Drum and bass, often abbreviated as DnB, is best described as a type of electronic music defined by fast breakbeats (usually between 160 and 180 BPM), heavy bass and sub-bass lines, often combined with synthesizers. DnB derived from breakbeat hardcore, a genre made popular by the 1990s UK rave scene.
DnB takes its influences from many musical genres, including reggae and dub, spanning a number of subgenres itself, such as breakcore, jungle, hardstep, darkstep, neurofunk, liquid funk, and sambass.
The history of DnB music stars as early as 1991, when the breakbeat rave scene welcomed a type of music that toned down the heavy sampling and hardcore effects, leaving room for more bassline.
Back then, a major influence was reggae music, which brought to the light a subgenre called hardcore jungle. Another subgenre, darkcore, also emerged during the early 1990s, with songs being heavily infused with dark-themed samples from horror movies, as well as synthesizer notes, pitch shifting and time stretching. Both of these subgenres are considered precursors of drum and bass and helped popularize the genre.
Around 1995, many jungle producers started moving away from the genre and started creating what is now know as drum and bass. In time, drum and bass started being more polished and sophisticated, a change that helped popularize the genre between ’95 and ’97.
As the name recalls, the most important elements of DnB music are drum elements and bass elements. For drum elements, early pioneers of the genre used Akai samplers and sequencers, creating their tracks on the legendary Atari ST computers. The Roland TR-808 drum machine was also used for its kick drum. The bassline of DnB songs is perhaps the most important element of the genre, deep sub-bass music lines being physically felt when listened to on powerful sound systems.
The DnB genre still remains relatively underground, with only a small number of record labels dominating the scene. Amongst the most well-known labels are RAM Records, established in 1992 by Andy C, Virus Recordings, established by Optical and Ed Rush, and Hospital Records, owned by Tony Colman (London Elektricity).
Jungle Drum and Bass Music
Jungle DnB, or simply jungle, hit mainstream success in the early 1990s, being a recognizable element of the youth subculture back then. Those who listened to jungle called themselves junglists, with many songs using the term, or calling the audience jungle soldiers.
Artists that heavily influenced the jungle drum and bass scene are King Tubby, Lee Perry, Mad Professor and Bob Marley, an influence that can be observed even today, with jungle being one of the most popular subgenres of DnB. Many DnB songs today still feature ragga vocals. Amongst the pioneers of jungle are considered Shy FX, T Power and Serial Killaz.
Royalty Free Music Drum and Bass
If you are looking to buy Drum and Bass royalty free music, either for inspiration, or simply to give a distinct feeling to your project, don’t hesitate to take a look at the songs listed on this page.