Drum and Bass Culture

Discussion in 'Drum & Bass' started by SMDtheMC, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. SMDtheMC

    SMDtheMC Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2009
    Messages:
    417
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    In the recent thread about what's quality hiphop I got into a bit of a tangent of how hiphop culture came to be how it is today...basically in summation a divide started in 96 between true school backpacker types that focused on the culture of hiphop an unwritten code of sorts Vs. Shiny Coat more ignorant brand of hiphop that was more concerned with making money off of the music; and the shiny coat cats ended up winning commercially which basically led to its current state of affairs....
    What I wanted to talk about was if there is a parallel in Drum and Bass.
    Both genres are similar in that they were started by the DJ/ Producer and eventually added MCs as a compliment to the DJ, however, with hiphop eventually the MC surplanted the DJ in importance; is this happening with Drum and Bass? I am A. from America and B. relatively new to Drum and Bass so I am a bit ignorant on this part of Drum and Bass.
    Of what I do know, is when General Levy did his track back in the early 90s, he was frowned on, and seen as a leech to the drum and bass culture; and I like that, I see a parallel there being he's making jungle because "its what's hot right now" and he was thus shunned by the real junglists...
    is this still how the culture is? Is this why Chase and Status is hated on recently?
    And furthermore is this anti-commercialism necessary in order for a music to retain it's essence?
    Are the sub-genres in Drum and Bass not only a reflection on the actual sound but also the listener of the sound? i.e. Crunk hiphop fans are considered more ignorant and Underground hiphop fans are considered nerds...is there a parallel with Jump Up and Liquid?

    Basically I'm making this thread as a discussion on Drum and Bass culture, not just the music but the fans etc; take this as an opportunity to give your analysis or views on where it's going where it should be going, where it could've gone; what's right what's wrong, and how you feel about it...
     
  2. CRoOK

    CRoOK Audio Artillery

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Messages:
    1,984
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    Watford
    fuck me, an intelligent, thought provoking thread. im gonna have to seriously consider my answer SMD...
     
  3. CRoOK

    CRoOK Audio Artillery

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Messages:
    1,984
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    Watford
    fuck me, an intelligent, thought provoking thread. im gonna have to seriously consider my answer to do your question justice SMD...
     
  4. D BREAKNECK

    D BREAKNECK 7 years on top

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2002
    Messages:
    1,978
    Likes Received:
    7
    Good idea and can see what you're thinking, but I don't know where the General Levy being frowned upon bit comes from (I'm happy to be proved wrong), but from what I remember (and I wasn't massively into the scene at that time, but was listening to the music, & very aware of Incredible when it came out).

    Everything was newer, not compartmentalised, and all sorts of influences and music (Jungle, hardcore & house) were getting played out at raves and on pirates and were kinda feeding off each other, i.e. no elitism, just exciting changes / evolution in music.

    Incredible was massive when it came out and embraced for showing what was possible, no-one (that I knew of) was saying 'oh no it's charted and gone mainstream', they were saying 'jungle's coming and it's taking over!'
     
  5. Fes Rock

    Fes Rock Nothing..........

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2005
    Messages:
    15,258
    Likes Received:
    138
    Location:
    U WOT M8?
    I think the greatest explanation to your question would be Dnb remains underground, when hip hop started getting "shiny coat" was when the underground separated from the radio. You see this happening with DNB in respects of, say. Ram records or Sub focus getting prime time airplay. I mean, good for them. But...Its a bit to commercial sounding for me. I really hope that Dnb does not go the way of hip hop when it fell to its seperation. This will probably happen eventually. I just think this music i love so much needs to remain underground for it to thrive like it is right now. Took hip hop like 5+ years to start getting better.

    Right around 97 i got into dnb as a secondary input of music to Hip hop. Now i love hip hop again almost as much as i love Dnb.

    I'd also like to Ad that i think DNb is the healthiest its been in YEARS right now.


    (disclaimer I HATE JUMP UP)
     
  6. SMDtheMC

    SMDtheMC Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2009
    Messages:
    417
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    The reason I said that was I watched some BBC special on Jungle, and it aired around that time, and I remember seeing Shy FX and Brockie maybe? saying they see him as basically an opportunist, and just figured that was the general p.o.v. on the matter
    but this is part of why I started this thread, I'm admittedly ignorant on some of the history and culture, and since I'm falling in love with the shit, I wanna kinda get some background...
     
  7. D BREAKNECK

    D BREAKNECK 7 years on top

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2002
    Messages:
    1,978
    Likes Received:
    7
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Levy

    Just checked on wiki, says backlash was about his magazine comment 'I run jungle' (which I know Shy FX would take offense to) rather than referring to the tracks he was making.

    :)

    Good thread anyway...
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2010
  8. dj_bmc

    dj_bmc Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2009
    Messages:
    149
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Here and there
    u can draw parallels between all types of underground music, u get a healthy movement and certain ppl will try to encapsulate the energy of the scene in a commercially viable product, mc or no mc.
     
  9. SMDtheMC

    SMDtheMC Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2009
    Messages:
    417
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    See what I wonder about this is, when Hiphop was going commercial the worst thing were the lyrics, and what they were about; I don't think the beats were a huge part (other than Puffy's blatant ripping offs of popular 80s tracks)
    So while someone going commercial in DnB, still has the stigma of selling out (which will happen whenever you become monetarily wealthy off of art) I don't see how this can necessarily be held against the artist, it's not like he's saying ignorant things, he's made a sound that more people like;
    is it a blatant change of pace from what he previously made in an effort to gain popular acclaim? or is he just making really good music and more people like it?
    If the answer is the latter than I can't see a real reason to fault him, if anything he should be praised for carrying the scene further...
    The problem people had with commercial hiphop in 96 wasn't the fact that it was commercial, but rather how it was representing the culture to the larger audience.
    So in summation, hating on someone for blowing up just because the person has blown up and for no other reason seems childish.
     
  10. dj_bmc

    dj_bmc Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2009
    Messages:
    149
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Here and there
    u get a thanks for this statement here.
     
  11. SMDtheMC

    SMDtheMC Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2009
    Messages:
    417
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    I mean that is the obvious logic, because if something's commercially successful that means more money, which means more jobs, and overall more opportunity for the genre and the people who love it. However, on the flipside the old mantra "Mo Money Mo Problems" (ironically one of Puffy and Big's biggest hits) with more money you bring in corporate types who could give a fuck about the art and only see a product; so they try to identify what product seems to sell the best and emulate it, which leads to less innovation and an eventual stagnation of the art....What I would love to see with drum and bass is a nice balance; but I guess that seems like a "have your cake and eat it to" type of pipe dream...

    Can a genre become commercially successful and retain it's innovation and essense? History of all genres points to no; however, there are definitely cycles and some music can reinvent itself i.e. rock and roll
     
  12. Subjekt Music

    Subjekt Music Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    Messages:
    8,769
    Likes Received:
    577
    As long as you know the difference between Andy C and Jumping Jack Frost....
     
  13. Gumby

    Gumby New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2006
    Messages:
    6,208
    Likes Received:
    10
    this discussion doesnt contain enough syrup or cream to be considered waffle.

    thread moved to general.
     
  14. EWOKS

    EWOKS POTATOES GONNA POTATE

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    Messages:
    7,400
    Likes Received:
    360
    Location:
    Portsmouth
    thats a shame .. i was expecting something abit different in waffle for a change.

    i think there could of been a half intelligent thread goin in waffle.

    i think it would of done well in there..

    or can we double it and have it in waffle aswell. im scared venturing this far, i feel like some generals gunna bugger me in the dark
     
  15. D BREAKNECK

    D BREAKNECK 7 years on top

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2002
    Messages:
    1,978
    Likes Received:
    7
    I thanked you for that too.

    I remember hearing Snoop doin his 1st UK radio interview just after DoggyStyle came out in 93 (which was biggest selling debut rap album ever at the time and paved the road for commercialism, still a sick record). He was so modest, just talking about his music and how he was talking about his life, had no idea he was gonna be a millionaire mega-star.

    UK at least it was Snoop and Cypress Hill blowing up that paved the way for the Hiphop cash money, (not dismissing them in any way, they made their sound and lots of people loved it) maybe Pendulum & C&S (& Hazard for the jump up) are the DnB comparision?...
     
  16. SMDtheMC

    SMDtheMC Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2009
    Messages:
    417
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    as long as I know the difference than what?

    and yea, of course besides the obvious visual difference, I'm under the impression JJ Frost is a bit more old school....
    I could be wrong there, but I'll admit I'm ignorant to alot of it's history...
    But that's why I made this thread, since first dipping my toes in the proverbial drum and bass pool I've decided to jump in, which I've done over the past year and a half by actively participating and learning more as I go along; but there's only so much you can learn through reading and talking to people at shows etc. (i.e. going to Innovation in the Sun this past summer was probably the greatest week I've ever had and I learned a ton) so I'm just actively trying to continue my education, and thereby invoke some new thought out of the experts, because they say teaching is the greatest form of continued education, I figured it could help us all out
     
  17. SMDtheMC

    SMDtheMC Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2009
    Messages:
    417
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Definitely could be, because at the time there was a contingent in NY the really hated on Snoop and Dre because the sound was different, and it wasn't that classic "NY" hiphop sound; but at the same time it was respected by most because it was actually good music; and that's what helped the NY area step it up and ushered in what I would consider hiphop's silver era 94-96 (88's the golden era) where there was tons of innovation and originality and just great music (a point I see DnB at, because there is so many different flavors and many of them good; the only thing is I really don't have the perspective to say) 96 was the commercial breaking point because the whole shiny coat crew basically bit their sound from the west coast (the song Big Poppa had the whiny synths of a classic Dre track) and before that "biting" or "copying" was considered a cardinal sin; and when they became successful through biting there was a paradigm shift where the people who were of a weaker moral structure but wouldn't bite because they feared the consequences, now saw that biting was tolerated and profitable...so I would say we just have to watch out for the guy who starts blowing up because they steal producer X's style and act like it's theirs
     
  18. bluenote

    bluenote Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2009
    Messages:
    344
    Likes Received:
    0
    The problem with that is, that just because more people like it, it doesnt make it good/better music. you can just look at the pop charts for that, because surely the most popular tunes by britney spears or whoever else, are not better then many many songs that are less popular.

    The truth is also in the music, you listen to an old chase and status song like duppy man, and then listen to many of their new tunes, and the older style just smacked it. The same can be said for subfocus with tunes like druggy, the moment he made timewarp he went down hill in my eyes. I allowed airplane, never got that tune.

    Anyway, dnb mirrors hiphop in some respects, but hip hop always had a mass audience in the black and latino culture of america from when it started. It quickly grew to disregard colour completely, and then became massive.

    Dnb never had a huge following or real target audience from the start, if anything it could have only be as big an audience as the dance culture allowed, which wasn't big back then. That audience has grown, but no where near the rate of hip hop. We are only starting to see the real divide in dnb now, or from the days pendulum came big. There were other divides, but nothing big (the 'intelligent' bukem movement, then the liquid thing), everything was still underground. Its only just starting to grow really.
     
  19. SMDtheMC

    SMDtheMC Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2009
    Messages:
    417
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Well hiphop started as just another form of dance music and people gave it no chance to last more than 10 years; it was through innovation and people taking chances that it grew and became bigger than dance music at the time...
    But that was through support, Run DMC was wildly successful, and some frowned on the Hard Rock samples in their music but the music was still good and largely supported, however, this was a different era in music as a whole without the internet anything you heard unless it was local was essentially commercial, so it's tough to draw comparisons there....but I don't feel the miopic view of it can only be as big as dance music, I personally feel that it has the potential to be larger if the right steps are taken moving forward and alot of that has to do with collective support for the greater good of the genre rather than infighting. You might not like the particular brand Subfocus makes, but if they get big enough or any other artist it can create lanes for your favorite style to get bigger.
    and yea I agree that Pop music isn't necessarily good music, but it's not necessarily bad either, pop music mainly has to do with marketing, and if you can prove your music is worth marketing it can be pop; but that's a whole nother conversation
    as far as CnS, I've heard there old stuff only after hearing there new stuff; and I'd say I like both sounds equally, if not liking the newer stuff better because it's probably better produced; i think that they grew as artists if anything, unless you can point to someone or thing they stole to make their new sound I can't really agree with your argument there other than it sounds like you feel alienated that they switched from the style you like, but if artists don't grow than its tough for them to continue being innnovative
     
  20. bluenote

    bluenote Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2009
    Messages:
    344
    Likes Received:
    0
    That is one of the most pretentious things I've heard on this forum. You sound like a bit of a knob.

    I never liked c+s enough to feel alienated that they changed, and my tastes change as better music gets made.

    The thing is, every artist 'grows,' but it doesn't make the music better. Yes the production value may be better, but I dislike the concept of putting production over musicality. As chase and status 'grew' the music went downhill bar a few tracks. I don't hate on chase and status anyway, I've got a few 12"s of theirs.