The Critical Condition of Drum & Bass
Drum and bass is alive and well, but that's old news to bassheads in the Denver underground scene. However, most have no clue exactly how much work goes into making sure the music never dies. It's easy to just show up at the venue, sporting all black, and go ham on the dance floor. Preservation requires much more than a few dedicated ragers to keep a scene active and constantly pushing forward. That's why people like Michael Beard aka Critical Control Point, are so important to the community. With his Drum And Bass Proper movement, he's definitely doing his part to carry the torch for generations to come.
Although he's fairly new to the DJ circuit, Critical Control Point is no slouch behind the decks. His deep inventory of mixes easily makes this evident. Not to mention, he's quickly beginning to rack up spots on various lineups around town. Beyond this, he's got the expansion of Drum And Bass Proper basically on autopilot. Its roster of resident DJ's already has OG's like Ryan Vail, Contrast, and GHoST on lock, and continues to grow. Moreover, the DNBP flagship mix series #PROPERMONDAYS seems to elicit spins from bass fiends at a blistering pace.
Drum and Bass is in Good Hands
Looking to the future of the music industry, clearly its survival is dependent on the unwavering support amongst those in the community. Creatives have to put the scene on their backs and will their way beyond these dark times. Thus, it's so refreshing to see heads in the local scene stepping up to hold it down. Truly, CCP and his Drum And Bass Proper army of beat soldiers embody this sentiment perfectly.
The industry will eventually emerge from the effects of the pandemic. When it does, they'll be among the few left standing, ready to help guide us all into the future. Assuredly, with DNBP at the helm, the Denver underground scene will be in good hands. This became undeniably clear after we got the chance to speak with him about his passion for the music. With this in mind, the future of dnb and bass music overall looks brighter than ever before.
Bass'D Out DNVR: Tell us what it was like when you first fell in love with bass music. Does that vibe still hit
you to this day?
Critical Control Point: I was in my twenties the rave scene was, in my opinion at it’s most fun, and there were these dark, really overheated rooms at the Raves. In those rooms is where I found my love for
Drum and Bass. It was just more of a community of people than the main dance floor scene for
me. The BASS hit harder and there was just something special about the dirty, dark, grimey bass
lines that filled the air when DnB was being played. It’s been twenty years and I have never
looked back so yes that VIBE is probably better than it ever has been.
BOD: What motivated you to start DNBP? What do you feel DNBP contributes to the bass
CCP: My motivation was that I wanted into the scene in Denver honestly. I didn’t know
anyone when I moved here and I just wanted a way to contribute to this MASSIVE scene
and culture of electronic music that Denver had to offer.
Drum And Bass Proper contributes a weekly mix series every Monday at noon MST. This
mix series showcases our eight residents and “Featured Selecta’s” on a rotating basis.
This allows the DJ’s to do whatever kind of mix they feel is “PROPER” and not be limited
to twenty to twenty five minutes.
We also post on Facebook with interesting articles/ links and really anything related to
BOD: You recently started performing live as Critical Control Point. Can you describe the vibe
you get when you perform live?
CCP: Well honestly i'm so new still at this point that i'm just hoping that the equipment
works right and I don't mess up super bad LOL, but seriously I love getting up in front of
the crowd and sharing what my vision of the sound should be for that half hour or hour
set. It’s just amazing when you finally have a moment to look up and you see everyone
dancing or showing the “BASS FACE” or whatever their interpretation of a good time is.
It’s just amazing to know what you love is being taken in and given back in the way of a
good fun time.
BOD: As an artist, how do you know when you’ve recorded a fie set that’s going to murder the
CCP: Well when you get literal goosebumps while putting a set together, recording and or
playing it’s just an obvious feeling that it’s about to go down. I find it fun to figure a way
to put all the different sub genres into a small amount of time. I feel this is a major
contribution to how a set or mix is going to go. Also when it just flows and nothing feels
forced you simply can’t go wrong.
BOD: What’s the most frustrating thing to you about host/sharing mixes with the world?
CCP: When my mixes get the least played LOL LOL LOL im just kidding. Honestly it’s not that
frustrating to share them because anyone with an honest opinion is welcome in my eyes
(just don’t be a dick lol)... Finding time to get together a mix of what you are feeling can turn into days and nights that you didn’t expect but in the end it’s all worth it.
BOD: What inspires you to keep spreading filthy bass music across the globe?
CCP: That's easy….The fact that it is so well taken and loved by the DnB community and that
there are so many talented DJ’s and Producers. It almost sells itself.
BOD: Is it hard out here for a pimp?
CCP: Well if I wasn't busy getting this set around for this weekend I might have time to try
Pimpn’ LOL, but I have heard even if it isn’t easy it sure is fun!!!!!!!!!!!
BOD: Any shout-outs? Final comments?
CCP: First I want to thank my girlfriend Taylor Smith for putting up with and supporting all the behind the scene madness that it takes to DJ and run this thing called Drum And Bass Proper. My Crew: JEFF, CCP, TOKEM, GHoST,CONTRAST, VAIL, EL CONQUISTADOR , SEMKO, S2PS as well as ALLLLLLL the guest DJ’s and MC’s we have had the pleasure of working with over the
past few years.
"BIG SHOUT OUT to everyone that tunes in weekly to help this mix series be shared and enjoyed. Without all of you we would just be a bunch of DJ’s listening to loud bass music together LOL."
Be sure to bang Critical Control Point's fire Pregame mix for Till The Break of Dawn: Under The Stars, and follow him at the links below.
BOD Podcast 023 - Critical Control Point: Before The Dawn (TTBOD Pregame Mix)
Follow Critical Control Point
Follow Drum And Bass Proper