Chicago bass merchants Quadratic — Colin Harris and Chris Widman, two creatives who produce, perform live and co-host the long running Abstract Science show — take the helm of the latest Big Shot Guest Mix in a spectacular way. Instead of rinsing their mix with the latest and greatest bangers, their 21-track session, which they’ve dubbed Year Over Year: Drum ‘n’ Bass 1994-2015, serves a masterclass of anthems selected from each year of their bass journey which began over 20 years ago. We’re talking everything from ’90s d’n’b essentials by Photek and Tee Bee to more recent bass cuts by Africa Hitech and Addison Groove. Chris Widman explains:
While Quadratic is mostly ambivalent of genre, Colin and I were both drawn to electronic music by jungle and drum ‘n bass in the midwest rave scene. I first heard jungle at Missouri raves around 1994-1995 and the frenetic percussion inspired me to start DJing with a group of high school buddies. A few years later Colin, a bedroom producer since his teens, started coming to our college town club nights (and listening to our radio show, Abstract Science). We became friends, realized we were a good match musically and Quadratic was born. Around 2000, the Abstract Science crew and radio show moved to Chicago, where we became know for championing innovative producers and DJs. Though we have embraced many new genres and styles over the years, tracing the evolving state of drum ‘n’ bass continues to be a regular feature on the radio program.
With that in mind, here are a few of our favorite jungle and drum ‘n’ bass tracks spanning 1994-2015, mixed in chronological order, with a selection for each year. It is not intended as a grandiose statement of the most important tracks, nor a definite study of how the genre evolved, but you can get a sense of how the rhythms and elements have changed. Full disclosure: after completing the mix and typing up the track listing, we realized the year 2010 was omitted. Blame dubstep.