drum and bass history interesting facts

Do You Know The Origins of Drum and Bass?

February 6, 2019

So, you know your Drum and Bass but do you know of its origins?

DnB is an offshoot of breakout hardcore that emerged from the jungle scene in the early 90s in the UK. The popular electronic dance music genre with its heavy bass and fast breakouts mixed with techno went on to further branch out into sub-genres. It’s also possibly one of the most exciting genres to emerge from the UK in recent times.

But how and when did it start?

In the early 1990s, the permutation of music gave birth to a genre of music called “jungle” that derived from hardcore rave. With its high-tempo beats and heavy baselines mixed with reggae, the genre made its way to pirate radios and raves, quickly progressing to have a cult following of “junglists”.

Over time the genre grew and fused in more elements from other musical genres like ragamuffin, dancehall, and complex breakout percussions. However the rise of violence, drugs and gang culture was often related to the aggressive sounds of Jungle which led music producers to move away. This gave birth to Drum and Bass.

Refined and more technically sophisticated, this jazz-influenced genre made its way to airwaves across the UK and gained mainstream appeal. It is believed that Meat Beat Manifesto’s “Radio Babylon”, is probably the first drum and bass record.

But, who were the godfathers of DnB?

Early pioneers include Shy FX, Andy C, Krust, DJ Hype, DJ SS, Fabio, Grooverider, Goldie, LTJ Bukem, Jack Smooth, Omni Trio, Rebel MC, Soul Slinger, DJ Special K (USA) and Rob Playford. Most of them used Akai samplers and sequencers on the Atari ST which are a fundamental backbone of this fascinating and original genre.


To break it down furthermore, we’ve gathered some interesting facts about DnB.

1. Despite its various cultural cues and inspiration, Drum and Bass is  the only music genre to be made in the UK.

2. The DnB scene keeps evolving and has found sub-genres across the world. From Germany to Japan, the genre appeals to everyone!

3. Rock icon David Bowie also did an album called ‘Earthling’ which was partly inspired by DnB, however it wasn’t really taken well.

4. Drum and Bass was used as bedding music for adverts like Specsavers, Ford Focus and Pantene Pro V. Interesting!

6. The Italian Job soundtrack composed by Photek, is also a Drum ‘n’ Bass track.

Tune in to Drive Time with Lucy on Dance FM for the latest in music and more.


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