Why is Bristol considered the drum & bass capital? We all have heard it through the grapevine. In any pub, club and after party. Someone smoking a rollie is convincing someone else with a vape that Birmingham is the main city for Drum & Bass in the UK. The other, very proud of themselves, would argue back: the cradle of Drum and bass is for sure London.
Well, both of them are wrong.
London is inexcusably a melting pot, and Drum & Bass runs through the veins of every city in the UK. This said, Bristol has played a significant role in the development and evolution of drum and bass, and it’s no surprise that it is often referred to as the drum and bass capital of the world. Drum and bass music emerged in the UK during the early 1990s as a fusion of breakbeat, hardcore, and jungle. Arguably, people who use the term “jungle” view the music as a key part of an entire culture, whereas drum n bass is more of a traditional genre label. Similar to the way purists might distinguish hip hop from rap.
Bottom line, everything converges, and genres blur, so just stop the drama and play the music.
Music characterized by fast breakbeats, heavy basslines, and chopped-up samples. In the mid-90s, Bristol’s music scene was thriving. The city had a reputation for producing cutting-edge electronic music, and many talented producers and DJs were calling Bristol home. It was during this time that some of the most influential drum and bass acts of all time emerged from the city.
Venues like Motion, Lakota, and Blue Mountain have been at the forefront of the drum and bass scene for decades, hosting some of the biggest names in the genre. In Bristol you have the choice of several raves a weekend and even pubs that play DnB, whereas in London – although the nights can be big and pull in good lineups – the vibe is really different and there just doesn’t seem to be that much on that encapsulates the energy of the DnB scene, considering the size of the city.
There’s also a real sense of community in Bristol, you see lots of the same faces again and again. You can go to Fabric one weekend for Planet V/Flexout and have fun, but you are going to get a lot of people turning up in suits who don’t even realise what DnB really is because it’s just somewhere to go after work.
Bristol has been home to some of the most influential DJs / producers in the drum and bass scene. DJ Krust (the author of Warhead, probably the most played DnB track ever) , DJ Die, and DJ Suv among others. The city continues to produce talented artists, and its iconic clubs continue to draw crowds from around the world. Bristol’s drum and bass scene is a testament to the city’s rich musical heritage and its ongoing commitment to pushing the boundaries of electronic music.
In other words, if you’re a drum & bass lover, you must go to Bristol at least once. It is, after all, the Drum and Bass Mecca.
If you want a bigger version of the Bristol’s vibe, head to NASS this summer to live it all across 4 days. Motion, one of the most legendary clubs in Bristol, will also be hosting our warehouse stage to keep the ravers happy. Grab tickets now and come see some of the most acclaimed drum & bass artists in the UK