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A Breif History of Jungle / Drum n Bass


In 1991 a new style is blowing up the spot all over the country - its name is Hardcore. Hardcore was a totally new type of music that was nothing like anything before it. Events usually occurred in huge fields in the middle of nowhere or in a warehouse that someone's just broken into. For these few years the Rave / Hardcore scene flourished and grew. However, who would have guessed that the scene was doomed. Tracks such as Urban Hype's "Trip To Trumpton" and the Prodigy's "Charly" gained chart success and Hardcore music lost its underground culture and it became, some might say, "cheesy". Ravers all over the UK watched as the scene split.

Born from the Hardcore style were two new genres - Happy Hardcore and Jungle / Drum and Bass. Happy Hardcore are those people keeping the vibe alive with the manic pianos and chipmunk vocals. This scene still has a huge following all over the UK, Europe and Australia. The music is much more accessible by everyone than Drum and Bass, it is sub-divided into: Gabber Techno, 4-Beat, Breakbeat etc..

Drum n Bass is the style characterized by the Breakbeat. At first these were sped up Hip Hop beats, this sound was pioneered by the likes of DJ Hype and others. Soon DJs and artists were creating more complicated Breakbeats, and the Jungle scene was born. The style passed through phases of Ragga - i.e. M-Beat feat. General Levy - 'Incredible' and Hip Hop i.e. Ganja Kru - "Super Sharp Shooter" - before emerging as a style in its own right. The House music masses had been served up undiluted Drum and Bass from Grooverider and LTJ Bukem in the Cream Courtyard, Liverpool, UK. Drum n Bass can not only be the music of outdoor events but the refined rollers for UK clubland.

As journalists sub-divided the scene from Artcore to Darkside and from Techstep to Intelligent, Drum and Bass DJs finally get residencies at top clubs and their own slots on UK-wide radio stations like Kiss Fm & BBC Radio 1.

The style seemed to be heading for emergence into general popularity a few years back, with every pop act wanting a fashionable Jungle remix on their B-sides and every "trendy" advertising agency putting 160+BPM Breakbeat to their TV commercials. However, fortunately a genre so embedded in the underground was destined to remain that way, and it probably saved it. To be widely accepted would have killed the cutting-edge nature of the Drum and Bass scene and destined it to a commercial onslaught that would have ultimately destroyed the most forward-thinking of music.

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