- Published on Monday, 12 December 2011 13:49
Sound never really dies, it just echoes
Last week, I wrote an article about the current state of dubstep. I was expecting the usual 500 readers, but somehow I guess it struck a nerve and managed to get 100 times that. Literally.
The title of that article was ”Who Killed Dubstep?” but my main point was that music is always evolving, and good music will always be good music.
Asking who killed dubstep was an attempt to figure out how and why the sound changed so much. But my focus was negative, only concentrating on the predominantly American bro-step sound. Here, I want to show how the genre has also evolved in positive ways.
I've asked some of Denmarks most interesting soundbwoys what they dig at the moment:
Psimono (Host of the Hest/Pony club night and founder of TEAL Records)
With regards to this beast called "Dubstep" - there are actually still interesting things going on, although the bits I'll use as examples may not be widely acknowledged as dubstep amongst the bro's.
To be fair, i think most things i liked about dubstep 5+ years ago are still the things i like today. Deep percussive, rhythmic patterns, subby stabs - a medidative sonic form.
Floating Points - Sais (dub) - Eglo
Pinch & Shackleton - Jelly Bones - Honest Jons
Pangaea - Hex - Hemlock
Peverelist - Dance til the police come - hessle audio
2000F (OHOI, Kraken, Hyperdub)
Just link to Mala's mix for XLR8 podcast 200, that should do it.
RDG (Boka Records)
I don't really want to say much, other than it's alive.
In response to being asked “what's your opinion on how dubstep is evolving”, Benny Ill answered:
“As for how dubstep is evolving, i think its a great time for it, there are many styles being developed within it or closely associated with it and there is definitly something for everyone out there that wants to find it. i think a scene that can create chart toppers aswell as the freshest underground cuts around cant be a bad thing.”
Vivek - pulse
Jay 5ive & Kromestar - Deepest Fears
Kryptic Minds - Extinct
Dark Tantrums - Brain Dead
Kromestar - Mutants
Albert (Studio Rockers, Southern Fried)
Kramphaft - Perfect Gain Structure
Shortstuff - Don't Ask, Don't Get
Africa HiTech - Gangslap
DJ Reveal (bass music host at P6, national radio and promoter at Skank, Denmark's longest running weekly dubstep night)
Even though dubstep is alive and kicking, I am not confident to say that ’dubstep’ actually covers the scope of music I play and listen to.
From my perspective dubstep is still a platform, from where some very talented individuals can perform and release music.
Newcomers are refreshing the sounds, and some of the original dons are still at the frontline… The most interesting stuff coming out right now, is in my opinion these:
Distal – Apple Bottom
Two Inch Punch – Luv Luv
+++ Luv Luv (NEW MIX 26.10.11) --- (FREE DOWNLOAD) by T.I.P
Alex Clare – Up All Night (Skream RMX)
Coki & Vybz Kartel - Emergency RMX
What do I think?
My favorite artists back in 2006 were Kode 9 and Burial - the more dubby dubstep. I do enjoy the hard and heavy, but now I'd like to recomend some of the more chilled stuff - what you might call post-dubstep: Ghostpoet, Koreless, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Hiatus and Mount Kimbie.
While a musical genre can't die like humans or frogs, I do think there are magical times in music history that stand out. The end of the '70s saw punk, hip hop and disco evolving in parallel. The Belleville Three in Detroit in the beginning of the '80s. And of course, South London between 2001-2006.
Certain times and places where something special happens. Times when, for some reason, a small group of people in a small geographical area seem to agree on a new sound, and develop something that doesn't sound much like anything that came before.
I'm not saying you have to be an originator to be original. My favorite hip hop group Wu-Tang came more than ten years after hip hop started. I'm just saying in those formative years, things are fresh in a different way. Nobody is making music from a genre reference. People are making truly new sounds, figuring it all out as they go along.
Like punk, hip hop, techno and Bambi, dubstep is alive and breathing because it's evolving. Some of the new elements, you might like, some not at all. That's evolution.
Hopefully, we're just getting started and the best is yet to come.
The Streets said it in 2002: There's no excuses my friend. Let's push things forward.