Russian student in London:

About the real British rave and the potential of DIY-culture

Article released together with 0922: Minsk 0 Side Records
Polina Sturma, Ilya Gurin-Babayeu

The 80s and 90s in England are becoming the time of the birth of new sounds in music, the time of experiments. Club and dance music is gaining more and more attention and causing growing interest. Radio pirates capture roofs, music calls to forget about what is happening in a routine life. It was during these years when drum and bass attracted more and more fans and firmly established its position as a musical genre.

Drum and bass(or drum and bass; Drum 'n' Bass; abbreviated as D&B, DnB) is an electronic music genre that originated from rave and old school jungle in England in the 1980s and 1990s. Initially, drum and bass emerged as an offshoot of the British breakbeat, jungle and rave scene, when musicians began to mix bass from ragga with accelerated breakbeat from hip-hop. Some believe that there is no significant difference between the terms drum and bass and jungle. On the other hand, many people call the jungle the old records of the first half of the 90s, and consider drum and bass to be a significantly evolved jungle with new post-textual elements.

We decided to ask a couple of questions about this phenomenon to a student of the Goldsmiths, University of London, and certainly a follower of this trend, Dasha Kuznetsova.

Dasha's hometown is Moscow, but she has been living in London for two years. Here she has the opportunity to witness with her own eyes the development of one of the most multifaceted musical cultures in the world.

How did you get interested in this? (I mean, you just can tell how you came to this music)

Personally, I’ve always loved Britain for its musical achievements.

I’ve listened to the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones and many others, but at some point even great music like this can become tiresome. One of my friends told me about drum&bass. Firstly, I did not actually 
appreciate it, but because of Apple Music algorithms I came to the dark side drum and bass music. After that, there was jump up dnb. It got my attention. Later I found out how to dance to this music and about its 
roots. That was a completely new experience in comparison with my 
previous taste. I felt as I became opened to completely new emotions that I’ve never experienced before.

What is the difference between British and Russian musical culture for you? 

It would be the same as comparing earth to the sky. They (brits) treat their heritage carefully. They love music and can devote theirs life’s to it.

“Americans have hip-hop and they will be proud of it for the rest of their days. We (the British) have jungle and drum and bass and we will be proud of it until death. ” 

(documentary "Music Nation Jungle Fever", 2014) 

I met a guy that works for a small British label (there are hundreds here). We went to a festival in Brighton where small labels as his were showing their groups. Almost every pub in the town was filled with live instrumental music and people. I asked my friend about the point of all that was happening and he did not find words to answer me, I mean, obviously, they did not receive much money for the show. The cost of the return single ticket is 30£ . All the group gets 20£ to share. Isn’t it the best answer? 

“I don’t think it got the respect that it deserves, the garage got out of the drum and bass, and then dubstep, if the jungle didn't exist, they wouldn't exist either.” 

(documentary "Music Nation Jungle Fever", 2014)

On the other hand, my other friend managed to pay for his first year at the university with the money he got for playing music with his band. I think that as in Russia every boy want to be a football or hockey player, so in Britain everyone wants to be a rockstar. Eventuality, you get a country where every third is a musician.

What does a real British rave look like and is it worth it?

To be honest, It’s not not as spectacular as it seems, unless you drink alcohol or take prohibited substances (that’s exactly what everyone does there). Same for London and Moscow, you get joy from rave on your own. Again, in both cities raves are happening in some king of abandoned buildings. Music, lighting, people are generally alike, it’s up to you how strongly you want to hang out. It’s worth noticing that british rave girls dress very openly, sometimes they wear only bikini. I haven’t noticed that in Russia. I suggest, that could be because of the cold temperature outside the clubs there. It’s funny how you don’t usually meet these people in your normal life. Seems like every British girl has a special shelf in her wardrobe just for raves.

Do you think it's worth going to foreign festivals and parties?

If you want to and can afford it, then definitely my answer is yes. Especially festivals. Actually, good festivals are happening only abroad. However, there is no need to become extra and go to every club in Europe on weekends. Not every party is worth it. From all festivals in Britain I would recommend Boom Town. It literally includes all the genres in the world (same as for Coachella). This year, headliners are System of 
a Down and Kiss. Personally, I really want to go to Let it Roll in the Czech Republic. This is the biggest festival in Europe. Honestly speaking, in Russia the only real festival I’ve been to is «Picnic Afisha»)

Thanks again to Dasha for this interview.

But let's see why we released this article. We want to show the potential scale of the DIY (Do It Yourself) culture, and encourage people around to create, and not be afraid that nothing will work out. After all, this is exactly how the jungle appeared at the time, which became one of the most striking examples of the original culture that has reached the masses.

We attach a playlist consisting of British music, from world-famous British bands of the 70s to all branches of the jungle and drum and bass of the early 90s.

Have a nice listening!

The Beatles