In the wonderful world of DeeEnnBee, it’s no secret that generally things revolve around high tempos and lots and lots of crashing – like the Michael Bay of music genres. But, you know, not shit. However, within this harsh, rocky desert of sound, there exists a strange oasis, which is often just about the last thing you think of when you imagine a drum and bass sound: liquid DnB.
Characterised mostly by having a much more swooping, gentle sound with more melodies and ambient samples, liquid DnB is the calm, hypnotic sea to the rest of the torrential DnB ocean. First named at the turn of the millenium in DnB DJ Fabio’s collection “liquid funk” (a term considered interchangeable with liquid DnB), the genre’s early tracks were quite unlike those of today, with more obvious early music influences – check out Who Has The Jazz on Fabio’s Liquid Funk collection.
It took a little longer for the genre to really catch on, but in ’03 and ’04 it experienced a sudden rush of popularity. By ’05 and ’06, it unexpectedly found itself one of the best-selling subgenres of DnB. Tracks such as Shapeshifter’s Electric Dream (which earns the Music Lessons Award for Best Synth) helped cement this, along with slightly earlier release Spacejam from Logistics.
“LIQUID DnB IS THE CALM HYPNOTIC SEA TO THE TORRENTIAL DnB OCEAN”
From ’07 onwards, Liquid DnB’s popularity was cemented, and it hasn’t really left the spotlight since. In ’07, the famous Kiss Kiss Bang Bang from High Contrast was released, taking electronic music charts around the world by storm. Late-night Radio 1 listeners from a few years ago (I can’t have been the only one!) may also recall such names as Mistabishi and his No Matter What, while British name Chase & Status pounded out Blind Faith. The former even made it on to daytime radio.
Fortunately for current enthusiasts, the scene is far from dead. Netsky is a recent big hitter – just a few weeks ago at the time of writing, he put out Rio, while promising new figure on the scene Maduk collaborated with Veela to put out Ghost Assassin, which in turn kinda reminds me of (off-topic blast from the past) that old Linkin Park vid with the robots.
In short, Liquid DnB may have a short timeline, but it’s nothing short of a vibrant one with a really fun sound, and if the parties you attend are any fun, they might sound kinda familiar too. Check it out.