DLTM grew up on drum and bass, it’s what our heart beat to for the majority of our formative years. Day in, day out throughout our teens we were listening to the full spectrum of DnB, from Ram Records to Good Looking, Creative Source, 31 Records, Metalheadz, Valve, V Records, Virus Recordings, Full Cycle and everything in between. It was an obsession which formed the foundation of our unerring love for music, so a night at the Drum And Bass Arena Awards, held at Electric in Brixton, got us pretty excited…
Hosted by the legendary Drum And Bass Arena, the DnB Awards take place every year in London (later this year they’ll celebrate their 10th anniversary) giving everyone involved in the music a chance to catch up and pay their respects to the wealth of talent, young and old, that keeps the scene alive.
Hosts Jenna G and Charlie Tee did a sterling job of keeping things ticking along nicely, while a who’s who of DnB heads occupied the seating area in front of the stage. At the back of the club, a menagerie of music industry bods propped up the bar and mingling amongst us were members of the general public. A good mix of people, who got more and more rowdy as the drinks flowed and the awards were handed out.
We were pleased to see some of our favourites like Dynamite, Hospitality and Andy C pick up awards, while also being introduced to newer faces like Maduk and Cartoon, who won ‘Best Newcomer DJ’ and ‘Best Newcomer Producer’ respectively. The vibes were strong all night, drum and bass has always been quite insular and the sense of unity and camaraderie amongst its supporters is staunch. When we were into the music there was almost nothing else that came onto our radar, it was DnB and nothing else, tunnel vision for a good few years. Not to say that everyone into drum and bass is the same, but there is definitely a very strong bond that ties its exponents together.
The most poignant moment of the night came when the screens displayed images of Diane Charlemagne, who passed away in October. The singer was an intrinsic part of the drum and bass world in its infancy and remained one of the voices of the industry for years afterwards. As the vocalist on ‘Inner City Life’, she soundtracked DnB’s move into the mainstream and has no doubt left millions of music fans and ravers around the world with lifelong memories. RIP.
Towards the end of the night it was really interesting to see General Levy make an appearance. Back in the mid-nineties he was ostracised from the scene after he was quoted as saying he ‘runs jungle’ in an interview with Face magazine. As we said, the DnB community is close-knit and if someone makes a claim as outrageous as that, then they’ll fall foul of closed ranks in no time – which is what happened to General Levy. Make sure you check this hilarious clip of MC 5ive-O publicly shaming General Levy at Roast back in 1994…
Full list of winners below.
Best Producer– Noisia
Best MC – Dynamite MC
Best Vocalist – Riya
Best Newcomer DJ – Maduk
Best Newcomer Producer – Cartoon
Best Newcomer MC – Coppa
Best Club Night – Hospitality
Best Label – Hospital Records
Best Festival – Let IT Roll
Best Track – ‘Dead Limit’ – Noisia & The Upbeats
Best Album – Mefjus – ‘Emulation’
Best Live Act – Noisia
Best Video – ‘Rio’ – Netsky ft. Digital Farm Animals
Best Remix – Nasty (Spor Remix) – The Prodigy
Hall of Fame (induction) – Diane Charlemagne
Hall of Fame – Mampi Swift