Wobble Wednesday: Dubstep 101

Wobble Wednesday: Dubstep 101

Due to recent quibbles in the Wobble Wednesday series, I've decided that it's time for a history lesson for the Earmilk dubstep fanatics:

I'm deeply sorry to disappoint roughly 50% of the regular readers, but it's true -- dubstep wasn't originally the kind of sludgy "filthstep" or "brostep" that it can be now (for examples of this, see Flux Pavilion, Rusko, Bassnectar, Doctor P, Excision, Datsik, and Downlink). Nay, dubstep was traditionally a rather mellow style with an unusual emphasis on sub-bass frequencies -- those that are generally felt more than heard, thus the appropriate descriptor of "chest-cavity rattling basslines" that still accompanies dubstep.

The development of a new flavor of dubstep is a rather recent occurrence, which ushered in the likes of artists that (I mentioned in the parenthesis above). This style obviously ushers in a more intense sound, compliments of the added harsher frequencies higher than sub-bass. In my opinion, this newer sound is a natural progression from the older, more minimalistic style, which practically begged for the rest of the frequency range to get filled in. Frankly, I wouldn't be surprised if new variants of dubstep showed up with different sets of standards for how to color in the higher frequencies.

So there you have it: Dubstep is really an amalgamation of two distinct yet inextricably linked musical styles rooted in heavy sub-bass, 140bpm tempos, a nice 2-step drum track, and a variety of other spices for good measure. Now for your listening and learning pleasure, I present tunes from some (but most certainly not all) of the artists who helped shape the chest-thumping genre we call dubstep.

For more dubstep suggestions and conversation, follow me @Crimestein on Twitter, and keep it locked on Wobble Wednesdays @Earmilkdotcom.

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