Despite the genre's future-forward and experimental beginnings in the early 90s, drum & bass' rigid uniformity over the last decade has made it a stifling environment for many producers. For dBridge, with his background as a former member of the drum & bass heavyweight champions Bad Company, the pressure of dancefloor expectations and DJs' desire for club smashers has been experienced and rejected once in his career already. Since going solo he has been busy developing a more cultured sound that has carved him a niche in a music scene from which he was feeling increasingly removed from. Instra:mental meanwhile, having had a successful stint in drum & bass some years earlier, returned to D&B production in the mid 00s with a uniquely fresh approach. Inspired by 80s synth music, the Detroit sound and the Warp back catalogue, and with a studio fully loaded with vintage hardware equipment, they set about writing drum & bass unlike anyone else; a method that struck a chord with a like-minded soul in dBridge.
"We wanted to showcase what it is that we're doing, and what the sound is capable of, we approached all the people making music we love, and asked them to write us something special for the CD: artists like Distance, Skream, Scuba, Genotype all came with bits at 85 or 170 BPM and it's good stuff, fresh and original. It's a great collection of music, harmonically it all works together; as much as we have different styles, you'd be surprised what tunes stick together just from being in key. We managed to get 32 tracks on it and tried to make it a seamless journey. " Instra:mental
After a year in which Instra:mental collaborated with dBridge on the epic 'Blush Response', they decided to form a creative alliance as Autonomic. As a result a club night, a podcast, an umbrella for their labels, and, most crucially, a style was born. The Autonomic sound is music first, drum & bass second. The people behind it are not setting out to make a drum & bass track; they are setting out simply to make music, producing compositions that are emotionally charged, personally edifying and organic. This is a million miles from the music-by-numbers churned out by so many of today's producers; this is lovingly crafted with integrity, with vision and without the limitations of genre or style that so many artists impose on themselves. And with the likes of Jimmy Edgar, Kyle Hall and Zomby lined up to release on Instra:mental's NonPlus+ label in 2010, it's fair to say that the trio are far from losing pace - they're only just getting started.