A Discourse On Dubstep
Once upon a time, Spring of 2010 to be exact, I was introduced to a blossoming electric musical movement. It was bass-heavy, sexy, and too catchy too ignore. “Dubstep” it was called and it was making its way into the collective consciousness at a quick and steady pace.
My Dubstep Journey
Up until then, I was only aware of the genre via discussion forums online, catching only glimpses of written opinions from people, whom apparently already had enough of it. It sounded like another trend to me and I didn’t bother looking it up. Needless to say, I couldn’t form an opinion about it because I still hadn’t heard it, so when a friend of mine (with much enthusiasm) decided to show me, I was ready for a listen. From that point onwards, my musical taste took an interesting direction. The track he decided to show me was Kid Sister’s ‘Pro Nails (Rusko Remix)’. I was blown away. What happened next can be seen as either an episode of complete mania or energized enthusiasm.
I began to listen to all of dubsteps key players. With the help of music websites such as Pandora and the mighty internet I picked up on a movement that was quickly making its way into the consciousness of the masses. After a few months of developing my still new affinity for the genre, I delved into dubsteps roots, listening to Digital Mystikz, Plastician and most importantly, Skream. Dubsteps obvious appeal as a genre of dance music has to do not only with its catchy 2step beats but with the innovations the producers make with the simple act of assigning cut-offs to Low-Frequency Oscillators (the sounds that give dubstep the signature, bassy wub wub wub). If you’re as into it as I am, you’ll eventually start to mouth the wobbles to your favorite dubstep tunes.
It’s one thing to go out to the club to go and dance, but to go to a dubstep show and hear it live is definitely its own unique experience. To feel the bass hit your body while you dance in sync with the two-step beat is a very awesome feeling. Of course, if you decide to responsibly enhance your experience with alcohol or any illicit substance, you’re in for a ride. If you have a wild imagination, such as mine, the experience could take on the mask of an ecstatic adventure with primal urges highlighted, until one feels like a part of some neo-tribal gathering, with a musical shaman opening the gates to a trans-dimensional entertainer that communicates via speaker and subwoofer.
As described countless amounts of times on the internet by listeners ignorant of this music style, dubstep (specifically it’s sub genre brostep) sounds like to many people “Like transformers having sex”. Dance beats of course do adhere to our primal urges of needing sex, and currently, the genre has adopted a sort of trans-humanistic theme with its current mainstream producers (Skrillex, Datsik, Borgore). At often times, dubstep tunes don’t really need lyrics, the drops and the wobbles are what the crowd generally listens for, and if you’re a fan of the genre, the wobbles are the segments you’ll remember if you find a tune you like. Additionally, these wobbly leads are the part of the song you’d probably find yourself subconsciously humming.
Now stop and think about this opinion:
I find the sound of robotic oscillations entertaining. We could stop right there, agree and dismiss this opinion as nothing. If you really think about it…
Is dubstep subconsciously getting me used to the idea/possibility of being entertained by aliens or robots?
The idea may not sound too farfetched if you take into consideration a recent study done by U.C.L.A in late June discussing the effects certain types of music have on our mental and physical being, one being Skrillex’s tunes. The university’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology chair, Daniel Blumstein ran the study. What they found was that the sounds found in Skrilly’s music resemble distress sounds found in animals, making our bodies react in a way similar as if we were reacting to some waning animal. What an interesting combination of stimuli that dubstep becomes. Not only does it condition the listener to accept entertaining melodies from machine sounds, but it alludes to our animal instincts. ( Skrillex’s Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites definitely comes to mind here.)
Finally, A Little Musical PiFF For You All