Destination Brazil: Home to some of the most creative, funkiest and on-point contributors to drum & bass this century and one of the strongest scenes in the world. As Brazil celebrates a national holiday for Corpus Christi today and Marky’s own birthday yesterday, we felt it fitting to celebrate just some of the country’s many premium drum & bass exports over the years.
We’ll kick things off with the ultimate Brazilian D&B OG. Patife is a household and hugely influential name and has been involved in the country’s scene since the beginning. Rolling deep with fellow trailblazer Marky, Patife solidified the movement as a DJ and party promoter in Sao Paulo before launching a string of groundbreaking tracks and remixes that he coined as Sambass, including this breakthrough remix of fellow Sao Paulo artist Fernando Porto that landed on V in 2001. Still highly active to this day, read DRS’s recent interview to learn how Patife played a key role in the recent torch song I Will.
The most internationally renowned and famous Brazilian DJ on this list, Marky Mark (as he was originally known) began his journey into the genre during the emergence of hardcore in 1992. Famed for his turntablism and scratching ability, he soon became one of the most exciting artists during the end of the 90s when he set international D&B precedents to become resident at The End. Unquestionably one of the genre’s leading selectors, with his impeccable technical ability that is rivalled by few. Case in point: his mind-blowingly sick UKF On Air x Serato mix for us earlier this year. As proved by tracks such as Silly, Amen Tune (with Calibre) and Yellow Shoes, he’s an equally respected producer too.
Comprised of the individual producers DJ Chap and Level2, Alibi have released beats on both V and Hospital, encompassing myriad styles across the D&B disciplines. Collectively and separately they have made tech, liquid and jump-up tracks in a firing fusion that’s best summed up by bangers like Trunk. One of the hottest new names to emerge from Sao Paulo in recent years, we caught up with the dynamic duo earlier this year to find out what the future holds for them.
Aside from being a formidable producer with just under a decade of experience under his belt, this man is an avid vinyl collector and serious music aficionado. He’s churned out some serious bangers in his day and is another regular offender for V Recordings (a label which, it has to be noted, has been the biggest supporter and advocate for Brazilian drum & bass since day one) Touching on the softer focus soul without losing any dancefloor edge, our only complaint is that he doesn’t release anywhere near as frequently as we’d like him to.
Proof that Brazil isn’t all samba and sunset soul; BTK represents his country with a much darker, grittier neuro sound. His decorated discography includes some of the most respected names in drum & bass history: Renegade Hardware, V, Architecture and Mainframe while his work with Cause4Concern’s Optiv has been supported by Dispatch, Virus and Playaz. And that’s before we even get to BTK’s own exemplary label Dutty Audio.
Another Brazilian OG: XRS was on of Sao Paulo’s first drum & bass producers with a history that goes back to the mid 90s as XRS Land. Marky’s main partner in crime throughout the late 90s and much of the early 2000s, together they blessed us with a volley of anthem-status soully rollers including the ubiquitous LK (which they went on to perform on Top Of The Pops) It needs to be noted that XRS productions also played a role in the early output of both Critical (as SYS X on their seventh release) and Soul:R (on their fifth release with his and Marky’s Closer) He’s been relatively quiet in the last five years but is still active and seems to be building up to more fresh dispatches. He also gave away his Sys X archive late last year. Worth checking.
One of the most underrated / underreported first-gen Brazilian producers who’s still quietly killing it to this day, Bungle is a certified G. Adept at both cosmic hypno-grooves and riff-heavy rewinders (see Kasra’s comments on Bungle’s Andy C-caned Too Late earlier this month) Bungle’s still smashing out the future soul on Doc Scott’s 31.
No other artists on this list has releases with as many killer D&B labels: Metalheadz, Soul:R, Samurai, Spearhead, 31, Innerground, Critical, Commercial Suicide, Quarantine, Med School and of course Hospital where he’s one of the label’s most prolific roller merchants. Last spotted on UKF two days ago, he’s just confirmed he’s got loads of new material due imminently.
Another Brazilian bossa boss on Hospital’s books, Urbandawn first rose to attention with the emotional showstopper Words To Say on Bad Taste before building up to his recent debut album Gothenburg Cluster. A multifaceted body of work with a wide range of sounds and references, it was one of the best Hospital albums last year. We spoke to him when it came out to find out more.
Emerging on Bryan Gee’s Chronic, Sao Paulo duo Critycal Dub have delivered a consistent slew of warm, roughened soul since 2009. With a sonic flexibility than allows them to work from labels as diverse as Clawhammer and Liquid Drops, Critycal Dub nail that rich scope, breadth and soul that encapsulates everything we love about not just Brazilian drum & bass but drum & bass full stop.