As I was putting this piece together news reached me that Ram had done a deal with the music industry giant BMG. This was no real surprise since Ram is a label that has never been content to sit still – It’s a label that is constantly moving forwards, seeking to reach new audiences and adapt as clubber’s tastes change.
There was a time during the early 90’s when LTJ Bukem had a reputation as a floor-clearer.
It’s fair to say that the internet has had a massive impact on the music industry. From the way we listen, share, buy, promote, and discover… the whole music experience has been fundamentally changed, and Drum & Bass was no exception to this.
Writing about the years 1999-2000 was always going to be a difficult one for me. Not because there wasn’t great Drum & Bass being produced (there was), but because when I write these articles I try to fit the narrative around defining moments that shaped the history of Drum & Bass… and I couldn’t actually think of any!
Whilst Jump-Up heralded a return to the boisterous abandon of early 90’s rave, there was another burgeoning sub-genre of D&B that painted a much bleaker picture of British life in the late 90’s. Spearheaded by Nico’s No U Turn label, ‘Techstep’ was a sharp, angular, and gloomy foreboding sound far removed from any kind of ‘jazzy’ laid back coffee-table sophistication.
The formula was simple: Take the drums from your last record, slightly re-arrange the bassline, stick a well known Hip Hop sample in there, and bam! – Your next release was ready for the pressing plant.
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