I’ll create it.. :P

    How bout Counterstrike? What sub-genre are they?

  3. You forgot about Jungle !!

  4. Dave is world class. Cuts the fat, cuts to the chase, detail oriented. Reason tutorials are so key for me. Thanks.

  5. I F*cking love breakcore, Venetian snares is the jesus of the amen break

  6. Add jump up to your poll. Want a tutorial for jump up. or perhaps drumstep.

  7. i’m w/ Rossco.. njoy all DNB subgenres & Dubstep, but i’m a bit unclear how to make good DRUMSTEP. more specific JUMP-UP tutorials would be gr8 too Dave!

  8. Hi Dave
    great job with your tutorials

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNcqv1h33lw
    (How could I do a Intro like this in Reason)

    I like this kind of DNB
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9fO3WDozGc
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ud05ssCLt0&feature=related
    for example enjoy
    and i hope you do an tutorial of it. thx

  9. You forgot ‘Upfront DnB’ which is just a happy kinda medium between the genres. Hard hitting but smooth basslines with soulful samples and a standard 160 bpm beat. Kinda like a cross between Liquid and Jump Up.

    And also Old Skool Jungle which was an early genre that actually gave birth to DnB, like a less intense version of Breakcore Jungle in the 90′s used samples and took influences from Reggae, Dub, Hip Hop, Soul, Breakbeat and Techno.

    Also Raggacore, which is pretty much just a modern day Jungle with a more regimented beat. Based heavily around reggae samples and melodies, it just sounds like reggae at 160 bpm.

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