Been really enjoying Dom Whiting’s mobile Drum and Bass sets recently, they’ve been catching fire on YT and are a rare treat. Dom is clearly riding a rising wave and its interesting that Drum and Bass is part of the equation.
‘This one’s a banger’
In part it helps to see where Drum and Bass has gone since its breakthrough and jungle-mingling in those early 90’s – where at times, it comes across now as a vehicle for a more traditional form of songwriting – with breakbeat clothes and a nod to the verticular power of a bass part. At the same time the artifact of the breakbeat itself at circa 160bpm is an energetic mode that resists being entirely undercut by songs with a weaker underlying intensity.
‘…Bit of an impromptu one today…‘
Taking the nomadic set onto the streets of London as with this video was certainly bold and leads to some epic moments of balls-outery amid the London traffic, as well as many micro-revels along the way with those passing by on foot, bike and even ‘Danny the cabbie’, watching the stream live while driving by. It’s especially notable given that Dom is clearly unfamiliar with London and the carnage of its streets…
‘Shout out to Danny.’
Its notable just how little take up there is from Dom’s regular exhortations for drivers to beep along with the set, of course the general level of hyper-tensity on London’s roads means that most people avoid it.
‘We’re gonna keep it moving now‘
This is the brilliant part of the concept, as well as it being on a bike, it means for those who are not tuned in, it can only ever be an ephemeral encounter, a passing energetic dance assemblage, the mix plateau cycling by momentarily pushing air quantities.
Importantly, though there are many tunes that do in the mix, cut the mustard. Only one of which is this one from Spectrasoul, which also happens to have a brilliantly made video. Very good to be introduced to this.
It feels like this whole approach, as unexpected as it is, and as counter-thetical to the traditional idea of rave or party – is somehow resonant with Drum and Bass and its history of also being championed and proliferated in its early days by pirate radio stations in London and elsewhere.
Resonant as it is with this old identity of being played out through car radios and appearing ‘on the streets’ (as well as where it would originally have been found in disused buildings and sites of illegal parties).
Though now the mobility is with the set itself (played out by Dom on his bike).
I look forward to taking in more of Dom’s sets, although I am sure there will be many offers to partner and sponsor his videos, which may well take away some of that rough and self-starting energy.