As we kick off a new decade, it’s hard to think the new year can top what how incredible 2019 was for drum & bass (see our favorites here). However, while only one month into the year, 2020 is already proving to be promising with new releases from Keeno, Flite, Vorso, Millbrook, Noisia, and more. Check out our 15 favorite drum & bass tracks of January 2020 below!
1. Vorso – “Constellation” (Pilot)
One of our favorite producers of last year, Vorso treated us to a brand new EP on UKF’s Pilot imprint this year and what better way to start 2020 than with a hearty dose of weird & groovy bass? In signature out-of-the-box fashion, Vorso once again pushes the boundaries of the genre with “Constellation” and we can’t get enough!
2. Keeno – “I Wonder” (Hospital)
Released as part of the label’s massive 2020 compilation, orchestral genius Keeno’s contribution is stunning and vibrant number. Featuring the enchanting vocals of Ellie Madison, Keeno weaves intricate melodies with signature strings and luscious piano for a fairy-tale-like result.
3. Flite – “Joy” (Liquicity)
American pioneer Flite is no stranger to the world of illustrious liquid, and his latest release on the home of the genre is certainly no exception. Vibrant, uplifting, and full of life, “Joy” is exactly the kind of track we need to get through these cold winter months.
4. L-Side & Sl8r – “Look At U” (Chronic)
This funky number was an unexpected favorite this month, seeing Brazilian L-Side team up with UK-based Sl8r for an incredibly memorable release. A jazzy introduction sets the stage as groovy guitar and resounding subs steal the show while sassy vocals add to the catchiness of the track – this one is guaranteed to have you moving and grooving!
5. Noisia – “Decloak” (VISION)
2020 marks the final year of Noisia before the legendary trio go their own separate ways, so you better believe we’re soaking up every release as much as possible. Their latest project involves creating a soundtrack for multiplayer shooter game Armajet with “Decloak” being one of five tracks. Suspenseful, cinematic, and flawlessly produced, the track is ominous and powerful with impeccable sound design as always.
6. Millbrook – “What Now” (Viper)
One of our absolute favorite names to emerge in 2019, Millbrook is back with another standout release on Viper, this time in the form of “What Now.” A cinematic, multi-dimensional opening introduces a plethora of textures and sounds that really creates an immersive atmosphere right from the get-go before dropping into his now signature blend of funky and dark basslines that has put the Millbrook name on the map for so many.
7. Monty – “STK” (1985)
Released as part of his Blinded EP this month, Monty returns to 1985 with “STK,” a murky, sinister track with a warped edge and distorted funk that we can’t get enough of. Heinous and heavy but still with a groove, Monty can do no wrong!
8. BCee & Blu Mar Ten feat. DRS – “Protected Secrets” (Spearhead)
An otherworldly collaboration, January was blessed with an entire EP from BCee and Blu Mar Ten, featuring this one with industry favorite DRS, “Protected Secrets.” Elegant and luxurious with a dark twist, this soulful number exudes passion and warmth from beginning to end.
9. Calyx & Teebee – “Big Sound” (Ram)
The esteemed duo that are Calyx & Teebee released their first record of 2020 on Ram and, as the name might suggest, it’s a big one! Delivering old school vibes with a modern flair, Calyx & Teebee return to the genre’s roots with this simple yet flawlessly executed track.
10. Degs feat. Unglued – “Levitate Your Mind” (Hospital)
One of the most positive influences to emerge in recent times, Degs has been making waves with his stunning vocals, uplifting, genuine messages, and even the odd DJ set! Now, in 2020 he teams up with fellow label powerhouse Unglued for “Levitate Your Mind,” a jazzy, feel-good number featuring Deg’s charismatic vocals and Unglued’s heinously groovy production with a wholesome video to match!
11. Aymen Valentino feat. Ami Carmine – “Feeling You” (Viper)
Right at the end of January, Viper dropped their prestigious second ever edition of Acts of Mad Men, ten years after volume 1 first made waves in the scene. Full of ridiculous tracks from established names and new, one of our favorites comes in the form of newcomer Aymen Valentino’s debut release, “Feeling You.” Featuring the captivating vocals of Ami Carmine alongside a music video written, filmed, and edited by Aymen, “Feeling You” is set to be an anthem and a strong first impression for the producer, full of the summer vibes we need to get us through the winter!
12. Koven – “All For Nothing” (Monstercat)
With Koven’s album release getting closer and closer, each new single is proving just enough to keep our excitement at bay, with the latest one being the truly exceptional “All For Nothing.” Katie’s vocals soar over energetic yet melancholic production, giving the track a genuine, heartfelt feel that makes it so appealing and easy to listen to over and over again.
13. Ekko & Sidetrack – “Combat VIP” (Self-Release)
In aid of fighting the bushfires in Australia, the duo from Perth released this VIP of one of their biggest singles with 100% of the proceeds going to charity. “Combat VIP” is an absolute weapon, capturing the energy of the original but cranking it up another ten notches and is set to be a favorite on the DJ circuit come festival season.
14. DLR – “Banana Bread” (31 Recordings)
The don DLR released this two-sided single on 31 Recordings this month, featuring the wonky and fun “Banana Bread.” Jarring and gritty, the track’s raw and visceral energy make it a standout from the month.
15. DRS x Slay x Chimpo – “Hurt Someone” (Box N Lock)
Following last year’s three-way collab birthing “No Trust,” you know we were excited to see these three working together again in 2020. “Hurt Someone” is a saucy number with plenty of horns, amen breaks, hip-hop feeling verses, a retro flair and just all-around vibes. “Hurt Someone” pushes the definition of drum & bass with such an eclectic range of sounds and influences and reminds us just why we fell in love with the genre to begin with.
That’s it for this month, but be sure to check out our 15 Best Drum & Bass Tracks of 2019 for more highlights, and come back next month to see what tracks made the cut for February.