It should come as no surprise that Drum & Bass is a genre that means a lot to us at DNB Dojo. We enjoy celebrating the vibrant legacy and culture of this music, and it is an undeniable fact that we have Black artists to thank for filling the world with the remarkable sounds and styles that we’ve come to know and love.
Drum & Bass as a genre was predominantly birthed by Black artists and is thus inextricably linked to Black culture. To pay homage to the indelible impact of Black artists in Drum & Bass we are dedicating the next four weeks of Classic Track to productions solely from Black artists, a special dedication to their visionary achievements in the scene.
Let’s take Classic Track back to the roots to what is considered one of the first jungle tracks ever: We Are I.E. released on i.e. Records in 1991. Lennie De Ice struck gold with this monumental work, becoming an instrumental force in starting a musical movement that would forever change the music world.
While I enjoy describing classic tracks and their significance, this edition of the series would make more sense to have Lennie himself describe the track, whom I’ve quoted from his comment made approximately three months ago at the time of this writing on one of the song’s Youtube uploads (his comment has been lightly edited for clarity):
…I’m glad this tune has inspired & invoked the feelings and some unforgettable memories. Having that moment together was a magical experience. It [We Are I.E.] was originally made in 1988, but sat on my reel-to-reel as an unfinished skeleton mix; it was heavily an instrumental, but something was missing until 1989 when I got my new Akai S950 sampler and put samples in to complete it in December.
A few months before Bank Holiday, May Alldayer performed live for Empathy State of Mind at Dungeons along with Ill Tempo, myself, and Kickski Love. Adamski was also on the bill—he played before us and did well. We played afterwards with less equipment: a drum machine, Juno 106, and MT8 sequencer. We kicked the granny out of it. The whole of the room upstairs kicked off. There was that moment during the performance that the penny dropped. Watching the crowd, we were one, on a mission. While still buzzing from the rave, I then encapsulated that moment in We Are I.E. I had played it a few times on Rave FM, which was the pirate station I was a part of.
I.E. is Latin meaning ‘example,’ [We Are I.E.] meaning “We Are Example of the Future.” This tune was made on a sequencer from the drum machines, programmed and recorded live with no computers involved. If it wasn’t for John at Reel 2 Reel Productions and Mikey at De Underground Records, picking that tune from out of 30 tunes I had to offer them, it might not have been the dance floor anthem it was.
That moment you had? We had it together! There is more to tell but that’s more for the book. I really appreciate you guys for being a part of the music revolution freedom to dance. When we raved under one roof! One sound! We became one. On a mission. Peace.
Lennie also announced an upcoming EP and relaunch of Armshouse Crew Records in the postscript of his comment:
P.S. Coming Soon! Three decades of We Are I.E. 2020, new remixes, a four track EP Volume 1, and the relaunch of Armshouse Crew Records. For more info, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by Luke Kessler