What Characterizes a Good D&B Album?
In order to select the best drum and bass albums, we have established a set of criteria to broaden our selection. In this selection, we focus on albums by artists, so compilations are not considered.
Second, it has to be a real album, an album that can be listened to and enjoyed from beginning to end. A good album should be a journey that showcases the artist’s skills as a music maker. There are a lot of albums that are just a collection of bangers that you go to the clubs with, but that’s not what we’re looking for today.
Ultimately, we want to find drum ‘n’ bass albums that capture the spirit of the era in which they were released, albums that pushed boundaries, opened up new audiences for the genre, and contributed to the evolution of the scene. There have been many great D&B albums over the years, but we want to discover the best of the best.
The Best Drum & Bass Albums
Let’s take a look at our selection of the ten best drum’n’bass albums.
Goldie – Timeless
Of course, this album is also on our list. Recently remastered and re-released to celebrate its 25th anniversary, “Timeless” was Goldie’s first full-length album and catapulted his career onto the world stage. Over the years, “Timeless” has proven what a drum ‘n’ bass album should be. Now, a quarter of a century after its release in 1995, the album lives up to its name and shines in new splendor.
Roni Size & Reprazent – New Forms
New Forms” took what “Timeless” left behind and made drum’n’bass accessible to a wider audience without compromising the drum’n’bass sound. Reprazent was the first drum’n’bass supergroup, consisting of Roni Size, Krust, DJ Die and Suv. The drum’n’bass supergroup already had solo success with releases on V Recordings and Full Cycle; “New Forms” won the Mercury Music Prize and the MOBO Award, and Roni Size and Reprazent began touring worldwide.
4Hero – Two Pages
4Hero’s third album, Two Pages, has been described as “mature, tasteful and melodic.” Dego and Marc Mac founded the Reinforced Records label, on which they have since released several albums. inspired legends of the scene, but the album is clearly inspired by earlier generations of musicians such as Roy Ayers, Lonnie Liston-Smith and drummer Clyde Stubblefield.
Ed Rush & Optical – Wormhole
After groundbreaking releases on trend-setting labels such as Prototype, V Recordings and Ram Records, Ed Rush & Optical have released their debut album “Wormhole” on their own Virus label. Ed Rush & Optical’s sound on this album leaned toward the techno side of D&B, but what made it special was that it was funky.
Grooverider – Mysteries Of Funk
In 1998, one of the forefathers of the drum’n’bass scene released this masterful album, which won a MOBO award. As always, Grooverider’s own inimitable style gives “Mysteries Of Funk” a unique touch that will stand the test of time.
Pendulum – Hold Your Colour
Pendulum’s great debut album “Mysteries Of Funk” is great, if not as good as their first album, and is a great example of the band’s ability to create a unique sound. After coming on the scene with “The Vault” on Dock Scott’s infamous 31 Records label, DJ Fresh and Adam F followed it up with “Hold Your Colour” on their label Breakbeat Kaos. The epic intro and rock-inspired drum’n’bass caught the attention of a new audience around the world.
Netsky – Netsky
When Belgian producer Netsky released his eponymous first drum & bass album on Hospital Records, we knew he was going to be a big star. His smooth D&B style, interspersed with incredibly catchy riffs, translated well into the long-player format and earned him the attention of the broader music industry.
Dillinja – Cybotron
Dillinja was a force of nature in the early days of Jungle. He pushed the envelope and had a phenomenal workload; the “Cybotron” album was eagerly anticipated and was what people wanted…. It featured heavy bass, crisp cuts and Dillinger’s trademark haunting strings. The album aims for the dance floor, but is a very enjoyable listen from start to finish.
London Elektricity – Syncopated City
This album may be controversial on this list, as some consider LE’s earlier work more iconic; by the time “Syncopated City” was released, London Elektricity already had some good albums under their belt, but for us, the flow of “Syncopated City” is very natural, the production is on point, the great vocal arrangements are on display, and the album has a strong live feel. Give this album to someone who is skeptical of drum’n’bass and they will surely rediscover what the genre is all about.
Chase & Status – More Than Alot
It’s Chase & Status’ first album and we love it. More Than Alot is a snapshot of the energy of UK electronic music at the time, with artists like Kano, Plan B and Takura; “Against All Odds”, “Take Me Away” and “Eastern Jam”. Tracks like “Against All Odds”, “Take Me Away” and “Eastern Jam” made Chase and Status known worldwide and paved the way for them to collaborate with international artists.
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