Although artists and listeners alike have dubbed it a dying genre, pure drum and bass, I’ve found, is far from dead. You just have to know where to look.
In the city of Philadelphia, Mike Harrington is hard at work producing his own breed of D’n’B. His listeners know him better as Structure. Entirely self-taught, Structure has been producing drum and bass since 1996, although his passion for the music began in 1991, when he spent a year studying abroad in Germany.
If you come to Infusion Hookah Bar and Lounge on a Monday night, expect to hear a different kind of musical set. Mondays belong to Pillager—you’ll recognize the name if you’ve ever heard him spin at Basscamp on Thursdays at the Vault.
Having already experienced Basscamp, I was expecting the same kind of high-energy, fist-pounding electro and dub step. Pillager—known as Eric Olsen by his familiars—surprised me with a set that alternated from haunting atmospheric trance to hard and sexy reggae dub so smoothly that I didn’t even realize the transitions taking place.
Anyone who claims there’s no future for genre blending has never met Parker Robinson and Masson Rager.
The crowd that has amassed tonight to hear them perform at the Vault’s Loft is proof in itself that the days of musical cliques are dying fast.
I’m amazed by the diversity of their audience: blacks, whites, frat guys, hippie chicks, raver kids decked out in neon and sequins; in the center of the dance floor, a man wearing a sweat suit and glow sticks begins to breakdance and insanity ensues.