This is not your Grandmother’s Techno

5 04 2010

Dubstep is on the rise

Anyone who has been reading this blog with any sort of regularity knows that I am really excited for Bonnaroo this summer, but Bonnaroo isn’t the only festival making noise this year.  Some friends of mine made the trip down to Miami for Ultra Music Fest over spring break, and they brought something back that has blown my mind, despite my early uncertainty about this fledgling genre.  The music I’m speaking of here is called Dubstep, and after hearing some this weekend, I’m convinced that it’s the future of dance and electronic music.

People have a tendency to write all electronic music off as techno, and this is a huge mistake.  Dubstep is not your typical “four-to-the-floor” house music where the bass drum is constantly pounding.  Instead the beats are much slower, closer to hip-hop than house, sometimes glitchy, and the bass-line is more of a lead instrument than part of the rhythm section.  The beat breaks are like nothing you’ve ever heard, and these artists make some of the most creative remixes (and music period) that you’ll ever hear.

It’s wild to think that I had never heard of a genre of music that brought 100,000 people to Miami for a weekend (to be fair it wasn’t a dubstep festival, there was other electronica there as well), but given its close relationship to hip-hop I can totally see Dubstep crossing over into the mainstream, and it’s already begun with Snoop Dogg getting into some dub on an unreleased song from his newest album Malice n Wonderland.  And there isn’t just promise for hip-hop as rock bands are also moving more and more into the realm of electronica.  This weekend I saw Papadosio at the Newport here in Columbus and I was blown away by their self-described combination of “Roots and eclectic styles with modern electronica and dance music”.  In other words they’re a really cool jam band who utilize electronic beats, synths, and awesome dance breaks.

I have to encourage everyone to check some of these guys out.  A few of my favorites thus far include Bassnectar, Glitch Mob, and Marty Party.  Not all the music made by all of these artists is necessarily dubstep, but most of it is really cool bass music, not house techno crap, and some of it is even really chill, which I think a lot of people assume that electronic music is incapable of being.  Some of this stuff can be a little hard to find if you don’t know the right place, but go check out  It’s a cool site where people can upload and share music, either through streaming or the occasional free download, and a lot of these artists share music up there, and it’s definitely worth looking into, especially because it makes for a GREAT party soundtrack.




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