third in the Nuum series c/o The Wire: The State of Drum & Bass, published June 1995
This essay got titled "The Sounds of Blackness"--not my choice, the title I originally had was "The Deep End," which gives it a different inflection. But that probably wouldn't have prevented it from being the controversial piece it proved to be (resulting in some angry transatlantic phone calls from certain figures in the D&B inner circle). Having gone from absolutely no media coverage to absolutely praiseful coverage, the scene seemed completely unprepared for the notion of actual criticism (pretty balanced in this case but certainly forcefully expressed). Perhaps they anxiously sniffed The Backlash on the horizon. It wasn't,actually: drum & bass had a least another two years of extensive and uniformly laudatory coverage from the media ahead of them, while I personally would do another two state-of-scene reports for The Wire.