Wobbling Bass: Playing Shitty Dubstep
I didn’t hear dubstep until Spring of 2010, and I wasn’t impressed with it. After hearing a huge build-up, I expected huge slamming beats. Instead, I heard music slowly drifting along. I say slowly as most dubstep actually moves around 140 beats per minutes.
First, some background. In the late nineties, dubstep originated in south London. The “dub” in the name originates from Jamaican dub, a reggae genre centering around the drum and bass of a song. Most Jamaican dub rarely use vocals. The “step” refers to 2-step garage, an England dance genre. Around 1998, dub remixes of 2-step began appearing. Out of this, became a new genre of music, music now known as dubstep.
Because folks requested it during my gigs, I began listening to more dubstep music. The more I listened, the more I appreciated it. Actually, I appreciate the huge wobbling bass.
One night during my set, one of the kids told me I wasn’t playing the good dubstep.
After some recent reading, I think I know what some Americans consider “good” dubstep. In its September 2011 issue, Spin magazine contained an article about dubstep’s huge American following. Apparently, the article pissed off some dubstep followers. Being that the music originated in England, Spin used Skrillex (an American) as dubstep‘s poster boy. Secondly, Skrillex incorporates rock riffs in his music, an irritant to many UK dubsteppers. I guess some Americans prefer the Skrillex sound, the rock riffs. Then again, that’s just a guess.
I might play Skrillex if folks request him. Still, if Skrillex is the “good” dubstep, I prefer playing the shitty variety, the original UK sound.