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19 drum 'n' bass and jungle DJs from the 90s who are still at the top of their game

Drum 'n' bass and jungle artists who just won't stop

  • Dave Turner
  • 13 May 2020

You might have seen us write about the house DJs who are still out there bossing it more than 20 years into their career. Then there's this list of '90s techno DJs still at the top of their game. Now it's time to have a look at the jungle and drum 'n' bass DJs who are still doing their thing. From Andy C selling out a 13-week residency in under three hours to the likes of Doc Scott and Fabio getting booked for house and techno parties. There's also the renaissance of DJ Storm in recent years, compounded with the reissue of hers and Kemistry's DJ-Kicks mix. Check out the mega list of those still smashing it below.

1
Andy C

Not only is Andy C still at the top of his game, his residency at London club XOYO in 2017 was one of the most-talked about series of parties in recent times. The RAM Records boss pulled for everything from jungle rarities and techstep to liquid and tear-out d'n'b as he welcomed the likes of Calibre, the late Marcus Intalex, Fabio & Grooverider, Jumping Jack Frost, DJ Hazard and more. The intimate (500 capacity is intimate when you take into account the mammoth stages and clubs - Amnesia Ibiza, SW4, EDC Las Vegas being just a few - Andy C's become used to!) parties proved such a success, XOYO invited him back for a second series in 2019. And guess what? 13 weeks of events sold out in just over two hours. If that's not evidence of a DJ riding high two decades after starting their career, I really don't know what is.

2
Goldie

British music culture - and culture in general - would be a lot less vibrant without the presence of Goldie. From way back in the mid-90s when he released the iconic 'Timeless' to still being capable of DJ'ing sets loaded with top-level d'n'b, the Metalheadz founder's ensured his bling-bling aesthetic has always been in the public's gaze. As well as still playing all around the world in recent years, from Avant Gardner in New York and Outlook Festival in Croatia to Printworks London and Epizode Festival in Vietnam, Goldie freshened things up in 2019 with collaborative project Subjective with Ulterior Motive's James Davidson. The album, 'Act One - Music For Inanimate Objects', isn't made for dark rave skank-outs, instead a downtempo, broken beat and ambient paradise with vocal features from the likes of Tyler Daley and Terri Walker. His label Metalheadz hit the 25-year milestone last year and is still firing out releases of the finest quality, too. Ukrainian techno DJ Nastia, who spoke to Goldie as part of our Back 2 Back series last year, would surely back up the notion of him still bringing his A-game.

3
DJ Storm

When your DJ-Kicks mix from 21 years ago is being reissued, you know people have still got a craving for your goods. That's the case for DJ Storm whose - alongside Kemistry, who passed away in 1999 - edition of the Studio !K7 series got a fresh release this month. This reissue follows somewhat of a renaissance for Storm who has seen herself playing events such as Unsound Festival in Poland and Amsterdam's Dekmantel in recent years, as well as sharing line-ups with the likes of Eris Drew, Josey Rebelle and Donato Dozzy. Hard-hitting jungle and d'n'b, much like the tracks on the DJ-Kicks mix, are still very much at the top of her agenda, proving that she's just as much of a banging selector as she was back in the day.

4
dBridge

dBridge has been on a roll the last few years. In some shape or form, he's released an album a year since 2017. The first was a mini-album with Kabuki, the second is 2018's 'A Love I Can't Explain', the third being 'Lineage' and the fourth 'Inhibited', released this year. Not someone with a conventional breaks-drums-breaks approach to d'n'b, dBridge steps away from the norm on each of the albums, dishing out dark tech-steppers, blissful ambience, glitchy footwork and other bass experimentations. It's refreshing that someone who's been in the game for nearly two decades - either as dBridge the DJ and producer, Exit Records boss or as part of Bad Company - still has the desire and ambition for so much experimentation.

5
Fabio & Grooverider

The release of the '30 Years of RAGE' compilation at the end of 2019 really got people hyped about Fabio & Grooverider. Not only that, they took RAGE - the club night where they laid the foundations for jungle and d'n'b with all sorts of WTF!? futurisms spanning breaks, hardcore, techno and more - back to London club Heaven for a celebratory party. Promoted by London house connoisseurs Secretsundaze, Fab & Groove invited the likes of Bushwacka!, Bryan G, DJ Storm, Ray Keith, DJ Ron and more for the rave reminiscence. The pair also played a RAGE Classics set in The Lab LDN as part of the anniversary. Asides from the RAGE celebrations, they've shared line-ups with the likes of Ben UFO, SHERELLE, Joy Orbison and Objekt in recent years, showing they can hold their own outside of the d'n'b and jungle world.

6
DJ Randall

Too hot to handle, DJ Randall! Thanks to a long-standing Rinse FM residency, Randall continues to bless the airwaves with gritted-teeth d'n'b. The fact he's on such a prominent radio station, one so tightly entwined with youth culture, is testament of his relevance and stature in jungle and d'n'b. It's certainly something to be proud of, bearing in mind he's been going at it since the early '90s, when he was making tunes with Andy C on RAM and playing parties such as Orange at the Rocket Club and AWOL/World Dance at the Paradise Club, both in North London. Dekmantel Festival showed its respect to Randall in 2018 by booking him to play a '90s Metalheadz set with Goldie. Quite the feat at a festival so heavily linked to house and techno.

Read this next: 15 house DJs from the 90s who are still at the top of their game

7
DJ Hype

The demand for DJ Hype's Playaz rave just doesn't look like slowing down. The rowdy d'n'b and jump-up party's in its second decade, with a takeover of mega London club Printworks recently ticked off the list. You do wonder what DJ Hype would've said had you told him that'd be the case back in the '90s when he was making rave weapons like 'Roll The Beats' on Suburban Base or releasing classics as The Ganja Kru with DJ Zinc and Pascal. All that matters is that Hype's still got the hype.

8
Doc Scott

Have a conversation about jungle and d'n'b in the '90s and it's likely 'Shadow Boxing' by Nasty Habits (Doc Scott's alias) will come up. The moody, martial arts films-sampling cut is a classic. It's importance was highlighted recently, with Doc Scott releasing it digitally for the first time, alongside a bunch of other Nasty Habits tunes from 1994 to 2001. Don't go thinking he only looks back on past glories, though. His Future Beats radio show is proof of his commitment to forward-thinking d'n'b. 2019 also saw him mixing with clubs, festivals and artists with big ties to house and techno, as he played Gottwood, shared a line-up with Young Marco at Concrete Paris and joined Craig Richards at London pub-club The Lion & Lamb. A recent tweet declaring German techno-meets-breaks label Ilian Tape as his favourite label shows he's got his finger on the pulse.

9
Shy FX

It's been one helluva journey for Shy FX, who's gone from bedroom producer (as seen in this 1994 doc Jungle FeverJungle Fever) to calling on Idris Elba for a new version of his legendary tune 'Original Nuttah'. It was the original of that track with UK Apachi which swung open the door for Shy's career, one that also spawned the anthem 'Bambaata' in 1997. These days you'll catch the North London DJ and producer causing chaos at Notting Hill Carnival and collaborating with artists like Lily Allen, D Double E, Kojey Radical and Ghetts, as was the case for the 'Raggamuffin SoundTape' in 2019. Model Cara Delevingne even features on that, proof of Shy's pulling power these days. His Cult.ure parties in 2018 were roadblocks. No surprise bearing in mind guests included the likes of Andy C, Octavian, Mike Skinner, Benji B and loads more.

10
DJ Zinc

You'd think DJ Zinc's looking to beat a record he's ticked off so many new collaborators recently. Maverick Sabre, Alicai Harley and Chris Lorenzo have all been in the studio with him and while he might not be making tunes like breakthrough track 'Super Sharp Shooter', his productions are still loaded with bass and have all it takes to make the rave go off. On the topic of raves, his 2019 entailed a Japan tour, saw him join DJ Marky at D-Edge in Såo Paulo, play My Nu Leng & M8s around the UK and head to Boomtown and Outlook Festival as part of his festival run.

11
LTJ Bukem

Just the other day I came across LTJ Bukem's 'Mixmag Live! Volume 21' CD from 1996 and, my gosh, it's a gooden. Bukem in the early and mid-90s was flawless, leading the charge in 'intelligent jungle', as it was coined, with his club night Speed. His own tunes from that era are layered with gorgeous atmospherics: 'Atlantis (I Need You)', 'Music', 'Horizons', the list goes on. Don't forget his '95 Essential Mix with MC Conrad or the legendary 'Logical Progression' mix, either. He's still at it now. Bukem took his sound around the United States at the tail-end of 2019, also playing festivals and events all over, whether that's Hospitality In The Park strictly for d'n'b heads or the diverse WOMAD Festival. It's not a shock to see him playing raves alongside other pioneers such as Roni Size, either.

12
DJ Marky

King of the upside-down turntable scratch, DJ Marky's road to stardom began in the late '90s after Bryan G brought him over to the UK having seen him do his thing in his native Såo Paulo. What a decision that was. Since then we've had the Latino-tasting d'n'b funk of 'LK (Carolina Carol Bela)' with XRS, an Essential Mix, again with XRS, countless DJ sets of of liquid gold and a bunch of A-star releases on his label Innerground Records. Marky's had his own fair share of wicked releases in the last decade, from 'Yellow Shoes' and 'Mystic Sunset' with compatriot S.P.Y to 'Amen Tune' with Calibre, once a tune that was heard at every d'n'b rave going, yet couldn't be identified until it appeared on 'Shelflife 4' with Calibre. A superstar in his native Brazil, he'll still clock up bookings around the country, with gigs last year also taking place in Japan, the UK, Australia and all over Europe. This man ain't gonna stop.

13
Roni Size

Roni Size and Reprazent hit the big time in 1998, picking up the Mercury Prize for their album 'New Forms'. No big deal. 'Brown Paper Bag' is obviously the biggest hit from that and listening to it today, it still sounds fresh. Especially that funky bassline. He brought the album back to life in 2017, debuting a live show to celebrate the record's 20th anniversary, while DJ gigs in recent times have seen him travel to the US, China and plenty of other spots around the world, as well as alongside LTJ Bukem. His and Krust's label Full Cycle also reopened in 2016, with the most recent release coming from Unkut.

14
J Majik

J Majik, the man behind a trove of jungle treasures ('Arabian Nights', 'Your Sound' and loads more) from the mid-90s onwards, returned with his first album since 1997 last year. 'Full Circle', as the title would suggest, saw him revisit the crystalised jungle sound he championed early on in his career and it's magical. Dreamy pads, crunchy breaks and enticing vocals all feature, reminding you just how talented J Majik is as a producer.

Read this next: 14 of the best vocal liquid d'n'b tracks

15
Calibre

You won't read or watch many interviews with Northern Irish producer Calibre, but what he lacks in press he certainly makes up for in musical output. Calibre introduced himself in 1998 with 'Reflections'/'Last Man On Earth', showcasing his ability in making d'n'b swathed in funk and soul, a style then first becoming known as liquid. The term liquid was coined by Fabio and it was on his label, Creative Source, that Calibre released 'Mystic', his breakthrough tune, in 1999. Since then he's been relentless, releasing album after album, including the beautiful 'Second Sun' and, most recently, 'Shelflife 6'. He's known to put d'n'b aside now and then and 2019 saw him release a heavenly album of ambient and downtempo cuts in 'Planet Hearth'. That's not to say he's slowed down on club-destined tracks. 2018 garage-leaning cut 'Break That' is proof of that, with Midland loving it so much he included it on his Mixmag Cover Mix. As was the case with Andy C, Calibre's residency at XOYO London was also the party on everyone's lips, with the likes of SHERELLE, Mala, LSB, Ben UFO and loads more on a star-studded line-up.

16
Friction

First breaking into the scene in 1998 with 'Critical Mass' as part of Kinnetix, Friction's career is one loaded with accolades. He won Best Newcomer at the Drum & Bass Awards in 2002 and was inducted to the same awards' Hall of Fame in 2011. A six-year stint presenting a show on Radio 1 - he announced his departure in 2017 - ensured the masses got a weekly intake of d'n'b, with him hosting mixes from the likes of Lenzman and Enei, also welcoming the likes of Goldie and Chase & Status to the show. Now focusing on DJing out, producing and running his label Shogun Audio, which was joined by sister label Elevate Audio in 2016.

17
DJ Flight

DJ Flight got a break after Kemistry and Storm handed her mixtape to Goldie. That led to longstanding residency with Metalheadz, a label she's still tight with today. Her fierce, groaning jungle and d'n'b sets can also be heard across radio stations from Rinse FM to NTS to Reprezent. D'n'b dons such as Calibre and Lenzman also invited her to join them at their respective residencies at XOYO and Phonox in London in 2019 and in early 2020, with other events such as Josey Rebelle's party at The Pickle Factory, twenty four/seven at Fold and Hospitality filling up her calendar.

18
London Elektricity

Hospital Records is a global d'n'b phenomenon, with its Hospitality parties thrown in all corners of the world and festivals Hospitality In The Park and Hospitality On The Beach recently being added to its CV. London Elektricity's been the man behind the wheel since launching in the mid-90s and has guided it on the road to world domination, bringing on artists such as High Contrast and Netsky. Last year he released 'Building Better Worlds', an album filled with playful, melodic d'n'b, featuring the likes of regular collaborator Elsa Esmerelda, Inja, Urbandawn and Whiney.

19
DJ Hazard

Hazard's first release 'Year 2000'/'Jayden' surfaced in 1999, giving an insight into the d'n'b rowdiness we'd be expecting over the next 20 years. His DJ sets are just as ferocious as the tunes he makes. He's a master of the jump-up sound, part of the Playaz crew with DJ Hype, his regular DJ partner in crime. Last year the pair even played back-to-back at Tomorrowland, a festival usually reserving its line-ups for pyrotechnic-mad EDM stars. Proper d'n'b heads still got to see him join DJ Marky and Kasra in the last year, though.

Dave Turner is Mixmag's Commercial Content Editor, follow him on Twitter

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