Drum & Bass as a genre, as a scene and as a community is stronger than ever. It is a testament to the people who have built the genre’s stature piece by piece, for more than 3 decades, and brought it to a position where it’s ready to take Techno head-on going into the next ten years.
One of the pivotal cogs in the genre’s rich history are Drum&BassArena, who have been pushing talent since their inception in 1996 through music releases, hosting events, tours, merchandise, digital distribution; and they are now one of the biggest brands that the genre boasts.
An important piece of Drum&BassArena’s journey is the Drum&BassArena Awards which they have been hosting since 2009 to celebrate the genre’s best music, labels, artists, gigs, live shows. The awards are now also regarded as one of DnB’s biggest yearly celebrations where the entire scene comes together physically or virtually to witness the spectacle.
Drum&BassArena recently concluded their 12 edition of the awards where we saw some familiar names bag the awards, while some new faces took their deserving accolades. Since the year was divided into two halves, where we spent one half of 2021 watching live streams and the other in clubs raving to the music we love, Drum&BassArena also added awards like ‘Best Live Stream Set’, ‘Best Artwork’ and many other exciting categories.
Hosted by Jenna G and UKF editor Dave Jenkins, the awards began with A.M.C deservedly bagging the best Drum & Bass DJ award for the third time running thanks to his freak skills behind the decks. Austrian wizards Camo & Krooked were awarded the ‘Best Producer’ award and two more with Mefjus for their work behind 2021’s biggest DnB tunes like ‘Sientelo’.
Next up was MC Inja’s 4th ‘Best MC’ award in as many years for his thunderous bars in his productions and DJ sets. Charlotte Haining was awarded the ‘Best Vocalist’ award for her sumptuous vocals on some of the Liquid Drum & Bass stunners released this year. Hospital Records were given the ‘Best Label’ award and Onyx Recordings were adjudged as the ‘Best Newcomer Label’ for the outrageously good year both labels have had with their releases.
Dom Whiting, who rose to fame through his ‘Drum & Bass On The Bike’ live streams won the ‘Best Newcomer’ award and the ‘Best Live Stream Set’ award for keeping our Drum & Bass heads sane during isolation due to widespread lockdowns across the world.
Hospital Records once again won ‘Best Festival’ award with Hospitality in the Woods thanks to their mammoth line-ups, and ‘Best Club Night’ was awarded to Hospitality. The highlight of the night was DJ Mantra receiving the Critics’ Choice award after an incredible year behind the scenes at EQ50, and London’s Jungle night Rupture.
Finally, DJ SS was honoured with the ‘Hall of Fame’ award for his contribution to the scene during its formative years through his Formation Records label and Total Kaos club nights.
2022 promises to be another massive year for the genre, but we would like to thank every artist who brought us together through sensational music in these difficult times and never let the quality of their music dip below excellent despite the emotional and mental challenges the year posed!
As they have always said but now done more digitally, #DNB4LIFE
Watch the Drum&BassArena Awards 2021 in all its glory here:
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