In celebration of our versus campaign we count down the ten most influential names in D&B, these are the Masters of Drum & Bass
Widely regarded as one of the most important production groups in the genre’s rich history, Bad Company produced a new sound of drum & bass in the early 2000’s which still sounds as fresh as today as it did 14 years ago. DJ Fresh, dBridge, Maldini and Vegas created a lasting legacy with their huge snares and cutting edge bass, forming signature hits such as "The Nine", "Planet Dust", "4 Days" and "Nitrous". Having split back in 2005 their prestigious back catalogue continues to get rewound across drum & bass nights throughout the world.
Starting at the tender age of 19, DJ Fresh began his musical career as the frontman of renowned drum & bass group, Bad Company, who NME dubbed “the Wu-Tang Clan of drum and bass”. Since then he has carved out a successful career as a producer, label boss and solo artist, not to mention scoring two No.1 hits with “Louder” and “Hot Right Now” – the UK's first dubstep and drum and bass No.1's respectively. Now, having sold over 2 million records with two UK No.1 singles to his name, DJ Fresh continues to rule the airwaves and the dancefloors with his recent top five hits “Earthquake” and “Dibby Dibby Sound”.
A true pioneer of the liquid drum & bass sound, Calibre has been at the forefront of the scene since 1995. Releasing on the most distinguished labels, including his own Signature Recordings, Calibre’s distinctive sound has progressed taking on elements of jazz, funk, dub and techno whilst losing none of its soul. As a DJ he is famed for his deep and musical sets that feature a heavy percentage of his original productions, much of it never to be heard again. It’s no surprise that artists and DJs across the electronic music spectrum praise Calibre for restoring their faith in drum & bass as a vital musical force.
Calyx & Teebee
To drum & bass fans the world over the names Calyx & TeeBee are synonymous with high quality, perfectly sculpted music. The duo formed a close friendship in the early 2000s and musical collaborations followed soon after, with their tracks "Follow The Leader" and "Cyclone" appearing on Calyx’s album No Turning Back, released on Moving Shadow in 2005. Fast forward a few years and the duo had released two collaborative albums – Anatomy on their own label Momentum Recordings in 2007 and All or Nothing on RAM Records in 2012. The respected duo destroy dancefloors worldwide with their intricate six-deck sermons. More forward-thinking and packed with as much integrity and energy as ever, their music continues to have a peerless impact on drum & bass. Catch the duo at Ministry of Sound on Saturday 29th November
One of the most celebrated DJs on the planet, regardless of genre, Andy C is quite simply a superstar. As a DJ he is firmly at the top, playing every major club and arena on the planet. His production work is another story altogether, starting off in his teens he created the rave classic “Dance The Dream” as Desired State before starting his own label Ram Records, initially a small outlet of his and his friends' production work, nothing would prepare him for the reaction his 1993 release “Valley of The Shadows”, his first as Origin Unknown. The record literally blew the scene apart and became an instant classic. Since then Andy hasn’t looked back and has continued to be a major player in a scene where acts and DJs come and go on an almost daily basis. He has cemented himself as one of drum & bass’s most talented and enduring figureheads.
Brighton raised, multi award winning, Friction is one of the most revered and recognised names in bass music today, having risen steadily through the ranks since the 1990’s as arguably the most adept and most ferocious DJ/producer in the scene. Whilst DJ’ing all over the world every weekend and heading up the juggernaut record label Shogun Audio, Friction has achieved much commercial success but always keeps his feet firmly on the ground.
With a history of critically acclaimed releases on legendary labels , Belgian born Alix Depauw is the face behind production stature Alix Perez, now regarded as one of the most ground breaking and innovative producer-DJ of his generation. Alix’s remarkable debut album 1984 on Friction’s Shogun Audio strayed from the traditional confines of drum & bass and was one of the most highly rated electronica albums of 2009 and beyond, gaining extraordinary reviews and extensive support globally.
High Contrast is a name that needs no introduction. Signed on the strength of his mini-disc demos, the Welsh wonder has smashed his way through the D&B scene and has become one of its iconic and much respected heroes. With the gargantuan single “If We Ever” still heard all over the radio and at drum & bass nights all over the globe, he is sitting firmly at dance music’s top table. Catch him headlining The Box at Ministry of Sound on Saturday 29th November
Ed Rush & Optical
When dropping their immense debut, Wormhole, Ed Rush & Optical unleashed upon the world an album that would inspire thousands of copycat producers and spawn an entire generation of artists who, even a decade later, would still strive to come close to that Virus sound. The pioneering duo have confirmed their place as one of the leading producers in the realms of drum & bass elite.
There are few producers on the drum’n’bass scene who are as respected and revered as Dillinja. With his trademark combination of dirty stomach-churning bass lines and tighter than tight beats, his reputation has been secured as one of the most influential producers in drum & bass history. With a DJ/production career stretching back almost two decades, it’s remarkable that he’s almost as legendary for his famous Valve Soundsystem as he is his tunes – Dillinja is a bass specialist, in every sense.
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Check back over the coming weeks for more exclusive Ministry of Sound Versus features and videos.
30 Oct 2014