Our previous edition featured tracks that we felt were some of the best this year, and because we couldn’t fit the list in a single piece, we have made another list of our DnB favorites from 2022.
Such has been the year of extraordinary jungle and drum & bass music that we could not limit our list of favorite tracks to just 10 tunes. Music coming from labels and independent artists has been in great supply, and it’s been on both ends of the chilling and raving spectrum.
Our previous selection featured tracks from Sub Focus, Noisia, Icicle, and The Caracal Project, to name a few; and without wasting any time, we will dive straight into the second chapter of TFword’s selection of the best jungle and drum & bass tunes from this year.
IMANU – Empress
In our opinion, IMANU’s debut album ‘Unfold’ is the contender for bass album of the year, not just in drum & bass, but in bass music as a whole. Out of the many genre-defying tunes from the album, we fell in love with ‘Empress.’ Depth, emotion, atmosphere, and the raw energy of bass music; this track doesn’t miss a beat.
Wilkinson & Becky Hill – Here For You
Together, Wilkinson and Becky Hill don’t just make music, they make magic. After the monumental success of ‘Afterglow’ as part of Wilkinson’s debut album ‘Lazers Not Included,’ the musician announced Becky Hill’s return on his latest long release, and naturally, it was one of the most anticipated tunes. When it did hit all streaming platforms, it sent shivers down the spines of every individual that heard it; the kind of music that makes you want to close your eyes even though you’re on the dancefloor.
Visages – Lunar Eclipse Feat. Strategy
Visages only deals in making outrageously good music, and for their umpteenth banger of 2022 (but by far the best one), they’ve teamed up with Manchester badman Strategy on Alix Perez’s 1985 Music, to deliver a drum & bass anthem for the ages. When you listen to the tune and you think that the first drop is it; take our advice and wait for the second drop.
L-Side x Parly B – Galang
Drum & bass with a little Brazilian samba can hardly go wrong, and L-side ensures that the funk and drive of DnB’s aesthetics are always a highlight of his tunes. Released originally by Parly B on Scotch Bonnet Records, L-side flipped the tune upside down and brought of the biggest drum & bass dubplate of recent times to life on V Recordings’ affiliate label Philly Blunt.
Pola & Bryson – Tell You What I Did (ft. Zitah)
Having been known as one of the best artists championing the lush lands of liquid drum & bass, we are loving this new futuristic direction Pola & Bryson have taken in the last couple of years, while still preserving their ethos. Zitah’s vibrant vocals are laid over funky, forward-thinking and irresistible grooves that make ‘Tell You What I Did’ a proper summertime number.
Nia Archives – Baianá
The Brazilian football team may have exited the FIFA World Cup, but the samba flair lives with us thanks this to electrifying banger from jungle revivalist Nia Archives. Taking the vocal sample from the famous Brazilian humorous musician group, Barbatuques, Nia Archives sped the proceedings to transport us straight into the streets of Rio de Janeiro.
Iris & pyxis – Airs
When two of the most talented producers, let alone female producers, combine forces, the result is always extraordinary. Iris’ tight and gritty notes, combined with pyxis’ love for laying down melancholic melodies make ‘Airs’ a gripping journey, and it has been an essential piece in the top drum & bass tracks of the year.
Submorphics – Starchild’s Theme
Our list of the best drum & bass tracks would be incomplete without a tune from The North Quarter camp, who have since their inception been the undisputable champions of the liquid DnB sound that moves away from the cliches of the sub-genre. Then, there is Detroit native Submorphics, who has, over the years, developed his unique brand of lo-fi, deep drum & bass. Submorphics made a return to the label for the ‘Verona Highway’ EP this year and dropped this surreal slice of music that transcends the euphemisms of human emotions.
Grey Code – Actress
Grey Code has consistently proved that he can take on anything he stylistically likes. The Bristol-based artist dropped his second studio album this year, and it included a tune that defined his intricate rhythms and sound design. With a flawless balance of the light and dark realms of drum & bass, ‘Actress’ went straight into our list of the best tracks this year.
Mefjus and Camo & Krooked – Break Away
Ever since Mefjus and Camo & Krooked started their own imprint, they have simply been on another level with their studio material. While their debut label tune ‘Overture’ was an otherworldly experience, what separates ‘Break Away’ is its raw, unadulterated energy that grows with every phrase of the tune to make an unmissable pick for DJs as their closing track.
With this, we bring the selection of our top drum & bass tunes to a close. We hope you enjoyed our list, and like this year, we hope that this highly addictive drum & bass fanaticism brings more surprises in 2023.
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