From the diverse selection of long releases drum & bass as a genre has had on offer this year, we have selected ten albums that we thought had maximum impact in 2022.
This is the time when your drum & bass reddit forum (dogs on acid) discussions peak, debating what the best songs, artists, albums and so on are, for the year. Thankfully, we’re past the monumental task of selecting the best drum & bass tracks of the year, which now brings us to the best albums of the year.
An album is where we witness an artist’s inner creative cosmos; and since the start of the year, we have been blessed with some of the best drum & bass music we have ever heard. We could accommodate nearly all if we could, but we’ve managed to narrow the list down to ten, where the only debate you can have with yourself is the order of these selections.
IMANU – Unfold
Dutch maestro IMANU’s long anticipated album landed on Zeds Dead’s Deadbeats imprint, and it was a blend of everything that we have seen from his music over the years. With precision and innovation at the heart of ‘Unfold,’ IMANU presented us with a journey that encapsulated the deepest depths of electronic music. The album also featured some exciting collaboration with Zonderling, josh pan, The Caracal Project and many more, making IMANU’s album a complete package.
Icicle – Post
This techno drum & bass hybrid creation by Icicle was unfortunately his final album, according to a statement we are yet to break down. But what it has left us with is a expedition of hyperclean sound design; and Icicle digging below the surface of his sound to focus on material not purely for the dance floor, with twelve tightly structured, breezy songs.
Friction – After Dark
Whenever Shogun Audio boss Friction gets in the studio to make you an album, you are sure to get three things; the energy, emotion and raw power of dancefloor-focused drum & bass. ‘After Dark’ is an exhibition of Friction’s sound, one that he has been championing for over two decades. Along with singles, there are some monstrous collaborations that make the album a well-rounded offering.
Justin Hawkes – Existential
Ever since its release, we have relentlessly raved about this album being the album of the year. We haven’t changed our mind yet, despite the release of some albums that could have posed a potential challenge to the ‘Existential’ throne. Combining high energy, futuristic productions with a knack for melodic compositions, if this is Justin Hawkes’ debut album, we seriously cannot wait for what he will bring to drum & bass in the coming years.
Noisia – Closer
How many of you are still grieving the recent Noisia departure? It is a loss to drum & bass that is going to sting for years and years to come. To Noisia’s credit, however, they have left us with enough music to wipe our tears with for the years to come, ever since the announcement of their split up. Bringing their signature productions with some of the best in the game, ‘Closer’ was the perfect album to pull the curtains on these mega music revolutionaries.
Wilkinson – Cognition
The buzz around a Wilkinson long release is unlike any other. Ever since the release of his debut album in 2013, Wilkinson has turned into an unstoppable force – one that has made him one of the biggest artists drum & bass has on offer. Like his debut album ‘Lazers Not Included,’ ‘Cognition’ picked up pace with the release of tracks like ‘If You Want It,’ ‘Frontline,’ and ‘Used To This,’ before finally leading up to his much anticipated collaboration with Becky Hill on ‘Here For You,’ making ‘Cognition’ the drum & bass album of the year.
Workforce – Set & Setting
Ever since Workforce has taken the solo route after his time as Spectrasoul, he has gone on to exemplify what an important figure he is for drum & bass. Consistently creating, innovating and pushing promising artists into the limelight through his newly formed label, Workforce is a proper work horse. Releasing his third album as Workforce, ‘Set & Setting’ explores the purest form of the artist’s sound, laced with unique styles, overarching aesthetics and a engaging sonic palette.
Enei – Humans
When Critical Music release an album, they always do it in style; and especially when it’s the Russian badman Enei. Acting as a sonic extension of his debut album ‘Machines,’ his third studio album dives deeper into the floor-devastating and forward-thinking sound that he has been pushing for the past couple of years.
Sola – Stars Align
Drum & Bass trio Sola didn’t miss a single beat while writing this album. Released on their Grand Theft Audio Recordings imprint, ‘Stars Align’ brings every style of drum & bass into a single album. One that has a trademark Sola touch through and through, where they bring culture, sound, and power, condensed into a 14-track masterpiece.
Zero T – Kilburn
Like we said while listing our drum & bass tracks of the year; any list that covers the landscape of DnB is incomplete without the mention of The North Quarter. Taking their love for the liquid drum & bass to the next level, they have pioneered the modern drum & bass sound in their own way, and the best example of that is this concept album from Zero T & Onj. The 13-track showpiece from Zero T and Onj features an unmistakable blend of Onj’s perfectly timed melodies and Zero T’s industrial aesthetics, making the album an essential drum & bass listen this year.
Which one do you think was your favorite drum & bass album this year?