Drum and Bass has been with us for around twenty years, being awarded the credit it deserved the mid-90s.
Real D’n’B has remained as that dusty niggling thought in the back of the stereotypical music lovers mind, and as a result it’s made its way back underground. Luckily there is something standing by with the potential to be the next big thing. Future Garage.
“It’s kind of like an artsy version of garage” says Jason Leech, DJ. “It’s not just beats and bass, it’s got more to it – electro soul and vocals samples. It really is just two genres slammed together.”
The turntable is a familiar environment for Jason Leech who has a sturdy grounding in the DJ industry, after co-hosting monthly night Audiosquid (Hitchin, Hertfordshire) and having toured the UK. Leech will be going solo over the summer and headlining at Club 85, alongside acclaimed garage artist, Sully.
“There are quite a few emerging artists and DJ’s in the Future Garage scene, although a lot of them don’t particularly favour its title. Big names to look out for include: VVV, Jack Dixon, Jamie Grinds, Kidnap Kid, Disclosure and above all Dark Sky – they’re really smashing it.
“Although there are seemingly quite a few established artists, it’s very much in its infancy in the same way that Dubstep had that big push – Future Garage is still on the rise. I can see it getting much bigger, it’s doing really well.”
Another big contender to look out for is ‘Moombahton’ – an amalgamation of moombah and reggaeton. Moombahton was established in 2009 in the US by DJ Dave Nada, and is in essence a slowed down version of Dutch and electro fused house. Nada arrived at a gig expecting to play his usual house and club, but found that his audience were currently enjoying reggaeton and bachata. To combat this Nada slowed the music he planned to play to between 108-112 bpm, and after mixing with drum and percussion elements he had unconsciously stumbled upon, and invented moombahton.
“It’s something that’s really beginning to pick up speed over here [UK] now, and it’s definitely something to look out for” comments Leech.
In light of how much contemporary vinyl sales have slumped in past years, due to their increasing price, Leech goes on to talk about new emerging technology for DJ’s: “‘Serato’ is a time coding vinyl to computer software that allows the user to manipulate mp3 tracks and use them through the decks, as you would vinyl. A lot of DJ’s that have developed their style and technique through vinyl usage have recently lost the physical hands on relationship with the equipment. This helps the musical feel that all artists require to mix, however, this is just one of two leading software brands in the industry and I’m more of a ‘Traktor’ man.
“Vinyl is expensive to produce, and as a result expensive to purchase current produce. Keeping your content current is obviously key and these types of software help dramatically.”
As the title suggests, the Underground scene will never make it to mainstream audiences, but the avenues that are currently being carved should be something every music appreciator should endeavour to embrace.
It’s a scene that constantly rests upon the shoulders of imagination and inventiveness and will continue to mutate and evolve indefinitely.
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