In every genre there usually comes the ‘breakout moment’ into mass consciousness – as it goes overground away from the dedicated fans and into the wider world. In dance music this usually spells the death of that genre, not (just) in some hipster ‘I heard it first’ sense but usually because that means the evolution of that style or genre has run it’s course, the public has set it in aspic frozen in that moment, and the K-Tel and Minstry of Sound compilations swoop like vultures for the cash-in.
So I think with dubstep we are witnessing this moment – the Rise of the Wub above all else – and specifically Skrillex working with Korn. All the previous subtleties, even there previously in his own music, have been turned up to 11 for the Ultimate Fag-Beating Jockstep – and the Now That’s What I Call Dubstep albums are arriving (well sorta). Just as with jungle and General Levy, or DJ Pied Piper with garage, I think now with Britney Spears and her 30 second dubstep flirtation (just like her marriages) dubstep has joined them in those stakes…even Radio 1 has employed most of RinseFM as marketers now see dubstep and it’s bastard pop/trance/rave/electro offshoots as the ‘sound of the yoof’ (Deadmau5 you have a lot to answer for, and Nero too). Expect shortly to hear Skream or Benga or DJ WUBWUB4REAL on a car commercial shortly as advertisers co-opt the cool aspect and then completely beat it to death.
It’s also funny how the US cottoned on to then has totally missed the point of dubstep, the low sub bass and the, well, dub parts…you know? Dub reggae? Remember that? Does it sound familiar? *knocks on glass*. Saying dubstep is about the wub bassline is like saying drum and bass is all about the snare, or rock is all about the distortion…it’s only ONE small part, and not even a necessary one. Playing these people classic dubstep tracks without the wub should be an Olympic sport, it’s funny…e.g. ‘it’s not dubstep’ ‘Really? It’s Skream – Midnight Request Line, you jerk’.
So dubstep is evolving away from the wub, away from 140bpm as people scramble away from the likes of Korn and their terrible cash-in on a passing fad…it’s getting harder to categorise these post-dubstep musics – house speed dubstep inspired electronica, or faster drum step or techno and experimental broken beat dubsteps, to the more acoustic folk crossovers.
So Dubstep is Dead! Long live Dubstep!