I ❤️ Drum & Bass have launched a new initiative for the new year: weekly label takeovers.
The brainchild of genre titans DJ SS, Fresh, Micky Finn, Futurebound and Simon Bassline Smith, the I ❤️ Drum & Bass project was launched in October as a means to unite the oft-fragmented genre, help drive drum & bass plays on Spotify and highlight the skills of the next generation across the board. Behind the scenes, there’s also a Telegram community group where over 300 artists and industry professionals congregate and regularly share ideas.
“We just got too segregated somewhere along the way,” explained SS when we spoke to all five of the OGs on board last year. “Now I go into the artist lounge and see a tech guy talking to a jump-up guy, a jump-up guy talking to a liquid guy. This hasn’t happened for a very long time. It’s inspiring to see this community happen again because that’s it what it was all about for me; kids from the streets, kids with nothing, scraping together what they had and creating something from nothing in studios and their bedrooms – not being controlled, not being dictated. This is about unity.”
Three months and over 20,000 followers later the unity appears to remain as strong as it was. In recent interviews on this site both Serum and The Prototypes shared some thought on the initiative.
“To have a reputable playlist where people can find out about it real drum & bass and not just hear any old crap is really important,” stated Serum last month. “It’s hard for everyone right now; there are so many releases every week it’s hard for artists to be heard and it’s hard for new drum & bass fans to find the good stuff and what’s worth listening to. For that reason alone the playlist is really important.”
“The fact we’re still together for this amount of time and not wanting to kill each other is also pretty impressive,” joked The Prototypes, also last month. “We know a lot of people thought a playlist was a let-down but they’re not looking at the big picture and a lot of artists have stepped forward and done things out of their time, unpaid. They’re pushing other people’s labels other than their own. To have big artists to shouting about your label instead of their own? That’s mad. Does that even happen in any other genre? We’ve never seen it.”
The shouting amplifies this Sunday January 7 with the launch of their weekly label takeovers where one imprint will take full control of the playlist for 24 hours. It’s a timely development, as many labels have spoken on social media about being hard to find on the music streaming platform and coming up low on searches; these weekly Sunday sessions offer labels a chance to showcase their full family and sound.
The first label to take the controls will be the mighty Ram Records. With 25 years of beats to reflect and program, not to mention their absurdly good Ram25 remix collection late last year, the Andy C-founded brand is expected to set the level high. With over 180 labels now signed up to the I ❤️ Drum & Bass project, these takeovers are going to remain fresh for quite some time.