It’s been a big bloody year for Drum & bass.
2017 has been one of the finest years we have experienced as enthusiasts. We have seen some massive collaborations during the year and the genre crossed numerous boundaries and went through some intricate cross-pollination, with artists stepping outside their niche and experimenting and mixing as they see it.
As Marcus Inatalex’ mother rightly said “I have learnt that you are all brothers and sisters in the D&B world, so please continue to support one another and play your music, and this will make the world a better place”.
And the drum & bass community lived up to her words. From dynamic, eclectic line-ups at the genre’s leading festivals such as Let It Roll to DJ Fresh and Simon Bassline Smith’s recent I Love D&B initiative via the myriad of new artist-based labels launching, there’s a singular sense of unity and energy in the scene right now both from the artists and the fans alike as record crowds are attending drum & bass focused festivals. DJ Hazard even stated on UKF.com that he’s never witnessed parties as exciting and as they’ve been in 2017.
To celebrate another fantastic year, we have listed down 10 drum and bass tracks that we felt have been the most remarkable tunes of 2017.
1. Technimatic – Parallel (ft. Zara Kershaw) (LSB Remix)
First up, is the scintillating remix by LSB of Technimatic’s ‘Parallel’. Technimatic getting remixed is not something that happens often, so we were curious to see how this EP would pan out. The end result was some really emotive tunes on display and this remix explains why. LSB’s linear rendition of the original is one of the finest tunes we have heard this year. Bringing his signature style to the fore, LSB produced and absolute feels-lifter. Shimmering synths and tasty drum kicks all over the tune, the Essex based producer gave us a one of the finest tracks of the year.
2. Dimension – Black Church
Next up is one of the most persuasive tunes of 2017, ‘Black Church’ by the mighty Dimension. Dimension went out of his way to give the track a definite air of defiance and it is further emphasized by the powerful female vocals, which add an extra level of intrigue to the track’s unique personality. The track has an infectious energy attached to it which you can’t get out of. Characterized by a stark, string plucked chord progressions and healthy helpings of bass, Dimension delivered one of his best tune to date.
3. Phace & Mefjus – Decisions
Phace and Mefjus have been the most consistent Neurofunk producers. Fresh off the success of the massive “The Mothership VIP,” Phace and Mefjus created a passion project called the Wasteman EP for Neosignal and ‘Decisions’ became a sort of an obsession among drum & bass fans. ‘Decisions’ is a straight down the plate banger that evokes both new-school and old-school flavours. Filled with funky drums and stabby notes, ‘Decisions’ was one of the most prominent tunes in DJ sets.
4. Turno – Invaderz
Next up is by far the BIGGEST tune of 2017, ‘Invaderz’ by Charge Recordings maestro Turno. If you have attended gigs this year, and heard this one, you would probably vouch for the mayhem this tune can create. ‘Invaderz’ was heavily played by Andy C while doing his remarkable XOYO residency nights and the tune picked pace and it was churned by out every other DJ since. If you haven’t heard this one before, trust us when we are saying that you are not ready for the drop.
5. Alix Perez & SpectraSoul – Undone (ft. DRS)
Next up, is the soul-soothing roller by Alix Perez and Spectrasoul featuring DRS. Well, we repeat again, Alix Perez and Spectrasoul and DRS. Three of the finest producers in the game coming together and making a tune. IT JUST CANNNOT GO WRONG!! A beautiful combination of rumbling sub-bass, yearning jazz pianos and stretched-out chords, ‘Undone’ is effortlessly soulful.
6. Dawn Wall – Nomad
Next up is ‘Nomad’, another mysterious tune from the Integral Records family. While there’s absolutely no clue about Dawn Wall’s identity, it has not stopped them from making sumptuous tunes year in year out. Bringing Dawn Wall’s A-game to the table, ‘Nomad’ carries those immaculate tribal influence Dawn Wall are known for. With soaring textures and skin-bubbling bass, the tune sends the listener into an extensive journey. ‘Nomad’ is Dawn Wall’s finest work to date.
7. Hugh Hardie – Emerald City (ft. Pola & Bryson)
Next up is a tune by one Hospital Records’ finest artists, Hugh Hardie. Hugh Hardie has truly perfected the art of the liquid roller. His soulful production has rightly gained him support from some of the scene’s major players and his high octane DJing has secured him spots on some of the most exciting line-ups around Europe. Part of his ‘Colourspace’ LP, ‘Emerald City’ is filled with uplifting summer sounds with blending jazz elements, which seamlessly create an exciting and gorgeous sound. Another Hospital Records beauty.
8. Calibre – Complain
Next up is a track which is very close to our heart simply because of our unending love for Calibre. The Legend returned with his 12th album this year and delivered one the best albums of the year. It was criminal and it was really hard for us to pick single track from this masterpiece but we somehow managed to pick ‘Complain’ as our favourite. The whole album creates an atmosphere of melancholy, which is filled with hope and moments of joyful play. We love Calibre. Period!
9. S.P.Y – Alone In The Dark
Next one is another seminal roller from Hospital Records extraordinaire, S.P.Y
Moving to London from São Paulo eleven years ago, S.P.Y has established himself as one of the biggest names in the drum & bass scene. Always one to stay true to his roots, S.P.Y has a unique ability to bring his trademark underground sound to a worldwide audience. Alternating between beautiful, orchestral, musical sets and dark, rolling mixes, S.P.Y captures the emotions of the crowd. Part of his ‘Alone In The Dark’ series which is also the title track, S.P.Y has delivered an absolute bass weapon. ‘Alone In The Dark’ is a definitive room-filler bringing weighty bass, punchy percussions and a menacing synthline, assassinating anyone in his path.
10. The Upbeats – Veiled
Last one, is an emotional roller from the drum & bass stalwarts, The Upbeats. ‘Veiled’ when released was our early contender for one of the top tunes of the year. The echoes and wobbles at the start may not be that exciting, and it takes its time building up the track with pounding kicks and retro sounding synths but when it all comes together it’s haunting, catchy and amazing. Veiled’ is an emotional roller with great beat loops and fills, transforming towards the end into something more low-key but still bursting with energy. Monster of tune!
If there are any tracks we have missed out on, please share them and let us know the tunes you were feeling all year.
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