One greatly anticipated movie arrived last week. Drum & Bass: The Movement, the D&B documentary by Drum&BassArena finally landed on YouTube. If you have missed this picture, you should find an hour and half, open the beer and watch it. It is worth it and it is certainly great, that someone shot a movie like this. It is also necessary to admit that D&B is mainstream these days and especially younger generations of ravers sometimes have no clue, what is the history of our beloved genre. Because it is not a matter of course that it is where it is today and like everything interesting, this one originated underground.
Well-arranged history of D&B
This movie offers a nice trip from the past to the present (2016 actually, guys what took you so long to delived this movie?). Using timeline that is divided into several parts according to essential periods, beginning in early 1990 with names like Roni Size, Total Science, Goldie or Ed Rush when one huge era began. The documentary is showing important London clubs with queues of people waiting to enter and magazines that couldn’t help but notice, that something really big was up in the air.
This is how we go in time: Fabric opened in 1999, everything evolved, producers dealt with new techniques in creation and there was no competition yet. Through the turn of the millennium with the emergence of Black Sun Empire focusing on internet we realize, how quickly the genre reflected the technical possibilities. D&B was getting more attention from the world outside the scene thanks to BBC 1Xtra, artists didn’t need to have expensive equipment and Pendulum brought new supersonic sound.
The document continues in showing the crucial moments and it has a pleasant narrative line. In the end it is gaining momentum, after all – like D&B itself and everything today – and the curve goes steeply upwards. We can see how the whole movement passed into the wide space of festivals even with such specific styles like halftime. It is commendable that we can hear the most influential icons to contemplate about what this music actually means: tempo, energy, vibe, joy and simply life. At the same time Tony Colman is not afraid to criticize, while saying D&B is also industry focused on money more, than we realize.
Inaccuracies and shortcomings
Drum & Bass: The Movement is aimed at the most famous UK personas (and even Mefjus´s speech can hardly save it). Although England is the cradle of the genre, if we look at its history, we cannot omit other names that have fundamentally influenced its development and direction, even though they are not at the top of the charts. It’s a pity, that the editors did not wish for more space for more important artists, who shaped the whole field like nobody else.
Just not mentioning Bryan Gee (how could you guys after placing this guy to the Hall Of Fame?) caused great resentment amongst fans of V Recordings, as they started to change their profile pictures on Facebook for ones with the hashtag #vforever. It was a sympathetic wave of solidarity, proving how strong the musical community is around Bryan´s work. Jumping Jack Frost did not hide his disappointment and posted a few words of regret with the likes of thousands. No wonder, it’s similar to forgetting the Rolls-Royce brand in a car movie.
You can accuse us of favouring them, but if you are really deep in D&B, you know, that these other pioneers deserve it. Is there any more ingenious musician, who made a lot of people to fail into 174 bpm than Calibre? Certainly not. Is there anyone else, who forced the whole continent to shake one’s hips like DJ Marky? Let’s be honest – he is the one and only. And is there anyone more similar to a godfather of liquid whose unmistakable sign of face with sun rays irradiates absolutely everywhere? No, there is not.
We do not want to tarnish the work of AEI Group or accuse them of purposeful marketing. We know that D&B is large enough to release next several episodes of the series. Despite of the absence of doyens, it is still something that deserves to be seen. Maybe we’ll see another release and maybe not. It doesn’t matter: whoever is looking for quality in our musical ocean, knows well, where to go.