I think so…
For those that don’t know, the genre “drum and bass” or “dnb” grew out of the Jungle that was prominent in the old school days.
The bpm got faster and the production more refined and less reliant on ragga based samples and grooves.
I didn’t follow this so much as I was more fond of the techno sides of things, and to be honest, the hardcore that absolutely dominated everything for awhile was not my cup of tea.
I did hear what LTJ Bukem was doing and appreciated it although again, it was not to my taste.
The term “intelligent” was applied to both techno and dnb and I really did not think it was that big of a progression as was made out.
There was much too dependancy of using jazz , a bit of bland ambient , and everyone was copying each other.
Despite it being an alternative to the dark and tense sounds, it lacked depth and real distinctive substance.
So I didn’t follow the intelligent scene closely, just watched from a distance.
Techno became trance and then trance became bland pop music.
Meanwhile, styles such as UK garage and dub step started to appear and the former did not interest me at all,
It was dub step that grabbed my attention for some years and I especially liked the addition of breakbeats to some tracks.
But then dubstep started getting repetitive, negative and totally absurd, to the point that you need an advanced microscope to detect any traces of dub or human feeling in that music!
The breakbeat influence led me to “future jungle”, which did not actually live up to its name, it was really just old wine in new bottles.
But I was definatly looking for breakbeat music that inspired and uplifted me.
Upon careful listening to Aural Imbalances “Legacy” album, I then started to perceive serious depth and purpose in the atmospheric dnb that he and his friends were creating.
The stuff that Bassflo and Ziyal, Blokone,Okee, Tidal and many others are putting out also impact in the same way.
You can hear very unique samples, instruments such as violins, synth drones, even pure soundscapes, come into play in these tracks.
Something distinct is happening within this small circle of excellent producers.
A greater amount of consideration as to content and overall impact/ depth within the tracks is being implemented.
Large doses of “intelligence” are being applied:)
Here are a bunch of producers, who , in front of our very eyes, are transforming, evolving a genre beyond what has been done with any other electronic style.
They are not calling it “future”, but “deep”, “atmospheric”, “artcore” etc…
Due to some SERIOUS developments in the style of Bassflo&Ziyal , as witnessed on their forthcoming “Timeless Travellers” album, and some of Aural Imbalances latest works too, I’m tempted to say that the words “drum and bass”, may actually be irrelevant!
Of course we need labels to reference, but when evolution takes place and new breeds manifest, new labels will of course be needed…
Recent discussions with some key people prove to me that I’m not alone in my thoughts!
We are going deeper, and very fast. I’d say in one year from now that the collective intelligence of these amazing artist might well readdress the balance on our dance floors and radio shows/ podcasts and as such, more positive sound vibrations will dominate once again.
I know that I’m enjoying a renewed sense of personal discovery mixing this music in my podcasts and its surprising me like anything. I’m even trying my hand at producing it.
It’s a challenge but very worth it, to create soundscapes and add breaks is quite the experiment:)
On that note, I feel we are experiencing a serious experimental phase within deep dnb. It’s exciting and exactly what the doctor ordered:)
To my producer, record label and Dj friends, thanks so much for letting me get on this train! It’s rewarding and a very smooth ride…
I just have one request- don’t stop going deeper…I think you can actually uplift and unify a lot of people via this music 🙂