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Month: November 2021

AG Presents: Drum and Bass – Necromancer

AG Presents: Drum and Bass – Necromancer

Forming DnB Futures: American Grime Features NECROMANCER in Grand Finale of DnB Podcast Series

By Jimmy O’Hara

Perhaps no form of electronic music intertwines so many genres nor influences numerous producers across time & place as the beloved Drum N Bass (DnB). From its formation within the breakbeat hardcore and ragga jungle sounds of early-mid ‘90s U.K. scenes to its reemergence at the turn of the 2020s, DnB’s remarkable impact on electronic music spans decades.

DnB is more than a music genre, it’s a social response rooted in resistance to normativity, an imaginative space for artists and listeners alike to dream collective futures. Although the legacy of DnB’s past and present is celebrated among soundsystem communities the world over, its future rests on music culture maintaining the genre’s recent surge in momentum. Producers like Tyler Hawkinson aka NECROMANCER are leading the way.

“The history of DnB is what really got me so involved in the genre; it’s rich in culture and has a bpm range unlike any other, with a timeless sound that never gets old,” says NECROMANCER. “Coming from the deep-rooted sounds of Jamaica and having swept across London, this genre embodies a full sound of heavy bass and percussion that just doesn’t quit.”

Based in Minneapolis, NECROMANCER is a veteran to the electronic scene, frequently mixing and producing DnB for local and regional crowds. His daytime set at the Pyramid Stage during the 2021 Infrasound Festival engulfed listeners in thick, earth-shattering drumlines to remember. NECROMANCER recalls being struck by one transformative festival set in particular a couple years back.

“I always play a bit of DnB in all my sets. In 2019, I got to play a lot of DnB at the Even Further Festival. I also had no idea that I was about to get my mind blown in the audience as well,” explains NECROMANCER. “I got to see the amazing Rey Keith rip a 2-hour set. It changed my life forever.”

Keen on community education in the electronic music scene, NECROMANCER holds the history, present, and future of DnB in high regard. He draws artistic inspiration from legends who have shaped and evolved the dynamic genre, namely Joe Nice, Mala, Goth-Trad, Ray Keith, DJrum, Alix Perez, Skeptical, Goldie, D-Bridge, Mister Shifter, J:Kenzo, and the Subsequential crew.

“It’s hard to pinpoint one area or person, but there have been so many people that push me to dig deeper,” says NECROMANCER.

Collectives like Background Noise and American Grime (AG) stand true in a shared vision to bring the promising future of DnB into the fold. In the sixth and final episode of the ongoing podcast series AG Presents: DnB, NECROMANCER unleashes a carefully curated half-hour mix for the masses. This producer’s passion for DnB’s past and his optimism for the genre’s future shines through the mix’s uniquely imaginative take on what it means for musicians to dream.

“I hope to show a variety of sounds from this genre. There’s a little bit of something in there for every different person passionate about bass music culture. This mix hits a lot of my favorites,” says NECROMANCER. “From the smooth jungle and liquid bits to the Heavy Rollers and Jump Up, I try to give each track room to breathe and reveal it’s full self to the listener.”

NECROMANCER believes the future of DnB is bright. He credits AG for illuminating this timeless genre through the power of podcasts and for working diligently to keep the drumline light aflame.

“One thing that draws me to the AG crew is how they are bringing proper attention to the grime and DnB scene here in the U.S.,” says NECROMANCER. “I hope to help do the same.”

AG Presents: Drum and Bass – Klippee

AG Presents: Drum and Bass – Klippee

Drum N Bass Takes New Form with Rising Talent Across North America

By Frank Wiedmann

American Grime (AG) Presents: Drum N Bass has taken us on a ride through the DnB space, providing listeners with a variety of unique sounds and artists. This week’s episode, featuring Klippee, shows what the U.S. scene is all about. 

“The U.S. has a ton of awesome artists and DJs, and it’s great that the American Grime guys want to highlight some of them,” Klippee states. “I hope the series brings more awareness to DnB in the states.” 

Each of the artists in AG’s DnB series have mentioned how much DnB means to them and how the genre has shaped their personal growth.

“I’ve loved DnB for as long as I can remember. In fact, my buddy Ken (from Combine) just got me Quadrant 6 by Dom & Roland on vinyl,” says Klippee. “That track was released in ‘97 and is one of the tunes that made me want to produce DnB.”

Although DnB has been lurking in the background of U.S. club spaces since the late ‘90s and early ‘00s, the genre didn’t gain much traction until early- to- mid-2021. Now that DnB is increasing in popularity among the electronic scene, we are seeing a ton of fresh talent and new subgenres begin to unfold. Artists are also beginning to draw influence from other genres previously left unexplored. 

For example, dubstep is derived partially from DnB, but nowadays the two distinct genres are starting to fuse and coincide.

“Lately I’ve drawn much influence from all the awesome 140bpm stuff being produced, specifically Ternion Sound and Skeptical,” says Klippee. 

Now that these genres are intertwining, electronic fans are gaining a better understanding of how similar yet different they are. DnB also empowers listeners to examine the recent electronic past and appreciate the brilliance that has been in front of us the whole time.

“DnB is incredibly versatile,” says Klippee. “DnB goes so deep in terms of history. I highly recommend that folks who are getting into DnB for the first time go back through label catalogs. There are so many gems from 10 and even 20 years ago that still go off.” 

A lot of the tracks we hear today are descendants of the revolutionary groundwork laid by DnB’s pioneers just a few decades back. Up-and-coming artists are starting to make their own way by experimenting and bringing a fresh look to the genre. 

“Just look at Seattle. We have some awesome DnB talent, and it all sounds different. Quadrant & Iris, Kumarion, Homemade Weapons, Rebel Scum, Root for the Villain, Yukon Sucker Punch… I could go on.” Klippee says. “There is so much you can do at 174, 87, 160, and every bpm in-between.”

For this week’s AG mix, Klippee is cooking up a unique half-hour adventure for the masses. This mix will take fans on a journey, immersing them in yet another deep dive into the vast world of DnB. 

“I wanted to play a set that I would play live,” says Klippee. “It’s stompy, techy, rolling, and full of weird sounds.”

Klippee reflects fondly on a memory close to his heart and that keeps him devoted to the genre.

“I would say landing in London and going to the 1985 night at Village Underground with my friends was something else. I got to see some of my favorite artists for the first time in an incredible setting, and Skeptical dropped one of my tunes. I legit could not process it for a moment. I flew halfway across the world to a place where the big boys play, and I heard my own track played on the soundsystem,” Klippee says. “It changed my life. That whole trip was like a DnB pilgrimage for me.” 


Stay tuned for the sixth and final guest-mix in American Grime’s DnB podcast scheduled for release Friday, November 19 feat. Necromancer.

Each Friday, be sure to travel on over to the Background Noise newsroom for coverage, commentary and more. Throughout this six-week journey, our editorial team will cover each episode, uncovering the complex history and endearing optimism of DnB right along with you.

AG Presents: Drum and Bass – Lee Griffin

AG Presents: Drum and Bass – Lee Griffin

From Warehouses to Mainstages Lee Griffin Takes Listeners on a Journey Through the Evolution of Drum’N’Bass

By Frank Wiedmann

As Drum N Bass (DnB) has gained popularity in the U.S. electronic scene since early 2020 it’s worth noting DnB’s rich history throughout the development and evolution of modern electronic music.

American Grime (AG) presents: DnB is taking a deep dive into the dynamic genre. In this six-part series, each artist transports listeners on a journey through the vast world of DnB. From liquid to rollers and beyond, DnB empowers fans from all corners of the electronic music community to explore unfamiliar sounds and uncover new worlds.

This week’s episode features Lee Griffin, a DnB don known best for his collaborative project with Legion prior to launching his current solo alias. Lee Griffin credits the DnB space for cultivating some of his most joyful memories and helping shape the artist and person he is today.

“DnB isn’t a fad genre and hasn’t gone anywhere since its inception,” explains Lee Griffin. “Through all of the mixes featured in this series, I hope people will learn about the different subgenres of DnB. The evolution of drum and bass is time-stamped by its subgenres.”

Dating back to the early-mid ‘90s U.K. scene, DnB arose out of a variety of popular electronic genres, forming a novel underground sound. Drawing from elements of hip hop, breakbeat, electro, and pop, DnB took on a multilayered essence of its own. With the creation of this new genre came new talent.

“I draw inspiration from Logistics, Culture Shock, and Andy C,” says Lee Griffin. “Logistics for his flawless liquid DnB, Culture Shock for his consistent innovation, and Andy C for his unique style of DJ’ing.”

Imagine the early ‘00s of U.K. rave culture; DnB began spreading its wings, becoming a staple in warehouses across the country. Eventually, this genre would fly even further, working its way around the globe. However, DnB faced barriers to planting its feet in the U.S. scene. This was largely due to other genres, such as house and techno, taking the center stage. DnB quickly gained a reputation as the black sheep of the electronic music scene in the U.S., going on to thrive in dark basements and secret word-of-mouth parties.

Fortunately, DnB is seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. After more than a year of isolation, many electronic fans have found new sounds and embraced change for the better. From those word-of-mouth functions to mainstages across the world, DnB is seeing an abundant re-emergence across electronic communities.

Lee Griffin wants AG podcast listeners to know why DnB means so much to him and countless others in the music industry.

“As an artist, one of my favorite memories was playing Tomorrow World in 2015. And as a promoter, I’d have to say the Language 2-year anniversary was massive. Crissy Criss, State of Mind, AK1200 and Mystikal Influence killed it, and it was amazing when we brought Ed Rush & Optical,” says Lee Griffin. “DnB matters so much because of the shared, widespread love for this niche genre. I’ve met some of my favorite people through DnB, including my girlfriend. I get a feeling of pure joy bringing people together through DnB.”

AG presents: DnB is the perfect introduction to DnB. Lee takes listeners on a half-hour adventure that will be memorable for many months to come.

“In my mix, I wanted to go through a few different flavors. I wanted this mix to be something fun more than anything. Vocal, dancefloor, heavy, deep, epic, funky and cheeky vibes on deck for this one,” says Lee Griffin. “I hope more people gain exposure to DnB through this series. Even if one new DnB fan is made, I’ll be happy. The more the merrier.”


Stay tuned for the fifth guest-mix in American Grime’s podcast scheduled for release Friday, November 12 feat. Klippee.

Each Friday, be sure to travel on over to the Background Noise newsroom for coverage, commentary and more. Throughout this six-week journey, our editorial team will cover each episode, uncovering the complex history and endearing optimism of DnB right along with you.

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