Dubstep and Other Drugs
There are endless Youtube arguments about which category each and every song with a beat between 130 BPM (beats per minute) and 145 BPM falls into, but essentially the originators are two Croydon (South London) based DJ’s called Skream & Benga. Having started out producing using only Playstation samples, they have managed to create a phenomenon that has taken the world by storm seemingly over-night. They now have a show on one of the most popular radio stations in the UK, Radio 1.
Between 2005 – 2007 Dubstep grew in stature in the UK underground scene and records started selling. Purchasing vinyl went hand in hand with the culture that developed. When it branched out beyond London, it really started to pick up steam.
Dubstep was given most of its exposure (before 2007/8) through a former pirate radio station called ‘Rinse FM’. They have managed to become fully licensed and can be heard on 106.8 FM in central London. They released daily podcasts that gave artists, such as Skream, an opportunity to really push their tunes.
Rinse has become one of the most popular sources for underground music in the UK and has followers across the world. Their music started to filter through the mainstream, leading to national exposure on Mary Anne Hobbs’ late night experimental electronic show on Radio 1.
The first track that became universally popular was ‘In for the Kill’ a remix of a number by La Roux. This song was the first real track that was given daytime exposure on most radio stations.
Due to the sudden increased interest in the genre, there was an influx of new producers from all over the world. Excision, Datsik and Borgore are just three examples of the americanisation of this genre, which is beginning to develop ‘new’ sub genres and cultures within itself.
There are similarities that can be drawn between the Punk movement in the 60′s and Dubstep today. There is a core of musical connoisseurs who have real passion for the music, and then there is the image which goes along with the music. This is what defines a subculture. Just like the punk movement, Dubstep, as it fashions, will decrease in popularity.
So how has this all come about?
There are so many social networking sites ie. Facebook, Myspace and Soundcloud that allow people to share new music with each other. Users can hear a new tune by an artist within seconds of them releasing it on the internet, this in turn means that when a ‘cool’ recipe is found it can be imitated.
The Development of Sound.
The technological advances that the music industry has seen over the past few years, has meant that the barriers to entry production wise are much lower and accessible. Effectively Logic Pro is the new guitar. This is reflected in the charts, there is a lot more dance music that is recorded and produced digitally.
So what now?
There is already a development in taste in terms of a post Dubstep movement, and artists, such as James Blake, are taking the experience of bass emphasized music and making it their own. Blake’s sound is described as ahead of its time and intelligent. He has been tipped for big things in 2011, and is closely being followed by Pitchfork (of course lol). Like all fads, Dubstep will die out. The only question is how long it will take before kids decide it’s not cool any more.
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