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.

The five best playlists for discovering new tracks.

It’s a list of lists!

5. Spotify’s “Massive Drum and Bass” Playlist

Spotify_300x300_massive-drum-and-bass-1-10c51a140f

Updated weekly, with some sporadic guest selections.
Past Takeovers by:
Camo & Krooked
Fred V & Grafix
London Electricity
DJ Fresh
Goldie
DJ Hazard & DJ Hype
to name just a few. These takeovers tend to be used primarily as a marketing tool for the producer in question, which is fine, but expect them to be heavily peppered with tracks of the person(s) in question.


4. I-Witness’s upload list on YouTube

I-Witness

A walking and talking D’n’B encyclopedia hailing from Belgium, posts classics, rare gems, and new stuff. He also regularly opens his treasure chest of old-school sets on his Mixcloud page.
You can also check out his knowledge live when he spins the decks under his own moniker I-Witness, or with his pal The Nitrous as  “The Nitwits”. Expect a trip through memory lane! Check his Youtube out HERE.


3. Podcasts.

Noisia-Radio

I’m not going to favour one podcast over the other here, instead I’m just going to post the ones I follow, and that are updated regularly. All these can be found in your favorite podcast app, mine is Pocketcasts for android, but you do you.
IT’S TIME FOR A LIST INSIDE A LIST:

  • Noisia Radio (Hosted by Noisia, obviously)
  • Hospital Podcast (Hosted by London Electricity)
  • Critical Podcast (Hosted by various Critical DJ’s/Producers)
  • Drum And Bass HQ (Hosted by J Swiff)
  • Night Grooves (Hosted by Intelligent Manners)

 


2. UKF on YouTube

ukf

Yeah, Yeah, I know. You can’t search for a Drum and Bass song on youtube without running into a UKF video. This one should be a no-brainer. The main reason they land so high on this list is because of the exclusives. They tend to get the bangers first. Also check out their website for news and interviews.

Honnorable mentions in the same line go to Skank&Bass, and NeurofunkGrid, and Drum&Bass Arena.


1. Going to Raves and Festivals

Rave

It’s all about the music, so why not get educated in its natural habitat? Heard a track you like? Record it on your smartphone in the lowest resolution (to save space) and then spam Facebook groups or DJ’s with the magic words “ID PLS”.

But seriously, do your own research, if you hear a tune in a set that you don’t recognise, even after depleting the previous options, chances are that it’s unreleased, or just a remix that the DJ in question made to better match the vibe of his sets or style of DJ-ing.
Don’t be afraid to ask someone if he recognises it, just don’t be obnoxious about it.

 


Bonus point. The new I ❤ Drum and Bass playlist on Spotify, Curated by all the major labels.

Ilovednbspotify

 

This one was released along with the following (quite long) statement:

I  ❤️️ DRUM & BASS represents an unprecedented act of unity and a coming together of Drum & Bass labels from all over the world. An acknowledgement of the genre’s diversity and multifaceted strengths by creating a definitive musical resource, a constantly updated playlist from all the scenes label’s and artists.

Spanning all sub-genres and being inclusive of all participating labels and artists ranging from RAM, Hospital, Technique, Viper, Breakbeat Kaos, Formation & Playaz’s, Liquicity, Eatbrain, Exit and Critical.. and that’s just for starters!

The concept emerged in October 2017 on a special message board originally set up to celebrate Grooverider’s birthday, with DJ Fresh sparking a conversation about the importance of adapting to and embracing streaming platforms. This line of thinking inspired Simon Bassline Smith to come up with the concept of a definitive drum & bass playlist for everyone’s music to feature on as soon as it’s released. A playlist with all forms of drum & bass from across the globe, self-organised by the scene itself and curated by the labels, with each label picking 1 track per week to be included.

A project with no political or corporate agenda, that exists purely to provide a home for the sounds of this global movement. A place where fans of the genre can explore the diverse sonic landscape of the music they love, or for those who want to explore the genre to immediately have access to the full spectrum. Without the bias of major label ownership and curation.

Driven by the strength of the idea, soon a core following of Dan (DJ Fresh), Simon Bassline Smith, Mickey Finn, Grooverider, Brendan Futurebound and DJ SS excitedly invited label heads from all over the world into a telegram chat room and I  ❤️️ Drum & Bass was born.

Hundreds of players and labels have come together and committed to the concept from across the scene to bring you a place where the latest music is added daily by all the labels and artists you love. Including long-running institutions, hype and fresh labels and also niche imprints. Even unsigned releases and Drum & Bass releases from outside the traditional Drum & Bass labels are represented.

I  ❤️️ Drum & Bass represents an evolving attitude in one of the most consistent and present genres of club music, bringing a new unity and energy to the table that’s set to invigorate the genre and inspire the world of music.

We need your help to spread the word. So please get on Facebook / Twitter/ Instagram / Snapchat and help us spread the message #I ❤️️Drum&BassOnSpotify

I  ❤️️ Drum & Bass is at… http://bit.ly/iluvdrumandbass

It just released as I’m writing this piece (it’s also what made me think about this topic), so it has yet to prove its merrits, but it looks as if this one is a must-follow for everyone on Spotify.

 

Got a better way to discover new stuff? Let us know in the comments!