Thursday | October 31, 2019


If there’s one thing all dubstep fans will agree on, it’s the fact that nothing about the genre is wishy-washy–you either feel it or you don’t.

Right from its origins back in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s, dubstep quickly gained traction amongst seasoned clubbers who were immediately able to connect to the bass-laden intensity of the tracks on the dance floor.

Make no mistake–this is one of the few genres that is best experienced in a music fest where the speakers are configured to emphasis the bass notes prominently–and you can truly feel every beat.

Once confined to the nightclubs of London, dubstep was born out of dub remixes of 2-step garage that was dominating the local music scene at the time–which explains the term ‘dubstep’.

Tracks typically have higher beats per minute that range between 138-142 BPM and earlier releases even experimented with other styles such as breakbeat and drum and bass. Vocals were always sparse with syncopated percussion and heavy sub-bass frequencies.

The genre eventually caught the attention of artists such as Britney Spears and Snoop Dogg with the sound being made increasingly accessible through the addition of sultry vocals this time around.

Regardless of how dubstep evolves through the years, there are certain characteristics that consistently remain the same: a low-pitched bass or the ‘wobble’, higher BPM, a distinctively dark overall tone and finally, a powerful layer of bass that kicks in halfway through the track.

Since its emergence, dubstep has also lead to the creation of a number of offshoot genres such as the hotly debated ‘brostep’ with a more harsher sound than traditional dubstep. The latter is widely credited for popularizing dubstep in the United States.

What remains to be seen now is how the genre will influence music in other parts of the world–reggaestep, anybody?–and whether it’ll finally help in putting an end to the age-old question: is the remix really better than the original?

Article published: 31st October, 2019


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