Datapusher was good enough to send over another excellent Drum and Bass mix just in time for the weekend. The mix is full of smoothed out DNB on the liquid tip… super melodic, dreamy, spaced out… AWESOME! This might be my favorite mix that he has sent over thus far.
Be sure to check out Datapusher’s podcast at http://datapusher.podomatic.com. He has informed me that he has quite a few new episodes on the way. From Breaks, to old-school, to DNB… he’ll have you covered.
So this month I decided it was time to finally follow up 2007’s Jazz Steppin’ episode with another dose of chilled out drum and bass. Jazz Steppin’ is really about kicking up the tempo a bit but still maintaining a chilled out vibe. Lots of jazz, r&b, samba, and funk combined with intelligent drum and bass music.
A lot of Drum n Bass is hard and edgy these days. It seems that you really have to dig to find the jazzier stuff which is a real shame. However, spend some time digging and you will stumble across some great artists still producing music with a softer, more “musical” sound. Heavy DNB is fine for doing some serious “dancing” or for working out. However, the jazzier stuff is what I want for sofa surfing and just chilling out. 😉
I decided to switch gears a bit for this month’s show by exploring some sub-genres of Drum ‘n’ Bass music. I am a firm believer in the idea that tempo is just a small part of what makes a piece of music appropriate for chilling out. More important is a piece of music’s rhythm, melody, and its ability to create a mental picture or a sense of well being. This month’s episode is a perfect example of that idea.
I was a huge fan of Drum ‘n’ Bass in the late 90’s. The music seemed worlds away from the Progressive House and Breakbeats of the time. Drum ‘n’ Bass was influenced so much by jazz music at that time and blended acoustic sounds with electronic beats. Artists such as Flytronix, Omni Trio, and Ez-Rollers experimented with complex jazz melodies and rhythms, all of the while blending a smooth vibe, with a sped up breakbeat. The style seemed to have more of a “half-time” feel to it, which made it fun to dance to as well as lounge out to. As Drum ‘n’ Bass continued to mature, for at least a few years, it seemed that it had taken a harder, sharper turn. The once smooth, jazzy flavor was now replaced by hard beats, distorted basses, dark melody, and NOISY soundscapes. Around the turn of the century, I became disinterested in the style for the most part and moved on.
I was very happy to see that there are tons of newer producers creating “Jazz Step” and “Vocal Drum and Bass”. These sub-styles of the genre fuse jazz, Latin rhythm, and House with sped up breaks. Once again, that smooth, “half-time” feel is alive and thriving!
This month’s set starts a little more beat driven than some of you may be accustomed to here at “Chill with The Chola.” However, do not fret! As soon as you hear Ben Westbeech’s “Get Closer”, you will begin to feel that comforting House music influence. The set then quickly moves in to more of a Latin vibe until it is time for a little down tempo interlude starting with Tape Five’s “Cocktail D’Amour.” After a quick “breather,” the tempo picks back up and I am sure you will feel the need to shake your butt as the beats continue to be peppered with spicy Salsa, Samba, and Drum and Bossa! The set ends with one of the most spiritually uplifting pieces of music that I have heard in quite some time, Ror-Shak’s “Fate or Faith.” I think I have listened to this song 100 times in the last month and it still sends chills down my spine. ENJOY!