Dubstep is a genre that catches a lot of heat. Under a single name there are so many variations it’s near impossible for someone trying to explore this new style to comprehend exactly what it is and what the basic elements are. Originally Dubstep from originators like Skream and Benga was quite deep but has become more aggressive as producers like Skrillex and Borgore incorporate their Metal backgrounds to push a increasingly abrasive and epic sound. But to truly understand Dubstep we must take a trip back to the 60’s.
Dub is a subgenre of Reggae in which a producer would strip much of the vocals from a track and manipulate the it to leave mainly drums and bass with a heavy emphasis on BASS. Vocal and melodic elements were often stabbed in with heavy echos. This technique of creating “dub versions” of songs carried over into many dance music styles since then. In the late 90’s producers in UK applied this technic to Garage which has a 2 step beat. They incorporated bass synths and other elements from Drum & Bass which gave it a dark feel. Musical influences from Ska, Dance Hall, Hip Hop, R&B and more can also be heard. But the most notable element without question is sub-bass, sub-bass, and more sub-bass. Today Dubstep is finding it’s way into Pop and Top 40 much to the dismay of many fans.
My favorite Dubstep tracks are those with a heavy Reggae and traditional Dub influence. Depone’s “Test Me” is one track that never leaves my crate. This Dance Hall laced track does damage on the dance floor. It’s heavy growling bass lines are not over the top and it’s break beat compliments the dark techy step of the main beat.