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.
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.
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.