What is Dubstep?
The genre of dance music known as Dubstep started in the 1990s at a small shop, Big Apple Records, in Croydon, south London, England. The sound was dark and experimental, but the word is simply a combination of dub and 2-step. Music remixers introduced sub-bass instrumental reverberations into electronically based dance music using different speeds of music normally within the range of 138 to 142 beats per minute (BPM) and blasted to every corner of a room. The syncopated percussions are spaced in what may seem randomly into 2-step rhythms of garage, hip-hop, jungle, grime, and reggae rhythms whilst incorporating prominent bass lines and drums.
Dubstep goes Mainstream
By the end of the decade, Dubstep hand made its way across the globe to countries besides England and the United Kingdom. Canada, Japan, and many European nations started broadcasting the sound over their radio waves. In 2006, Oliver Jones, aka Skream, introduced Dubstep to clubs in the United States. The original underground Dubstep sound then found its way into mainstream music through other artists like Nero, Burial, and Joker, and their sounds were heard in major US cities like New York, San Francisco, Houston, and Denver.
Eventually, the sound capitalized on remixes of songs by pop stars such as Lady Gaga and heard in movies, YouTube videos, and TV commercials. In 2006, the film Children of Men, a science fiction hit featured Dubstep music from Random Trio, Kode 9, and others. Taylor Swift, Britney Spears, Justin Bieber, and Rihanna have incorporated Dubstep into some of their biggest hits, but famous Dubstep artists like The Widdler, Benga, Skrea, and Rusko take the sound to its darkest and loudest extremes.
Shake Up or Shake Down
First and foremost, it is important to remember that the style is still relatively young compared to other genres of music. However, going mainstream may play a significant role in the future Dubstep popularity, since the original intent of Dubstep was a more underground stylized sound used in basements and small clubs. It is hard to conceive that the music style is fading or losing a tight grip on its fifteen minutes of fame after its period of rapid growth over the past decade and its predominant position on pop charts.
In addition, newer urban renditions such as post-dubstep and brostep, which both have roots in original Dubstep rhythms, have been introduced recently in the United States and are contributing to a second expansion. Although Dubstep purists may deny their originality, the sounds are gaining popularity in clubs and outdoor venues.
This year, Jesse Champagne in Dubstep May Be Dying, Just Don’t Tell Canadians That, stated:
When original dubstep producers like Skream decide to move on to other styles and sounds, you shouldn’t be angry because that’s their prerogative. No musician or artist should stay trapped in a box. Last I checked, the bass is still bumping, the crowds are still raging, and the new tracks are still coming. If you don’t like it, fine, more room at the front for the rest of us (Champagne. 2014).
As an anthem to the youth of the most recent generation now passing on the torch, maybe Dubstep is making way for a newer calling. Perhaps it is merely experiencing a metamorphosis or maybe a revolution. Taste in music is fickle, and changes like the ebb and flow of the tide. Musicians and artists also change and adapt their styles in order to grow and ultimately to keep making money. Dubstep is not dying, just evolving.