When we describe electronic music genres, such as dubstep or EDM, “Liquid” often refers to an ambient or atmospheric mood. This Drum and Bass subgenre – Liquid Funk- utilizes synthesized and organic musical layers to provide a gentle ambiance. Liquid Drum and Bass/Liquid DnB also refer to this subgenre.

What is Liquid Funk?

 “Liquid funk” is the moniker that Fabio Sandy and Sarah Sandy gave to a new kind of drum and bass they began pushing in 1999. It started with a song on their Creative Source label with the same name as the genre. This release differed from other similar works because of the extensive use of voices and elements from ambient music. Funk, disco, house, and trance music also influenced this genre. Even though it took some time for the genre to gain traction initially, its popularity skyrocketed between 2003 and 2004.

Artists and record labels such as Calibre, Netsky, High Contrast, Logistics, London Elektricity, Nu:Tone, Shapeshi, Hospital Records, Liquid V, Creative Source, Shogun Limited, and Fokuz Recordings made Liquid Funk become one of the most popular subgenres of drum & bass by 2005. While Intelligent Drum and Bass and Ambient Drum and Bass are highly similar to Liquid Funk, they differ slightly. Intelligent D’n’B or atmospheric D’n’B uses mellow synth lines, deep bass, and samples in place of the organic aspect produced by actual instruments. However, Liquid Funk has heavier elements from soca, Latin, jazz, disco, breakbeat, and funk music.

The Growth of This Subgenre Over Time

From 2006 to 2009, liquid music expanded thanks to musicians like Eveson, Alix Perez, Zero T, Lenzman, and Spectrasoul. It mainly originated in the UK, much like the drum and bass that came before it. These producers introduced fresh sounds to the drum and bass genre by staying away from Amen drum loops and 808s. With the release of his album Tough Guys Don’t Dance on October 1, 2007, High Contrast brought liquid funk back into the public eye. The album featured songs like “If We Ever” (featuring Diane Charlemagne). It reached number one on Radio 1’s Dance singles chart, “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” and “Tread Softly.” The album ultimately “crossed over” and ended up among the most popular drum and bass albums of 2007.

Following the widespread popularity of liquid funk, Chase & Status’ More Than A Lot album, the Brookes Brothers’ singles “The Big Blue,” “Get On It,” and “Loveline,” and Mistabishi’s “No Matter What” aired on daytime radio. In 2008, Liquicity started as a YouTube channel. By 2011, it had expanded to become a record label and an event organizer for up-and-coming Liquid DnB musicians, particularly in the Netherlands, Belgium, and the UK.

 Several characteristics set liquid funk apart from other electronic music genres. An echo effect is applied to sounds and vocals to produce a calming, relaxing atmosphere. Throughout liquid funk, original vocals or voice samples from other artists are used and frequently repeated with the rhythms. It is common to loop high- or medium-tempo drum beats, whether heavy or light. Artificial rhythms and noises are moodier and more ambient. Producers of liquid funk frequently sample the sounds of nature in addition to sampled beats and voices to create a natural mood.

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