Drill 'n' bass

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Drill 'n' bass is a subgenre of drum and bass which developed in the mid-1990s as IDM artists began experimenting with elements of breakbeat, jungle, and drum and bass music.[2] Artists utilized powerful audio software programs and deployed frenzied, irregular beats that often discouraged dancing.[2][3] The style was often interpreted as having a lightly parodic relationship with the dance styles that inspired it.[4]


AllMusic referred to the genre as "a spastic form of breakbeat jungle that relied on powerful audio software and patient programming to warp old midtempo beats and breaks into a frenzied, experimental potpourri of low-attention-span electronic music."[2] Critic Simon Reynolds described it as "jungle by non-junglists for non-junglists," stating that producers are "free to take the idiomatic features of jungle — fucked-up breakbeats, mutant bass, sampladelic collage —and exacerbate them away beyond any conceivable use-value to DJ or dancer."[4] Author Peter Shapiro called it "double-time drum 'n' bass with impossible-to-dance-to rhythms and toilet humor."[1]


Early exponents of drill 'n' bass included Luke Vibert, Aphex Twin, and Squarepusher.[2][4] The style was pioneered by Vibert on his 1995 EPs under the name Plug.[5] Other pioneering releases included Aphex Twin's Hangable Auto Bulb EP (1995) (under his AFX moniker) and Squarepusher's Conumber E:P EP (1995).[2] In 1996, the style appeared on long-form LPs such as Plug's Drum 'n' Bass for Papa and Squarepusher's Feed Me Weird Things.[2] Subsequent artists like Witchman, Animals on Wheels, Amon Tobin, Mung, and Plasmalamp also explored the style.[2][4]

By the end of the 1990s, it had largely dissipated.[2] Subsequent artists such as Kid606 drew on the style.[5] It would help produce the IDM spin-off genre breakcore, which took a more earnest and frenetic approach to the jungle sound.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Peter Shapiro, ed. (1999). Drum'n'Bass the Rough Guide. p. 207. ISBN 9781858284330.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Drill'n'bass Music Genre Overview | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 2018-03-26.
  3. ^ Greene, Paul D.; Porcello, Thomas, eds. (1 March 2010). Wired for Sound: Engineering and Technologies in Sonic Cultures. Wesleyan University Press. p. 161. ISBN 978-0819565167.
  4. ^ a b c d e Simon Reynolds. Energy Flash: A Journey Through Rave Music and Dance Culture. Soft Skull Press, 2012. p. 382-383
  5. ^ a b Reynolds, Simon. "kid606 - Down With The Scene review". Retrieved 19 August 2019.