(Written By Dave Jenkins)
Few genres owe as much to vinyl as drum & bass / jungle. A scene thrust to the very fringes of the forefront by wax, both technically and sonically, every blistering breakbeat, bruising bass and suckerpunch drop you experience within drum & bass exists because of the scene’s once-ruthless dedication to the dubplate.
Rewind to the mid 90s: the UK-born, globally renowned genre is a technological nuclear arms race as young pioneers such as Adam F, Andy C, Grooverider, Ed Rush & Optical, Fresh and many more elite D&B marksmen all swap tactics and battle weapons at London cutting houses. Big bad business behind closed doors, plates would pass hands on a need-to-know basis. Only the best tracks would command dubplate status and only the best of the best would continue to enjoy full releases months later… The benchmark raising on every plate.
While dubplate culture is no longer an influence, its ethos remains tattooed to the drum & bass psyche. Extreme levels of quality are demanded by both peers and fans alike as the genre continues to mutate, morph and move into a cold new future. A future that’s been documented and celebrated in minute detail by Drum&BassArena since 1996.
It is about that time for the annual Drum&BassArena compilation and this year, ahead of the main release, we have an extra special, 100 per cent exclusive gatefold presentation. Released on April 18, Record Store Day 2015, the 180g double-vinyl package presents the 12 exclusives made especially for Drum&BassArena 2015. Only 1000 have been pressed, each one hand numbered: They will not be available on any other format until the full album drops eight days later.
Bulging with crucial, contemporary cuts from every corner of the low-end loving globe, the collection explores the genre’s fullest of spectrums: from silky smooth dub to gritty exercises galvanised with sounds so stark and outer-planetary they could charm aliens themselves, talents behind these uncompromising tracks range from some of the most exciting new names (L 33, Zombie Cats, Funk Effect, Dub Motion) to straight-up scene legends (Total Science, Mark System, KG, Bladerunner).
12 tracks from the most exciting names in the game: from dubplates to documentation, this Drum&BassArena Record Day special will not be repressed or repeated again. Reserve your piece of history by embracing the future on a heavyweight heritage format today.
A1: BTK, Maztek & Optiv – Footprint
A2: Dub Motion – Buss It Up
A3: Bladerunner – Dream Sequence
B1: Total Science – BS9
B2: A.M.C & Six Blade – Posse
B3: L 33 – Jailbreak
C1: Mark System – It’s You
C2: Mindscape Feat. Coppa – Most Wanted
C3: KG – Unbroken
D1: Funk Effect – Devil Dance (Locuzzed Remix)
D2: Zombie Cats Feat. MC Kryptomedic – Life After Death
D3: Livewire & Soul Method – Hologram
Pre-order the album here.
Written by Dave Jenkins