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After spending several months immersed in electronic music, I am embarrassed to say that I was too generous in my past descriptions of Drum and Bass (DnB). At the time, I had been listening to a few artists who had DnB roots, and I had confused their innovative style with the entire genre. Unfortunately, the reality is that most DnB I’ve heard since was hardly as interesting.

The genre is characterized by the use of the amen break (more often than not), and while there are artists who succeed in making something interesting out of it (see London Elektricity), most do not (see random DnB remixes on Youtube). Another artist I feel does a good job is Chase & Status. I more or less “got in” to DnB off their song “End Credits” from the movie Harry Brown, and I still think that it is a good song and that they are a good DnB artist.

The thing that Chase & Status do that so many other DnB artists completely neglect is vary the beat. It is true that they’re all using the amen loop, but Chase & Status don’t hammer you with it. A lot of other artists I’ve heard since – and I feel the same way about jungle – suffer from the same problems as happy hardcore: the beat is too repetitive and it loses its flare after you’ve heard one song… but they keep reusing it exactly the same way. It’s disappointing, because there is a lot of potential in electronic music to keep things interesting. I will stick to the music less danced-to.

(By the way, did anyone notice that the DnB remix of “Party Rock Anthem” manages to be more dynamic than the actual song?)

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