In 2018 drum and bass continues to follow a path like no other – deeply rooted in collaboration and community, whether you’re a selector or a skanker, the culture is as strong as it’s ever been.
We’ve had solid full-length offerings from the likes of Break, Etherwood and Inja to name a few, not to mention acclaimed events from Shy FX and Chase & Status with their respective ‘Cult:ure’ and ‘RTRN II JUNGLE’ nights, as well as international festivals from Sun and Bass, Let It Roll and Hospitality on the Beach. Here we take a look at some of 2018’s best drum and bass tracks.
Inja & Whiney – She Just Wanna Dance
One of the most naturally gifted MCs the scene has to offer, Inja’s relentless, venomous and above all versatile flow continues to enthral crowds across the board. She Just Wanna Dance was the MC’s finest moment in the studio, with a track that probably strikes a chord with every girl who’s ever stepped into a club.
Nazca Linez – Acid Fashion
Bone-shaking, boot-quaking, eardrum-shattering madness from Nazca Linez, the side of drum and bass we’re all too familiar with. While little is known about the V Recordings-signed Nazca Linez, Acid Fashion has become a regular fixture within 2018.
Benny L & Shimon – Sharks
Benny L has had one of the most meteoric rises in recent dnb history, with a stellar few years, and a litter of hits already under his belt. Deep, dark and hard-hitting, Sharks continues to enthral the DnB community with its sinister chill and gut-driven baselines.
The Cinematic Orchestra – That Home (T Base Bootleg)
The Cinematic Orchestra aren’t necessarily the first band you’d look to remix in DnB form, but T Base saw the potential. Perfectly encapsulating the power and the versatility of the genre, this progressive liquid bootleg is as smooth as they come, with powerful strings draped over some silky percussion.
Hybrid Minds – Paint By Numbers (ft Charlotte Haining)
Narrowly missing out on Producers of the Year at the DnB Awards, Hybrid Minds are fast-becoming one of the most in-demand names on the scene. Any number of their 2018 jams could have made the cut, but the dreamy beauty of Paint By Numbers, coupled with its cinematic music video and one of the year’s best vocalists, makes it a shoe-in for the top ten.
High Contrast – If We Ever (Unglued Remix)
It takes guts to remix a song as legendary as High Contrast’s If We Ever, and after doing such a job with his rework, Unglued was rewarded with a signing to Hospital, and two nominations at the DnB Awards – for Best Newcomer and Best Remix.
Degs – Poveglia (ft De:Tune)
Hospital MC Degs has had a huge 2018, not least thanks to his silky smooth collaboration with De:Tune. Piano-powered, with Degs’ vocals crooning delicately, Poveglia instantly struck a chord with the community. With its all-too-familiar content and lyrics, Poveglia rightfully cemented Degs as one of the most multi-talented vocalists on the scene.
John Holt – Police In Helicopter (Benny L Remix)
Possibly the most requested ID of the year, a track that seems to be played at near every set worth going – from Shy FX to S.P.Y, Randall to Nu:Tone, Police In Helicopter was impossible to escape from. Undoubtedly going down as one of the most hyped remixes in years, the community was forced to wait for a release date, and now we’ve finally got one – January 11th.
Shy FX – Roll The Dice (ft Lily Allen & Stamina MC)
Shy FX’s releases this year have been as acclaimed the year over, as some of the finest releases in his already-bursting discography. Call Me and Badboy Business are comfortably among the year’s finest also, but it’s with the instant classic Roll The Dice where Shy FX proved to be, yet again, one of the most important contributors we have.
Starting off like a cut from a Tarantino film, Roll The Dice’s genius stems from the diamond collaboration of Stamina MC and Lily Allen, both of which sound like a match made in DnB heaven. Roll The Dice continues to be bounced around from club to club, set to set, DJ to DJ, and every single time, you’re guaranteed to roll a six.
Break – Last Goodbye (ft Celestine)
With the release of his celebrated fourth album Another Way, Break has cemented himself as one of the driving forces of the DnB scene. Long-teased across the summer and into winter, the album’s opening track Last Goodbye was a collision of subgenres, recalling the glory years of Roni Size’s genre-defining jungle.
Every instrument and intricately-perfected element of production can be heard on Last Goodbye, with plucks of a guitar, toots of brass and chimes on bells all showcasing Break’s polished, expertly-refined production style. And with Celestine’s powerful soaring vocals on top, it’s not a wonder Last Goodbye is already being heralded as a classic within the DnB community.
Liked this list? Check our songs of the year list here