Brain-Vibrating Frequencies - How Neurofunk moves People

Music Mar 15, 2020

What happens, if you combine pure energy and the music genre of Drum and Bass? Although a very odd question, what you get is: Neurofunk. D'n'B already is a very hectic genre in itself with Beats Per Minutes (BPMs) ranging from 160 to 190. Mind you: Most mainstream electronic music only covers the spectrum of 60 to 140 BPMs with, for example, Hip-Hop at 90 and Techno at 140. Besides this very hectic nature of the genre, Neurofunk as a sub-genre of D'n'B introduces even more chaos by turning up the dial to 11. The dark genre developed in the late 90s in London, England. It predominantly features successive stabs over a gritty bassline often lacking any melodic elements. The focus on sound design and the use of modulated, distorted and filtered synthesizers also lead to the origin of its name. More specifically, the Neuro part of Neurofunk comes from the notion that the music sounds like the natural soundtrack of the brain. The Funk part is based on influences of darker and heavier Jazz and Funk. To get a grip for the genre just listen and watch the video to this amazing track by bosnian D'n'B producer, DJ and sound designer Billain linked below.


Billain - Third Impact - D'n'B track and AMV for the anime Neon Genesis Evangelion

Don't tell me, you don't have the sudden urge to get up, move and do something after listening to the track. Well, at least, I do, after recovering from the goosebumps I've got from having my brain stimulated by the track and the AMV, that is. In the event you don't know what an AMV is: AMV stands for Anime Music Video. Essentially it consists of scenes from one or multiples Animes Animes cut together to form a music video for a music track. In the case of the Billain track, linked above, the visual component of the AMV is a very condensed summary of the internationally acclaimed anime Neon Genesis Evangelion. Originally aired from 1995 to 1996 in Japan, Neon Genesis Evangelion tells the story of teenager Shinji, who has to fight aliens called Angels in a giant mecha suite refereed to as an Evangelion to protect the earth from a global catastrophe. The series is renowned for its use of religious imagery. Another awesome AMV by Billain is based on the anime Akira, which is partly responsibly for the name of this blog.

Billian, also known as Adis Kutkut, does not only produce music under that moniker. Under the pseudonym Aethek he also crafts meticulous soundscapes in the realm of Ambient and Noise Music. His works also include collaborations as a sound designer in audio-visual projects for the car brand Audi and museums in his home country. Accompanying the release of his most recent album, Nomad's Revenge, Billain also released an audio-visual short film, that captures the cyberpunk feel of the album and the music genre as a whole quite well. Another creation worth mentioning is him scoring the yet to be released FPS horror game Scorn, which finds the player exploring a nightmarish world in an H. R. Giger look. For those who don't know, Giger was the art director for the movie Alien and pioneered the art style of the film, most recognizable on the design of the alien itself.

Other notable Artists: Noisia, Black Sun Empire, Phace

Billain, however, is not the only artists creating Neurofunk music. Other notable contributors include, for example, Noisia. The producer trio from Groningen, Netherlands, is active for more than 20 years and owns three record labels. They have also released on multiple distinguished record labels such as Skrillex's OWSLA, deadmau5's mau5trap and Jay-Z's Roc Nation. Together with Foreign Beggars, an English hip-hop group, that frequently uses dubstep beats in their songs and again and again cooperates with D'n'B producers, they furthermore formed the group I am Legion. Prior to the formation of this supergroup they already worked together on various projects, such as the stunning track Shellshock shown in the video below.

Noisia - Shellshock - Music Video

Sadly Noisia announced, that they will be splitting at the end of 2020 due to creative differences. In the years preceding their disbandment, Noisia organized different events around the world under the name Noisia Invites, for which they invited different artists to play at sort of Mini-Festival. At one of those events in Groningen they also made an appearance and played a multitude of Neurofunk tracks. The DJ set can be found below.

Noisia - Live DJ Set at Noisia Invites in 2019

Another group active in the Neurofunk scene is Black Sun Empire. The trio from Utrecht, Netherlands, too have collaborated with the group Foreign Beggars. Although not necessarily pure Neurofunk, a remix of their track Dawn of a Dark Day, a favorite of mine, is linked below.

Black Sun Empire ft. Foreign Beggars - Dawn of a Dark Day (Receptor Remix)

There are, however, not only groups from the Netherlands that advance the genre of Neurofunk. In their neighbor country, Germany, Florian Harres progresses the art form in the city of Hamburg under the name Phace. Together with a colleague from his town of residence, Misanthrop, Phace created the record label Neosignal. In 2018 they performed back to back at a DJ gig at the biggest festival for D'n'B in the world, the Let It Roll Festival in the Czech Republic. You can see it linked below.

Phace and Misanthrop - Live DJ Set at D'n'B Festival Let It Roll 2018 in the Czech Republic

In 2015 at an Urge to Move Event at the Sektor Evolution club located in Dresden, Germany, Phace, furthermore, recorded a Live DJ set and an interview linked below. The interview is scattered across the set in the video and blends really well with the music. I have to warn you, that it is in German, however.

Phace - Live DJ Set and Interview at Sektor Evolution located in Dresden, Germany, in 2015

Concluding, if you suddenly have the need to furiously dance to Neurofunk, you certainly understand how Neurofunk can move people, quite literally. In case you need even more D'n'B goodness, I want to leave you with an (unordered) playlist of my so far favorite D'n'B tracks on Spotify. Note, that the playlist also includes more relaxed D'n'B sub-genres, such as Liquid Drum and Bass, for example. Happy Dancing, I guess!


Lukas Bernwald

Hi, my name is Lukas. I'm a Computer Science Student from Germany. I mainly post about topics relating to coding, technology, music, photography, entertainment and science.