2020 began with the end of Australian wildfires but started something humankind had never seen for a century. COVID-19 has brought the entire planet to a standstill, and we have been locked up in our homes while witnessing this monster unfold in front of our eyes.
But there is one thing that hasn’t stopped, and that is great Drum & Bass music. We have been blessed with some beautiful music that has managed to keep us sane during these difficult times.
So, as we approach the second half of the year with hope and anticipation, we have listed our favorite tunes from the first half of the year, in no particular order. 1. Shy FX - Balaclava feat. MC Spyda, D Double E & Frisco [Skeptical Remix]
Early last year, Shy FX dropped his ‘Raggamuffin Soundtape’ which featured tracks that defined the sounds he has championed over the years, and nearly a year after its release, Shy FX invited some of the biggest names in the scene to remix the album. Raggamuffin Reloaded is packed with hefty reworks from the biggest names but Skeptical’s remix of ‘Balaclava’ is a track that stood out for us.
2. Think Tonk – What A Ting [L-Side Remix]
L-Side has been on a roll this year. The Brazilian producer has been on top of his game delivering hits after hits. His long-standing relationship with V Recordings is down to the high-grade upsteppery Bryan G and Jumpin Jack Forst love in their releases. For this remix, L-Side gave a menacing flip to his label mate’s seminal tune ‘What A Ting’ that we couldn’t stop playing for a long time. Absolute steamroller.
3. Metrik – Ex Machina
For his third full-length album, Metrik has taken his sounds to a whole new level. ‘Ex Machina’ is a fantastic album filled with striking synth-lines, but the title track exemplifies Metrik’s love for high-octane drum & bass frequencies and first-class dancefloor tear-ups. One of the best tunes this year.
4. Barasingha ft. Shivacult – Time and Again
When Barasingha releases music, it is sure to be epic. For ‘Time and Again’, Barasingha continued his knack of picking deep influences and carved out a stunning Drum & Bass tune which features 15th-century Hindu devotional hymn. The release is accompanied by a video which was shot and edited by Shivacult himself during his travels through Ireland in the summer of 2019 when this project was conceived.
5. Critycal Dub - Asking Too Much Feat. DRS
A late entry to our list of favourite tunes from 2020 and deservedly so; Featuring DRS’ soulful wordplay, Critycal Dub celebrated his return to V Recordings with an absolute feels-lifter which has the potential to be a V Recordings classic.
6. Calibre - Crazy For You
Any Top 10 list of Drum & Bass tracks is incomplete without a Calibre Tune. Part of his Shelflife series, Calibre delivered yet another dazzling Drum & Bass tune which is filled with his signature dub-y textures and atmospheric vocals.
7. Wingz – Strained [Koherent Remix]
After establishing themselves in 2018, Overview Music have been at the forefront of delivering distinctive and cutting-edge Drum & Bass. For the labels remix compilation of the Overview Part 1 album, Koherent delivered an absolute bass weapon by flipping Wingz’s gushing roller, ‘Strained’. Another late entry for our favourite tune so far.
8. Kyrist – Chimera
DJ, multi genre producer, and label manager, Bristol based Kyrist is a queen in her own right. After her first release on Proximity Recordings in 2013, Kyrist has been one of the finest Drum & Bass producers in recent years. For her first self-release, Kyrist dropped a full-frontal bass assault featuring her signature snappy and aggressive production styles.
9. Grafix - Zephyr [feat. Ruth Royall]
Following his adventures with tunes like ‘Acid Generation’ and ‘Stutter’, Grafix gave a stunning 180 spin from his previous releases and delivered the perfect summer anthem that evoked both new-school and old-school flavours.
10. A Sides - Arctic [ft. MC Fats]
One of the most anticipated tunes this year, ‘Arctic’ by A-Sides featuring the legendary MC Fats, is a yet another summer-time anthem full of soaring textures and skin-bubbling bass, which sends the listener into a colourful journey.