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Dubstep - is it Really the Newest Music Genre?

Updated on February 23, 2012

Recently my friends and I discovered this "new" genre - the so-called Dubstep. I have always been a fan of electronic music: techno, house,trance etc. but some how up until now I have not heard of dubstep probably because it became popular
around 2010. I thought that this was the time when this genre actually was born but I was very wrong, Dubstep has its origins from the late 90s when London club DJs were experimenting with dub remixes of 2-step garage tracks attempting to incorporate the funky elements of breakbeat.

DJ Hatcha
DJ Hatcha | Source
DJ Skream
DJ Skream | Source

Let's learn a little more about Dubstep!

We all know how popular it is these days or "mainstream" as teenagers call it. We hear dubstep everywhere: in the bus, at a party, in the club, on the radio. It is not the kind of music all ears can handle but it is art and we have to agree that it is
somewhat catchy. So, Dubstep is thought to have evolved out of “Jamaican dub music” and other sound-system cultures. The Jamaican sound-systems is a mixture between disco-type sounds with reproduced bass frequencies underlying.
This eventually gave rise to the dub variety of reggae music that had features like sub-bass (bass where the frequency is less than 90Hz, a.k.a. really really deep), 2-step drums and distortion effects.
All of this development eventually churned out the more modern British sounds of “jungle,” “garage” and now “dubstep”. "Ammunition Promotions", from the club “Forward”, located in Soho London are the first to use the term “dubstep” to describe this style of music.
Ammunition Records was certainly one of the big reasons that dubstep was able to gain momentum, particularly because of the many dubstep record labels that they promoted.In 2003, DJ Hatcha formed nowadays dubstep clipped, dark and minimal sound, using 10″ dubplates (reggae-style).
Also, an event called “Filthy Dub” started happening regularly, and was where quite a few popular DJs like Cyrus, Skream, Benga, N Type etc. launched their careers. Dubstep became more and more popular and after BBC Radio DJ Mary Anne Hobbs gave it
attention on a national circuit across the U.K., it spread all over the world starting from New York, San Francisco, Barcelona and even going to Tokyo.

Skrillex winning a Grammy Award
Skrillex winning a Grammy Award | Source
Dubstep rave
Dubstep rave | Source

Dubstep nowadays

Different music genres are starting to get influenced by dubstep, mixing it with R'n'B, pop, rock etc. We can hear dubstep nearly in all of the newer songs which commercializes this genre. Artist such as Rihanna ("Mad House"), Britney Spears ("Freakshow"), Snoop Dogg ("Eastern Jam")
or other mainstream figures are using dubstep in a lot of their tracks. Dubstep started hitting the pop charts when in 2010, "I Need Air" by Magnetic Man reaching number 10 in the UK singles chart, "Katy On a Mission" by Katy B followed, debuting at number 5 in the
U.K singles chart, On May 1, 2011, Nero's third single "Guilt" from their album reached number 8 in the Official UK Singles Chart and of course we have all heard of Skrillex (Soony Moore) who won 3 Grammy Awards this year.

Dubstep is mostly instrumental and uses simplistic samples as a basis for a track. It is dark, using minor keys and jarring chords in conjunction with dissonant rhythms that are often syncopated and shuffled, using triplets to establish skip-and-repeat progressions. Dubstep also uses the bass drop recognizable in drum and bass yet retains a curiously minimal sound.

Who listens to dubstep?

Dubstep is mostly listened by teenagers or people who enjoy a deep bass. Some people are annoyed by the fact that it has become so mainstream and even accuse it of not being a real music. I believe that everyone should make their own choice whether you like it or not but it is nice to take a glimpse at this interesting genre. For those who like it, there are programs who allow you to create dubstep beats or as they call it "to drop a bass" at home in front of your own computer. You can share you tracks with your friends or people from all over the world on different sites which is the first step in becoming a real DJ and popularizing your music.

What music do you enjoy listening at a party?

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    • Joyfreak profile image

      Joyfreak 5 years ago

      Yes, this happened to me, too. But I noticed and read that dubstep's tempo is a little slower than drum and bass(for example)And drum and bass doesn't have the so called "bass drops"

    • Emma Larkins profile image

      Emma Larkins 5 years ago from Manchester, MD

      I just recently started listening to this genre, and I enjoy it! Although I have to say that I still have trouble picking out the differences between dubstep and other electronic genres.