Genre Deep Dive: Jump Up DNB

Rampage Festival

All eyes were on the drum and bass genre in 2023 as heavy hitters such as “Baddadan” and “Semi-Automatic” made their way into the bass sets of many global artists. It’s no secret that drum and bass is gaining popularity on a global scale and continues to push the boundaries of EDM.

We continue to see the popularity of the drum and bass genre grow and expand into the American regions, but Jump Up DNB has a special place in my heart for its infectious energy, excitement, hard hitting, punchy bass and its ability to get the entire crowd up on their feet and literally jumping. Jump up DNB uses aggressive basslines that make it sound much harder and more intense than other subgenres of DNB. Jump up DNB uses a lot of screeching synths, dark and heavy bass, and most songs run at a faster tempo than other DnB subgenres. Jump up encourages people to bounce which is what music is all about: enjoying the moment and dancing!

Let’s take a look at how the most energizing subgenre of DNB came to be:

Jump Up DNB originated in the underground scene of the UK and started making waves in the 1990’s, often viewed as a subgenre of Jungle. Its innate ability to get people jumping allowed it to spread at a fast rate, encouraging DJs and producers to build songs with the aim of getting their audience to “jump”.  The name “jump up” DnB was derived from audiences’ reactions to these hard hitting, fast paced songs. It refers to songs with often light, ambient intros, changing at the drop into amen breakbeats. Tracks often included hip hop samples and loud melodic basslines. Around the mid 90’s, Jump up DnB surged in popularity as it began to be used more commonly with hip hop samples by Suburban Bass artists Dream Team and DJ Hype, Ganja Records. Jump Up dnb continued to expand and change, adapting to emerging trends, incorporating dubstep, reggae and more unique sounds.

Now, the presence of drum and bass at music festivals is increasing due to both popularity and demand. Jump Up DnB is particularly gaining more eyes because of its ties to other subgenres and it’s punchy bass. Comparable to the sounds used in dubstep songs, Jump Up Drum and Bass has been added to more bass heavy music festivals globally. Festivals like Lost Lands Music Festival, that goes down every September in Ohio, featuring all of the largest bass acts in the world has began incorporating drum and bass stages, as well as more jump up DnB focused artists.

Drum & Bass artist, Reaper

One of my personal favourite artists, Reaper, excels in this subgenre and he has seen significant group over the last year, making appearances at EDC Las Vegas in 2023, and Lost Lands Music Festival in 2023. He fuses intense, punchy sounds with high paced, not to mention, fast rhythms to get ravers bouncing for his entire set. We are seeing more and more fusion artists who combine jump up dnb and dubstep into their sets to create a more extensive experience.

Jump Up DnB has a special place in my heart and it’s still such an untapped space that leaves a lot of room for emerging artists. Some of the top Jump Up artists to look out for are definitely: Reaper, Hedex, K Motionz, Bou just to name a few. The best way to find an amazing jump up DnB track is to notice how your body feels when you listen to it. Crank up the volume, and see if it genuinely makes you want to get hyped and jump up. I credit Reaper for turning me onto the Jump Up DnB subgenre. Songs like “IMY” and “Call My Name” really take you on a journey, with calm builds, beautiful vocals into hard hitting, punchy, jumpy bass!

The bass world is making more room for Jump Up DnB and we are moving out of the wonky, wooky sounds trend that has lasted the last few years. Although still popular, and prevalent, after coming out of a pandemic as well as experiencing a shift in the rise of electronic music again, its resurgence calls for more high energy music that gets people excited to attend festivals, and excited to be a part of the EDM community.

By: Remy Lethbridge

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