Lighting the Torch: How BEACON Envisions the Way forward for American Drum & Bass

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Whereas drum & bass in the USA has maintained a foothold for nicely over 20 years, solely now could be it seeing a surge into the mainstream.

Main stateside festivals have adopted the style whereas social media websites like TikTok have helped it pattern alongside a current inflow of drum & bass-influenced pop music. Though European artists have predominantly reaped the rewards up so far, there are a handful of North American artists incomes their hold as nicely.

Bensley, Justin Hawkes and Kumarion are just some to just lately gentle the torch. Their new collaborative EP, Carry The Fireplace, is a a formidable showcase that weaves via a wide range of drum & bass, from anthemic, mainstage-ready hits to jump-up heaters.

Backing their star energy is extra than simply uncooked expertise, nevertheless. Their supervisor, Anthony Tedder, has given them a fair larger platform by offering them with a model new place to launch music: his new document label, BEACON.

BEACON stands firmly by its identify as a steady place for drum & bass artists to launch music.

“Out of all the mainstream dance music labels, there are a few that release drum & bass consistently,” Tedder tells EDM.com. “One of the issues we frequently run into is scheduling and garnering interest in drum & bass tracks. All of those labels that release drum & bass only release a small percentage of their catalog as drum & bass. They’re releasing dubstep, bass house, 140, experimental or anything else. Our main goal is to create a space where drum & bass artists have a US imprint to get their music out in front of people.”

Whereas some homegrown labels have thrived, corresponding to Reid Velocity’s Play Me imprint, they have an inclination to cater to the underground. BEACON, alternatively, is seeking to push a extra festival-oriented sound.

“The purpose of BEACON is to provide a modern context for drum & bass in North America and create an access point to help people deepen their love or discover drum & bass,” Tedder continues. “We want to pay homage to what the scene has had to offer over the past 30 or so years. While the heads know, many don’t know drum & bass has been around in the US essentially as long as it’s been around in other places. It’s important for us to acknowledge the cultural foundation that’s already been built.”

Additional, BEACON seems to concentrate on North American expertise as a lot as expertise that hasn’t been given as a lot consideration throughout the pond.

“We want to create an ecosystem for homegrown artists to flourish and garner the same success that international talent has gotten over here. We also want to extend opportunities to international artists who haven’t had the same exposure as some of the OGs so they can come over here, release music, get involved, play shows and create a footprint in the States.”

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Conceptually, BEACON does not merely finish at a label. Tedder’s concepts prolong a lot farther and he hopes the model evolves right into a cultural phenomenon.

“BEACON is more than just a record label,” he explains. “It’s a music and lifestyle brand that also releases music. The brand is meant to be the foundation for the modern drum & bass community in the US. We’re going to have merch, we’re going to have events, we’re going to build out tours. I want our brand to be a source of positivity and use our brand as a place to further the culture.”

Tedder’s need to advance the style’s affect does not simply come from the expertise on his artist administration roster, however from a ardour deeply rooted in his personal experiences in digital music.

“I was at Electric Forest 2013 or 2014,” he recollects. “On that lineup were Wilkinson, Andy C and Noisia. I remember seeing those sets and thinking, ‘Wow, this is cool.’ It took me back to a time in 2011 or 2012 when I saw Rusko and Sigma on tour and loved the fast-paced music I was hearing. It unlocked another side of dance music that I didn’t really know anything about.”

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Tedder’s imaginative and prescient for the label aligns along with his imaginative and prescient of the way forward for drum & bass. “We’re seeing drum & bass booked at nearly every single festival in North America right now and with every additional one, it’ll just keep growing,” he predicts. “I don’t see drum & bass as a fad or a sizzle in the pan. It’s something that’s grown slowly but surely after being supremely marginalized. I think that’ll compound until we see a full-on drum & bass festival in the US and more drum & bass artists playing the mainstage at festivals mixed in with other artists.”

Not solely has the pageant circuit contributed to drum & bass’ speedy rise to reputation at pageant levels round North America, however social media and pop music have additionally leaned into the style as nicely.

“One of the most telling things leading to drum & bass’ growth is seeing the trend of sped-up pop songs,” he continues. “They’re taking a 140ish BPM pop tune and speeding it up to 160 and it goes viral on TikTok. People are passively listening to faster music and I think that plays into it. I can see it becoming something bigger and better than it ever has before. A great example is ‘Strangers’ by Kenya Grace. After getting into it people seek out what they’re listening to and passively listen to it more. Drum & bass has something for everyone and that’s what makes it stand the test of time.”

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On the finish of the day, the aim of BEACON, Tedder says, is to serve the wants of the neighborhood.

“The main reason we’re starting this is that we’re seeing needs. I’ve been given so much by dance music and drum & bass and I’ve enjoyed the culture so much that I want to help create a community, help it flourish, and create new ways for it to be accessible to people.”

Though BEACON is a recent face on the block, Tedder and his staff are nicely underway to creating one thing a blossoming North American scene desperately wants. He says extra music is on the best way all through the remainder of 2024.

Artists fascinated about submitting demos to BEACON can discover the label’s type right here.

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