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Drum and bass (commonly abbreviated as DnB, drum n bass and drum & bass) is a type of electronic dance music.
Drum and bass began as a musical paradigm shift of the United Kingdom breakbeat hardcore and rave scene; and over the first decade and a half of its existence there have been many permutations in its style, incorporating elements from dancehall, electro, funk, hip hop, house, jazz, heavy metal, pop-created fusion of hardcore, house and techno (with a strong accent of both the UK industrial and Belgian New Beat sounds), pioneered by Joey Beltram, L.A. Style, Frank De Wulf, CJ Bolland, Richie Hawtin and others. This scene existed briefly from approximately 1989-1993, a period of cross-pollination with the UK hardcore sound. This sound did survive in various forms in its mother countries - primarily Belgium, Holland and Germany - beyond 1992, but by then the general scenes in these countries had moved forwards to trance, industrial techno or gabba (with happy hardcore/hard house being the equivalent 'Belgian Techno' - derivative sounds in the UK). London and Bristol are the two cities which are most associated with Drum and Bass.
United States DnB beginnings and scene
The rave scenes in the US (New York) and in Canada (Toronto) embraced the transition of hardcore to jungle around 1994. America's longest running party, Konkrete Jungle also born in NYC, discovered the first US drum and bass MC's Blaise (Naughty Ride), Panic and Johnny Z. Outside of NYC. Dieselboy in Pittsburgh, Karl K & Kaos with MC Dub2 in Philadelphia and DJ Slant & DJ Stress from the 2Tuff Crew Along with Krazy Josifer and Mark F. from the Life of Leisure Crew in Washington DC. This small handful of US East Coast pioneers spent years in the underground playing "back rooms" before the sound caught on throughout America.
Perhaps most responsible for the extensive introduction of drum and bass to the U.S.in the 1990s was Bassrush, headed by Raymond Frances, whose innovation was to present House, Techno, and Drum & Bass in separate rooms.making Drum & Bass, for the first time, a major feature at U.S. rave parties. The Bassrush DJ Agency also introduced many major UK DJs to the American scene, including Shy FX, Kenny Ken, and DJ Randall.
While New York and Toronto thrived in this culture in the early '90s, new scenes were rapidly gaining recognition in the mid '90s in: Chicago, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Orlando, Denver, Seattle, Minneapolis, San Francisco and Washington DC. Producers and DJs such as AK1200 (ORL), DJ Dara (NY), Danny the Wildchild (CHI), and in particular Dieselboy (PIT) who helped push the genre further and darker, by producing, promoting, releasing compilations available for the public, and performing at raves. He is also one of the first US producers and DJs to break out on the international scene. Evol Intent, Ewun and SPL have followed suit. These artists have had a profound effect on the surrounding areas movements, causing drum and bass to spread in the majority of the United States. Clubs such as Buzz (DC), Breakdown (DEN), Seminar (CHI), Firestone (ORL), Platinum (PHI), Eklektic (SF), Science (LA), Masquerade (ATL) and Baltic Room (SEA) helped generate a scene outside of the then prosperous rave scene. Crews like Life of Leisure however promoted this scene heavily in Suburban area's all across MD/DC/VA. Two underage kids, Krazy Josifer and Mark F. who attended the events at Buzz and other events Thrown at the EDGE nightclub and Tracks Nightclub in DC, so often that they were quickly recognized and gained the resources to plan their own parties. Yet due to their age, were forced to run them "underground". These two had an idea of promoting their local DJ's. They would hand pick the DJ's then flood local high school's with little paper flyers reaching to a crowd that had never heard of this type of scene. Their events had attendees in the thousands. In 1999 their house party, "SPLASH", was an event held in the back yard of a suburban home which authorities said was "THE largest house party in the Montgomery County area" Holding over 2000 attendees, and quickly making the two 16 year old DJ's local legend's. Krazy Josifer and Mark F. continued to throw these massive's all over Maryland and were even recognized by most of the DJ's above, which led them to throw a party "DUSK TIL DAWN" Where they mixed their favorite locals, with DJ Dara, Gridlok, and Stakka. The Party also featured a free raffle with the prize of 2 unopened Technics turntables signed by those DJs, again further influencing the sound and promoting the art of Drum and Bass Music. Krazy Josifer and Mark F. still continue to hold these underground events in 2010 with different discreet forms of promotion, one well known party had a golden admit one ticket. An invite only party held at the "House of Secrets" in Washington DC.
In 2000 Dieselboy joined forces with AK1200 and DJ Dara to create an annual tour, the Planet of the Drums. Since 2001 Messinian (James Fiorella, Philadelphia, PA) has been the MC. At ten consecutive years (2009), it is the longest running annual tour in electronic dance music history.
In 2009, Dieselboy created The Monsters of Jungle, a tour concept featuring artists on his label, Human Imprint. The aesthetic is '80s metal meets drum and bass. It launched at the 11th Annual Starscape Festival in Baltimore, Maryland, in June 2009 as a multi-media stage production including custom visuals, and new music and spoken word audio prepared especially for the show. The first Monsters of Jungle tour featured Dieselboy, the Upbeats (New Zealand), Evol Intent, Ewun, Demo, Infiltrata, Mayhem, SPKTRM, MC Messinian, and MC Dino. A North American cross-country bus tour is planned for 2010.