dBridge: A history

Published on Tuesday 13 September 2022

dBridge, Velvit, Darren White. All the same person, but each name bears a different meaning. There's dBridge, a revered drum'n'bass DJ and founder of the seminal label Exit Records. Then there's Velvit, a house and techno-leaning selector. Lastly, there's Darren White, a husband, father and photographer. However, most will know Darren as dBridge because of his long-running stance in the D'n'B realm and his ability to shift between sounds and build colourful, genre-bending DJ sets.

Born in London but raised in the West Midlands town of Malvern, White listened to shoegaze and post-punk before discovering dance music through Steve Spacek, his older brother and a "dirty raver." Steve would bring Darren to Roast parties at Club Astoria and nights out in the Hippodrome, lifting the curtain to London's thriving rave scene—far from the band-centric music circuit of Malvern.

Evolving into the celebrated producer we know today, Darren broke out in the early 90s alongside DJ Maldini through the pair's Future Forces project. Later, he joined the supergroup Bad Company, alongside Dj Maldini, Fresh and Vegas. Exploring several strains of D'n'B—and jungle too—Darren spent his early days at Metalheadz parties in Blue Note in Hoxton (RIP), soaking up the sounds of Doc Scott, Dillinja and Goldie.

In 2003, Darren launched Exit Records. Initial releases included his debut solo EP as dBridge, kicked off by the uplifting two-tracker Original World / Tradition. Shimmering with ethereal melodies and spirited beats, the EP conveyed dBridge's multi-layered approach at the time, moving away from club-driven D'n'B and, instead, dipping into richer soundscapes.

Almost two decades since Darren founded Exit Records, the label is still flourishing. Operating from London, where dBridge resides today, he's released some of the finest records in electronic music, spanning Skeptical's Enjoy This Trip LP to Neil Lanstrumm's Chincy EP. dBridge himself has delivered some of his most profound releases on the imprint, like his Lineage album and its accompanying photobook.

Exit Records has collaborated with fashion brands and visual artists throughout its longstanding tenure, like workwear brand Carhatt and contemporary artist James Mylne. Producing high-quality garments like t-shirts, bags and bucket hats, the collaborations have expanded the label into an interdisciplinary platform, showing dBridge's enthusiasm for working beyond the trope of a producer and DJ.

In 2022, industry folk and dance music lovers alike regard dBridge as a timeless artist whose music will go down in history. Why? Because he is so much more than a D'n'B, club-orientated DJ. Step into his Essential Mix to get the full, visceral force dBridge's boundless sound ahead of his session with the Waterworks afterparty crew.

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