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Belgium’s influence in drum and bass runs deep. The early 90s saw Belgian breakbeats bubbling in the hardcore melting pot, shaping the genre’s evolution. If you mention the country to a drum and bass fan today you’ll most likely be treated to an opinion on their iconic jump up scene.

At the heart of Belgium’s drum & bass scene is Murdock. As the founder of Radar Records and the driving force behind Rampage raves, Murdock has nurtured and showcased local talent, ensuring Belgium’s continued influence on the global dance scene.

Murdock’s latest album, X-Ray bears the fruits of these years of experience. Collaborations with artists like Sena Dagadu, Omar Perry, and Ayah Marar underscore Murdocks commitment to pushing the genre’s boundaries.

To celebrate this release we asked Murdock to reveal his top ten Belgian producers.

‘Woofer’ – Radar Records

I am the biggest basstripper fan in the world. Guaranteed. He has such a trademark sound; super crisp drums, super tight bass sounds, incredible mixdowns and lots of quirkiness. I have had the honor of being able to release loads of his bits from him on my label Radar Records and I could have picked ‘Noodle Bar’, ‘Rush’, ‘Battle Ax’, ‘Back To Normal’ or so many others. ‘Woofer’ has always been a standout one to me because of how undeniably funky that bassline is, and it’s all the track really needs to go off.

Mistakes

Used It’s like the poster boy for the new wave of drum and bass producers that are set to blow up. Especially in Belgium, where he is one of the most in-demand artists across the board, so not just in drum and bass but far beyond the boundaries of the genre. I picked ‘Mistakes’ because it’s 100% Used: his vocals, his lyrics, his sounds, his drums, his biggest hit, his breakout tune.

‘First To Go’ ft. Ayah Marar – Liquicity

Poster boy number two and ‘First To Go’ is probably my favorite. He has a lot of tunes I really like but this one has a touch of that military old school style in the drums that makes it stand out for me. Plus it’s got Ayah Marar on vocals and she’s one of those top-tier vocalists, and also part of my album, as she jumped on ‘Lost In You’ and smashed it out of the park!

‘Cycle Of Life’ – Radar Records

danger is one of those unsung heroes that just keeps plowing away, does all kinds of different beats, and surprises me in a good way every so often. The Cycle of Life EP It was so good, it’s a shame it didn’t get more attention than it did. I am always happy to see Noisia and Vision Radio play his tunes as they have been supporting him for a long time. ‘Enter’, ‘Cycle of Life’, ‘Brink’ and ‘Lights Out’ still pop off in my sets every now and then!

‘Slow’ – Down 2 Earth Musik

Primate is one of the spreadhead figures of the Belgian jump up sound. It was kind of discarded for years but the scene, I feel, is largely responsible for the wave of jump-up-turned-mainstream producers that are on top of the game right now, with hedex being the most obvious example. I rarely really touch on the real rough BE jumpup stuff, but these guys are so talented and always end up making something that I do like. Scratch that, love! This one by Primate is such an original take on drum and bass, no other tune sounds like it. It’s crazy aggressive, but at the same time playful and melodic and that’s tough to pull off.

‘Little Bit of Bass’ – CRUCAST

This guy does a lot of collabs, but I made a point of picking a solo tune as it’s very “Captain Bass”. It is 100% Belgian jump-up, with the silly dirty basslines, the switch-ups, the skippy kickless drum-pattern and all those other tricks that make it pack out any dance floor.

‘Prisma’- Liq-weed Ganja

When we talk Belgian drum and bass, we need to talk about netsky, as pretty much everyone on this list is like Netsky-offspring in a way. This tune was on the demo CD Boris handed me 15 years ago while I was on the decks at his favorite club in Antwerp, and it just instantly proved to me this guy was ahead of the pack and a truly unique producer. No-one has been able to combine sounds this soulful, with drums and bass this banging. I am lucky enough to have the VIP on my USB and I still play it out whenever I can. Still bangs.

‘This Love’ – Radar Records

Maze is the next one to blow up, I think. He’s got an incomparable style, always slightly off-beat, skippy, averse… and that makes for very interesting stuff. It’s just a matter of time before he molds that into something that blows everyone away.

‘Hold You’ – skankandbass

There’s a hole bunch of new guys coming through right now, Atmos being one of them. Getting support from skankandbass doesn’t hurt, and getting picked up by Chase & Status for their Boiler Room set doesn’t hurt either. He seems to be touching on loads of different aspects of drum and bass, doing liquid as well as jumping up, putting his own twist on all of it.

‘Nina Dobrev’ – Radar Records

Three great guys and outstanding producers as well, and they’ve been around for a long time, as has this tune. They’re known for their minimalistic deep beats and they excel at those, but I picked a pronounced liquid tune by them, that is very dear to me. The track is so lush, so atmospheric, so all-embracing and full of joy, and at the same time expertly crafted and perfectly executed. Every time I get to work it into a set of mine, it’s a definite highlight.



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