36 Great American Drum & Bass Tracks

potd li 36 Great American Drum & Bass Tracks
Image via GDE

I've been putting a lot of thought into the strides that the drum & bass scene has been making, but that's probably because I remember a time when drum & bass was not only relegated to the backrooms of raves here in the States, but the growing American drum & bass scene was slept-on by the UK. It made sense, as the producers from the birthplace of this wondrous scene seemed to be light years ahead of what was going on in America, but it still sucked to be an American junglist in the late-'90s and see the lack of representation in mixes you'd hear from across the pond, especially when we knew there was a growing pool of talent on our side of the Atlantic. We had our hits, and as time went on, the playing field ended up leveling out, and America has quite a few producers who started getting the respect they truly deserved.

Going through this list is, you're seeing 20 almost 20 years of drum & bass history that's emerged from the United States. You have a number of homegrown stateside imprints (including the legendary Liquid Sky/Jungle Sky labels, Breakbeat Science, Shadow Law Recordings, Gasm, Project 51, and Violence), as well as a number of the big dogs (Metalheadz, Hospital, Moving Shadow, and Renegade Hardware), among various other labels. Great representation of how these producers went from having to do it on their own to gaining that worldwide acceptance. I also tried to mix it up a bit—you have everything from classic jungle riddims to neurofunk to liquid on through.

Keep in mind, this is in no way trying to be the end-all, be-all representation of the American drum & bass scene. This is a snapshot of tracks from some of the finest American producers, from the mid-'90s through today. Many are obvious classics, while some might be a bit deeper for you junglists out there. Also note that this is in chronological order, not order of importance. Let's celebrate the tremendous contributions that America has made to the drum & bass scene.

Click to start the list
  • scuba

    dj 3d and snuggles: terminal beats

  • yourverydirty

    this is all terrible listen to konichi and dj pleasure if u want good dnb

    • http://www.rockthedub.com/ khal

      Konichi and Pleasure producing great tracks doesn’t mean you need to shit on these tracks. Especially when you have material signed to Metalheadz, Hospital, Hardware, and other imprints. Or do you only listen to one side of the dnb spectrum?

    • dj ry ry

      u suk listen to wat i like and maybe u will learn something.. FUCK

  • Raul Cornejo

    No JLM Productions? You did way better in the past, Khris. Actually, “Krush” is a belter, but I much prefer “Last Call”.

    • http://www.rockthedub.com/ khal

      “Did way better?” Not sure what the context of that is. This is 36 great tracks, not “THE ABSOLUTE BEST AMERICAN DRUM & BASS TRACKS.”

  • biish

    that 1.8.7 track has to be one of the worst things i’ve ever heard. An out-of-time ‘remix’ of horizons, with all the good bits taken out and some terrible bits added. Stopped looking at your list right there.

    • Hey Now

      It’s still a classic and better than anything you’ve probably produced. That said, there are better 1.8.7 tunes that I’d have picked. Keep in mind, it was literally her 3rd DnB tune during a time when the music was in its early days in the US. Context is everything.

      • biish

        “not quite as shit as the other shit around it” is not the same as ‘good’

  • Mike Balleaux

    All these new nerd comments… lol.. Most of these tracks laid the ground work for what you call DNB today and most are nothing but the purest of DNB… 4 mins into AK1200 remix to Cleveland Lounge took me back to when I was 20 and the DNB scene and its music was actually good….

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  • Dylan H

    Nice list mate!

  • RyanTV

    A couple of edits –

    The Dave Aude version (Drum & Space Mix) of “Drowning” is the classic version of the track that should be recognized. Nothing against the AK1200 version, but he did that version because he became KNOWN for the Aude version and, I’d imagine, wanted to be playing one of his own productions…

    And if you are going to include an E-Sassin track, and I think that is more than valid on this list – it HAS to be “The Light”. That was THE track that got many US DJs into spinning the rougher side of D&B.

  • WeAreLifted
  • Clintonics

    #37 Telemetrik -

  • http://www.hydrosupralicked.com/ ─╤︻ ∆LLΫ ₣ỊЄ$₮∆︻╤-

    fuck. i love drum & bass.