What is Dubstep?

By Brandon posted July 24th, 2011 at 2:54AM

Though Dubstep didn’t get it’s name till 2002, the first song released from this genre was in South London in 1998. In the beginning of 2001 a night club named Forward showcased and promoted the Dubstep remixes giving it enough recognition in the music community to get noticed. In 2006 the genre started to appear on the Internet on sites like the Dubstep forums, and was also featured on a 2 radio show in UK, Dubstep Warz. Both of these boosted the popularity of the genre drastically.



Since Dubstep went mainstream around 2007, new bands in the genre are popping up all over the country. Benga and Coki “Night” were a hit in the UK charts in 2007, and also Britney Spears’ “Knockout” that year had the unique to Dubstep wobble. Newer 2011 Dubstep favorites include Katy B “On A Mission”, Skream “Shot Yourself In The Foot Again”, and 4 of the songs on Rihanna’s new album, Rated R, are considered Dubstep.


The signature characteristics of Dubstep include wobbles in the bass, rewinding, and not following the typical four-to-the-floor pattern. Lots of Dubstep songs have a slow motion feel, because the percussion will go 71bpm while the sub-bass follows at 142bpm. Kode9, a popular Dubstep artist with a Ph.D. in philosophy, noted while observing people listening to a Dubstep track, “[they] have internalized the double-time rhythm, the track is so empty it makes [the listener] nervous. You almost want to fill in the double time yourself, physically, to compensate”.


The wobbles in the bass are caused by manipulating an extended bass note with a low frequency oscillator in order to manipulate the key parameters of a synthesizer; distortion, volume, and filter cutoff. There is already a sub-genre of Dubstep called Brostep. This was dubbed by the English clubbing scene because of the emphasis on the bass wobbles in certain bands.


Some Dubstep artists are also know for using futuristic sounds, syncopated rhythms, or incorporating tuplets. While other songs include the famous techno “bass drops“. When the track slows to a silence and then is brought back with more intensity than before.




All the sounds come together to make a new and unique dance music. And most people will recommend, the louder the better with this genre. If you want to see some pretty good Dubstep dancing, check out the Les twins via YouTube below.



5 Comments

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Dakota 2012-09-27 01:18:30

Dubstep is amazing.

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