On Monday 27th May, Drum & Bass Arena released their feature length documentary: Drum & Bass: The Movement.
This 5 year project captures a specific and intense slice of Drum & Bass and Jungle culture’s rapid acceleration from 1996 – 2016. Featuring DnB heavyweights Goldie, Andy C, Roni Size, DJ Flight, Grooverider, Ed Rush & Optical, Mefjus, Friction, El Hornet, Chase & Status, plus many more pioneers, as well as exclusive unseen footage from our scene’s rich history.
I wanted to know more about this amazing project so I contacted Director: Bailey Hyatt, Producer: Craig Haynes and Writer: Dave Jenkins, the masterminds behind the documentary, for an exclusive radio interview to get a clearer insight on how it was created and what they found out.
Here’s what they had to say…
BINX: I imagine, this is quite an exciting time for you? A five year project finally coming to fruition. How are you feeling?
Bailey: 5 very long years coming to this day, I couldn’t be more excited really!
Craig: Bailey’s excited, I think me and Dave are a bit more nervous, feels like a lot of responsibility. We’ve done about as best a job as we can and I hope everyone enjoys it.
BINX: In 1996 I was only 1. What was the scene like back then and how was it different to other scenes?
Dave: Back in the day the difference was there was more of an edge to it. You went to a Drum and Bass night and considering I was 16 at the time, you had to behave yourself in a certain way. There was a real energy to it. It was exciting and you didn’t go there to mess around it was a serious night and people were properly into it. You were a guest in another world. There was something special going on it wasn’t like any other form of music.
BINX: What was the initial idea for the documentary?
Craig: Late 2015 we started kicking around ideas for 20 years of Drum and Bass Arena, that’s where the time frame of 1996 – 2016 came from. We had hundreds of tapes and DVD’s. DnBTV has been filming since the late nineties so there was a goldmine there and then we thought we would do some interviews.
Quite early on I think we were just like, ‘lets do a documentary’. At the time we just didn’t feel like anything had really covered a real breadth and expanse of time.
BINX: How did you choose the artists that you used?
Craig: The original list was at least 50. Once we started out we didn’t know it was going to take 5 years to do this. We were reaching out to so many people and logistically some just didn’t happen. There were other people scheduled but yenno, real life just happened.
There’s nearly 30 people in there and we feel like its a good range. Maximum respect to everyone in the scene, these were just the people that wanted to do it, that were available and that we could get – it is a good cross section.
BINX: Did you have a favourite interview?
Dave: I think El Hornet was a favourite for all of us. We sent him the questions in advance and he’d though about it. He had lists, he had dates, he had releases. We were asking him about a very important part of DNB in his own personal history and he went in and we all knew it. When I was watching the footage afterwards I was like ‘wow’, I’ve got goosebumps thinking about it now.
I think one insight that always struck me was the fact that Skibadee can play the flute!
There was a bit with Ed Rush and Optical, they weren’t really sure whether Wormhole was gonna be appreciated or not. They thought everyone might hate it and revelations about historical and incredible albums like that which changed the genre forever and they weren’t even sure if people would like it.
BINX: Would you say the finished project is anything you envisioned at the start?
Dave: No, not at all.
Bailey: For me it’s beyond anything that I was thinking of when we first started. I couldn’t be happier with what we have made.
Dave: It’s grown hugely out of what anything Craig or I could have ever imagined when we first sat down and we were told that we could think about a documentary. There’s no documentary of its kind on the genre and I would say on electronic music full stop, there aren’t many documentaries on this level. It’s super detailed and will go down as a real time capsule that captures 20 years one of the most exciting genres in UK music.
It was amazing to talk to these guys about a project they have worked so hard on for the last 5 years. After watching it, I was blown away by the level of detail and the depth in which they explore the scene and how it has progressed through time. It really does live up to their hype.
For a Drum and Bass enthusiast like myself, It was a pleasure to watch from start to finish and I am sure you would agree they have been able to capture such a unique slice of musical history and culture.
If you haven’t watched it yet here is a link: Drum & Bass: The Movement
(Contains strong language)
BINX will be featuring the full exclusive interview on his show, The BINX Drum & Bass Show at 11PM tomorrow night.
Tune in every Wednesday for the best new DnB, interviews and guest mix’s from Manchesters hottest DJ’s.
Check out his last show here
Written by Rory Bramford