There have been a few documentaries out recently, with American Jungle exploring the development of drum & bass stateside was released over three parts from March to May, One Nation: Three Decades of Drum & Bass was released in February specifically about the One Nation parties in the 90s that were integral to the formation of the D&B scene in England and now Drum & Bass: The Movement which covers the nearly 30 years of drum & bass from the perspective of one of the genre’s most prolific promotions and press magnates, Drum&BassArena.
Drum & Bass: The Movement released on May 25 in a livestream premiere event and is the first of its kind to feature an actual historical timeline of the drum & bass movement, tracking how it formed from UK hardcore and early jungle to where it’s come to now with myriad different subgenres and offshoots, including dubstep, riddim and halftime.
The 85-mintue documentary features interviews with drum & bass progenitors like Goldie, Andy C, Roni Size, DJ Flight, Grooverider and Ed Rush & Optical along with some of the legends who came along during different eras such as Mefjus, El Hornet (Pendulum), Friction and Chase & Status to help construct its narrative. One criticism some old school drum & bass heads had was that the documentary didn’t feature enough of the important figures in drum & bass but with the narrative the documentary set out to create, more artists might have been overload. Perhaps a part two and even a part three may be in order?
Whether you think it missed some key figures or not, Drum & Bass: The Movement is still wildly entertaining and brings up a lot of interesting points about drum & bass culture. There’s lots of great throwback footage and images and it’s also a great documentary to teach younger heads who came and are still coming into the scene about how drum & bass was born, grew and continues to make its mark on music.
Drum & Bass: The Movement is still available to watch in full on YouTube and it’s definitely worth sitting down and watching. Well produced, well-written and thought-provoking, no matter what the interview lineup, the documentary one of the best done about drum & bass so far. It truly captures that unique D&B vibe that we all love so well. Many thanks to the vision and work of all involved. Watch the full documentary below.