Racism In Jungle & Drum and Bass.

Racism has no place in Drum and Bass, or the world. Let’s find out why.

This article is meant as a reaction to the recent events surrounding producer Mistabishi, but I’ve tried (and failed) to make this as general as possible. Because even if I hope the contrary, I’m afraid it’ll come up again eventually. These kind of posts are not what we are about, yet we also don’t want to turn a blind eye to racism, inequality, and prejudice.

Until recently I’ve always thought racism was virtualy inexistent in Jungle and Drum and Bass. It was one of the few places that showed that just enjoying something together, almost paying homage to the Woodstock era, without making a point of it. We don’t need to wave flags, wear bands on our arms or rally for more equality. We just are. And by just being, we show the world how everything could be. There are few places I feel so readily accepted as when I go to parties or festivals anywhere in Europe (I haven’t had the privilege to party outside the ol’ EU). We have one thing that binds us, our love for the music. Even if in that love we look down on- or up to- other subgenres, it’s a testament to the one thing that binds us. Music.

Bad apples are everywhere. Recent elections of certain leaders and the rise of racist movements across the globe gave some people the idea it was okay to spread hate. It isn’t. It never is. Let’s list some reasons why.

1. Know your roots.

I started this blog-thing of with a series on ” The Godfathers of Drum and Bass“. And if you look at that list you’ll see that even though almost all of the artists are from the UK, yet more than half of those artists have roots in other cultures. The genre started out from Reggae, Dub, and mostly dominant “black” music. It evolved, and other races weren’t shunned back then from producing and DJ-ing, let’s not start now.
As Sigma stated in “The Jungle“: “Jungle, It’s a worldwide sometin’, and a worldwide sometin’ big-big-big-big-big”.

2. The statement “X is of Y descent, and thus has no right to speak about Z”

This one is directly from Mistabishi’s FaceBook rant but is something heard over and over again, on a “Mr. Happy”-scale (or on a Supersharp-shooter-scale, for the older generation).
Let’s set 2 things straight:
1) Until we have some form of thought-police, everybody is entitled to an opinion, based on factual statement.
2) Racism (and any other form of derogatory or belittling speech, targeting an entire population without any form of factual basis) is the exception on that first statement. (Like saying Muslims are terrorists.)

When you deny someone’s right of existing, you don’t have the right to express that. With your actions you devalue whatever the other group has to say, diminishing every attempt at reasonable retort and portraying them as being less human than you.

When saying (in Mistabishi’s case) that Sadiq Khan shouldn’t be mayor of London, purely based off of heritage (even though the laws in your country allowed him to legally enter the race, and your democratic system allowed him to win), then you’re trying to nullify his opinions by reasons that are not only baseless, but also not supported by your country as a whole. Also in that same line, being the Trump-aficionado Mistabishi is, he must know that by his same logic the current POTUS (as every other POTUS in US history) is illegitimate as he and every president before him are not of American descent.

Even in Drum & bass, the title-statement holds up. Remember that time Teddy Killers didn’t know who Guv was? Remember when Guv Fans Demanded respect for their overlord? “Teddy Killers (X), who are Neurofunk producers (Y), should’ve kept their mouth shut about an artist from another subgenre they allegedly know nothing about. (Z)” Or remember when the same Teddy Killers said they’d make better Jump Up then most producers. (Decide for yourself.)

I’m having kindergarten flashbacks here.

3. Polarisation

When talking about polarisation I’m mostly referring to the practice of setting up the conversation as it’s us against them, with them being the most general description of a group as possible (ie. Muslims are terrorists). It’s a self-fullfilling prophecy of an easy way out. When you say your neighborhood is going to shambles because of all the muslims that live there, maybe it’s partially caused by constantly stigmatizing them. Push someone enough into a corner, until they believe that’s where they belong.
Everybody deserves the benefit of the doubt. That’s the hard way. The easy way is just being suspicious about everybody and everything all the time, locking yourself away behind a huge biggly wall (really, the best wall you’ve ever seen, everybody says so) and not sifting, but just blocking everything out. The hard way is taking chances, and learning from them. You can’t be part of something that’s  inclusive and at the same time not wanting to mix with everybody included based solely on prejudice.

 
Ending note: I’m actually more nihilistic in my personal views, but I can’t stand racism. It’s a view on life that can only end in pain and suffering. You are entitled to enjoy your life for as long as you live it, but not at the cost of someone else’s happiness. Nobody is special, don’t act that you are because of you being born and brought up the way you are.

 

 

If you, as me, are against racism, check out “Love music, Hate Racism“, a cause every junglist should stand behind. Shout out to them, Hospital records for doing the right thing, and junglists worldwide, who commented fiercely denouncing the words Mistabishi spewed. Also check out this interview on UKF with the people behind “Drum & Bass against racism”, and join their cause here.

Next time I’ll be tackling global warming, and stretch it out to be about Jungle, and the lack thereof. /s

Our picks for the Drum&BassArena Awards 2017.

Voting’s over! Here are our picks for the Drum&Bass Arena Awards 2017.

First of all, let me start by saying: big up to everyone who was nominated, you’ve all deserved the nomination, thousands of Junglists can’t be wrong, and every spot was well deserved! With that in mind, here are our picks for the Drum&BassArena awards 2017 (Remember, these are our picks, not our predictions, and whoever wins at the end of the night, it’ll be deserved):

Best DJ: DJ Marky

Also Nominated: A.M.C., Andy C, Camo & Krooked, Friction, Maduk, Mefjus, Muzzy, Noisia, Randall

Past Winners include: Andy C, only Andy C

DJ_Marky

After seeing him working the ones and twos a number of times last year, I’m more then happy to give this one to one-in-a-million Brazillian, DJ Marky. He turns spinning records into an artform, peppering it with scratches, double drops and that huge smile of his. His style can be considered oldschool, and his technique might not be always beatmatching perfect, but that only ads to the organic vibe in his sets.

Check out his sideways scratch-routine in the video below:

 


 

Best Producer: Camo & Krooked

Also Nominated: Mefjus, Muzzy, Noisia, Alix Perez, Break, Dimension, Hybrid Minds, S.P.Y., Serum

Past Winners include: Noisia, Camo & Krooked, Calyx & Teebee, High Contrast

Camo_Krooked

Releasing their Full album Mosaik this year, and further defining their sound, and their stamp on the genre, it’s hard not to pick these two Austrians. They’ve gone their own way, and without looking back have released one of the most original albums of the year.

The track “Ember” is one of the most feeling-packed and detailed productions in a while:

 


 

Best MC: MC Mota

Also Nominated: DRS, Dynamite MC, Eksman, Harry Shotta, Inja, MC Coppa, MC Daxta, MC Fava, SP:MC

Past Winners include: DRS, Dynamite, SP:MC, Skibadee

MC_Mota

This one might’ve been clouded by some good old patriotism, but everytime I see MC Mota on the roster of any event, I get a little giddy. I love the energy he brings on , and his wit and humor off the stage. He scored hits alongside James Marvel, June Miller and Kuuro.

Check his video, celebrating 5 years in the scene:

 


 

Best Vocalist: DRS

Also Nominated: Blake, Charli Brix, Charlotte Haining, Jenna G, Riya, Solah, Tasha Baxter, Tyler Daley, Veela

Past Winners include: DRS, Riya

DRS

A deep soulful voice with deep soulful lyrics, releasing his own EP and a single with Calibre, as well as the soul-tearing song “Angels Fall” with LSB, for the departed Marcus Intalex. DRS had a year of ups and downs, but soldiered through like only he can.

 


 

Best Newcomer: Benny L

Also Nominated: 1991, Dub Elements, Molly Collins, Monty, Pola & Bryson, QZB, T & Sugah, Tsuki, Whiney

Past Winners include:Signal, Maduk, Emperor, Skittles, Etherwood, Mefjus,…

Benny_L

I couldn’t begin to word it better than UKF did:

Benny is up there with Serum and Voltage as one of this year’s most distinctive bassline sculptors. Obscenely on-point and sonically mature beyond his years, his basslines don’t bang but groan and moan under heavy production pressure. Rolling like old oak furniture being charged across floorboards by a herd of elephants, wheezing like the last puffs being squeezed out of a giant titanium robot, they’re not of this world and remind us of that iced-out, weirdo feeling only drum & bass can conjure.

Check Goldie’s giddyness when dropping Low Blow in:

 


 

Best Label: Hospital Records

Also Nominated: Critical Music, Dispatch Recordings, Eatbrain, Liquicity Records, Low Down Deep Recordings, Mainframe Recordings, Ram Records, Shogun Audio, Spearhead Records

Past Winners include: Hospital records, Ram Records

Hospital

Seeing criticaly acclaimed releases from Royalston, S.P.Y., Hugh Hardie, Nu:Logic, Makoto and Fred V & Grafix, alongside their own “Hospitality in the park” and “We Are 21” compilation albums, Hospital Records surely had a busy year. They also held their first “Hospitality at the Docks”, as well as their second “Hospitality in the Park” and saw their podcast reach to 400+ episodes. Little labels put so much energy and positivity in their fanbase as these guys. Their at the top of their game at the moment, a moment that has been going on for some years now.

 


 

Best Newcomer Label: 1985

Also Nominated: Get Hype Records, High Tea Music, Impact Music, Mosaik Musik, Moshbit Records, Silhouette Audio, Slug Wife, Souped Up Records, The North Quarter

Past Winners include: Methlab, (last year was the first award)

1985

2017 was a good year for Alix Perez’s imprint, Releasing material by himself, his moniker Shades (with Eprom), Halogenix, and more, that fit that certain “Alix Perez vibe”. You”l know it when you hear it. We’re hoping to see new signings next year, whom will be undoubtedly by the same quality as this years.

 


 

Best Album: Chase & Status – Tribe

Also Nominated: Fred V & Grafix – Cinematic Party Music, Inward, Hanzo & Randie – Consistency of Error, Hybrid Minds – Elements, Wilkinson – Hypnotic, Camo & Krooked – Mosaik, BCee – Northpoint, Nu:Logic – Somewhere Between the Light, Whiney – Talisman, Black Sun Empire – The Wrong Room

Past Winners include: Noisia – Outer Edges, Mefjus – Emulation,…

Chase_status_tribes

Four years after their last full album Chase & Status are back with an absolute bang. They pull you trough a journey of styles and influences, starting off with the unapologetic huge and bombastic song “Big Man Skank“, nostalgically remembering their past (Smash TV, anyone?) in “Tribes“, and ending in the soon-to-be-classic “Know Your Name“, featuring the wonderful Seinabo Sey.

Check out the first single from the album:

 


 

Best Track: Benny L – Low Blow

Also Nominated: Dimension – Black Church, Halogenix – Blej, Bungle – Cocooned, June Miller, James Marvel & MC Mota – Dominator, The Prototypes – Electric, Camo & Krooked – Ember, John B – ENERGY, Whiney – Flashlight (ft. Inja), Turno – The Invaderz, Dub Elements – Invasion, Muzzy – Spectrum

Past Winners include: Mefjus – Suicide Bassline VIP, Noisia and The Upbeats – Dead Limit,…

Benny_L

That’s right, we’re giving Benny L two awards this year. Check the “Best Newcomer” and listen to the below video to see why.

 


 

Best Remix: Noisia – The Entangled (Camo & Krooked Remix)

Also Nominated: Technimatic – Bristol (Break Remix), Snails & Pegboard Nerds – Deep in the Night (Muzzy Remix), Noisia – Into Dust (Neonlight Remix), The Upbeats – Joyrider (Agressor Bunx Remix), Technimatic – Parallel (LSB Remix), The Upbeats – Say Go (Memtrix Remix), Sigma – Slow Down (ft. Jetta) (Calyx & TeeBee Remix), TC – Tap Ho (A.M.C Remix), Metrik – We Got It (ft. Rothwell) (S.P.Y Remix)

Past Winners include: Children of Zeus ft. DRS – Still Standing (Lenzman Remix),…

noisia_entangled_camo_krooked

Noisia had a busy year, after releasing their full album “Outer Edges” last year they later let that album evolve into a remix album and an awesome (in every sense of the word) Live Show.  That remix album showed us some quality remixes like Machinedrum’s original take on Get Deaded and our pick for best remix Camo & Krooked’s take on “The Entangled”, a track showing of both group’s excellent producing skills and combining their own unique sounds into a beautiful track. We wished they’d do more collaborations together.

 


 

Best Video: Noisia – Tentacles

Also Nominated: June Miller, James Marvel & MC Mota – Dominator, Dimension – Black Church, Camo & Krooked – Black or White (Ft. Tasha Baxter), Camo & Krooked – Good Times Bad Times, DRS – I Will (ft. Patife & Vangeliez), Camo & Krooked – If I Could (Ft. Joe Killington), Macky Gee & DJ Phantasy – Let It Shine VIP (Ft. Youngman), QZB – Revenant, Muzzy – Spectrum

Past Winners include: Noisia – Mantra, Netsky – Rio, Dub Phizix & Strategy – Buffalo Charge,…

Noisia_outer_edges

It’s not a big secret that Noisia likes to surround them with talented people, especialy when it comes for their videos. Remember such top-notch music-videos like “Tommy’s Theme“, last years winner “Mantra“, or the beautifully animated “Could This Be“. This time they worked with 3D designer and animation artist Chris Cousins to create this years Best Music Video, as wel as the visuals accompanying the track during their live shows.

 


 

Best Clubnight: Hospitality

Also Nominated: Andy C XOYO, Eatbrain, Fabriclive, High Tea Music, Liquicity, Mainframe, Rampage, Spearhead Presents, Switch! Vienna

Past Winners include: Fabric, Hospitality

hospitality

After the huge succes of “Hospitality in the Park” last year, they upped their game this year with not only the second edition of their park-bound festival, but also moved to London’s Tobacco Dock for “Hospitality in the Dock”. Their clubtours are legendary, hitting up cities like Berlin, Kyiv, Prague, Amsterdam, Chicago, Los Angeles, and many more , Hospitality remains one of the best and biggest clubnights in the business.

 


 

Best Festival: Let It Roll

Also Nominated: Rampage, Boomtown, Dub Elements & Friends, Hospitality in the Park, Innovation, Liquicity, Nu-Forms, Outlook, Pirate Station, Sun and Bass

Past Winners include: Let It Roll, Outlook

let-it-roll

Be it their summer or winter edition, Let It Roll is famously known for their high quality production, diverse line-ups and world famous opening shows. This year’s summer edition featured more than 330 artists on 9 stages making it the biggest Drum and Bass event in the world. Relive last years openingshow here:

 


 

Check out awards.breakbeat.co.uk for more information about the live event and previous winners.