Established 1999: John B founded Beta Recordings in the midst of one of drum & bass’s most exciting creative chapters: as its leading exponents defied the mainstream superclub culture by staring point blank into an exciting future and pushing technology to its very limits. And none more so than John B and the talented creative collective signed to Beta.
Representing the strongest principals drum & bass has always stood for, Beta Recordings has played a crucial role the scene, consistently prioritising music quality over commerciality and exciting new paths over the well-trodden route. As a result the label has shown an adept ability to identify talent at its earliest stage and play an equally pivotal role within the careers of some of the most impressive, successful and respected names in drum & bass and beyond…
The talents of Nu:Tone, Logistics, Camo & Krooked, Commix, Tim Exile, Xilent, Gemini, Dexcell, High Rankin and heroes of the new bass generation Terravita were all identified by John B and championed by Beta and its sister label Tangent with some of their earliest (in many cases their very first) game-changing releases.
As well as a stomping ground for today’s headliners, Beta remains a key platform for some of the most forward-thinking artists to emerge in recent times: Fade, Gmorozov, Virtue, Vice City, Hectix, Castor and Receptor. Plunging deep into the underground spirit and sound of Russia, eastern Europe and the US long before they had developed the global drum & bass reputation these territories now have, Beta was one of the first UK labels to recognise and champion the skills of drum & bass being made outside its motherland, setting the foundations of a now accepted and encouraged global vantage point.
A similar parallel can be found in its broad remit: In a game when most dance music labels will focus on a specific sound and fine-tuned output, Beta has continually bucked the trend and defied scene norms with its signature uncompromising attitude that places inventiveness way above sub-categories and sub-sub-genres. Creating a sense of consistency from release to release simply by ensuring an exciting unpredictability and a great sense of timelessness, Beta has never resorted to type or trend.
In the early developmental days Beta would deliver bold experimentalism from Tim Exile one month and liquid rolling soul from Nu:Tone the next. This broad scope signature remains present to this day: from the daring electro-techno mischief of Gmorozov to the neuro grit of Fade via the label’s two deeply curated compilations that span the 15-plus years of material, ‘Carnival Drum & Bass’ (launched during the World Cup) and ‘Drum & Bass 2014: Summer Sessions’. Whichever Beta release you dig deep into from any point of time, the label’s distinct attitude and delivery remain consistent and relevant.
Naturally this widescreen vision has led to unanimous DJ support throughout the years. This ability to resonate with all corners is key to Beta Recordings’ continuous contribution to drum & bass, a genre that’s now pushing technology to its limit underground and overground. With a rich discography that plots drum & bass’s history with unique character and agelessness, Beta’s repertoire is in a prime position to soundtrack and enhance game, TV, movies and all music sync scenarios.
An accurate testing ground for the sounds and stars of the tomorrow’s dancefloors: Beta Recordings and its talented creative collective continue to stare boldly into the future…