When most think drum & bass in all its 175bpm glory — dark, hard and fast amen breaks come to mind. On the contrary, there is more to the genre than meets the ear. My playlist is a celebration of the past two decades of the soulful side to drum & bass. Drawing influences from the rich legacies of funk, jazz and soul, the subgenre was born in the mid 2000s and is here to stay.
Heaven by Carlito was the first release by label Creative Source in 1995. Label owner Fabio was one of the early champions of the sound. Song in the Key of Knife was a landmark tune for early followers of the sound in 1998. It put Hospital Records and founder, London Elektricity on the map. The label and its pioneering artists have been monumental to the genre and the continued success of liquid funk with London Elektricity evolving his sound over 18 years into Singing Ringing Tree. On & On by Nu:Logic was one of the early collaborations between the Gresham brothers, Matt (Logistics) and Dan (Nu:tone). It is one of my absolute favourites — I could just listen to it on loop all day! Sambassim by Fernanda Porto (DJ Patife Remix) was a huge tune on The Brasil EP released in 2001. It was a time where Brazillian drum & bass producers such as DJ Marky, XRS and Patife began to bring a new style of sound: Samba batucada percussion and vocals, later known as "sambass".
I was spoilt for choice with High Contrast. If We Ever from his third album wasn't just a number one hit in the drum & bass charts, it also brought liquid funk to mainstream success, hitting number one in the dance charts of 2007. LK feat. Stamina MC by DJ Marky needs no introduction: It's an anthem that I still regularly drop at parties now, 10 years since its release.
You can catch Aresha playing all these classics and more on 20 August at Subcity's daytime D&B BBQ at Kult Kafe.