How to destroy a dance genre in 9 easy (dub)steps


20 mai 2011, 15h56m

I was in a club recently and a Remix of Lady Gaga's Judas came on with a lot of dubstep breakdowns in it. And I became worried now thinking..its all over..

It was bound to happen like it did in Drum N Bass before it.

You know the drill, the latest "cool" underground dance craze from the UK starts getting exploited. Then the originators and "artistés of the style leave it or make it so dark that the devil wouldnt even play it his funeral.

Don't know what dubstep is? Well its some sort of cross mutated drum n bass and dark 2 step garage, who all have their origins in jamaican dub.

Its known for its massive sub bass lines, bass drops, bass wobbles, half speed breaks, with other percussion at twice that speed, some synth work and spikey leadlines.

Listen to this wonderful tutorial [youtube]
But as Acid House and Drum N Bass before it,
Step 1. The "too cool for school kids" start listening to it. "Dude I was listening to Dubstep like back in 2005, ok? Everyone is like a poseur!"

Step 2. Some guy head of music placement thinks a Chase And Status track would be great for post apocalyptic movie trailer, background music on an episode of Gossip Girl, or a new Citroen turning into a transformer or something like that.

Step 3. You start hearing dubstep remixes of famous European artists.. like La Roux

Step 4. Slightly "Less cool" kids hear it in these commercials and think its kind of dope. Or they hear it via remix of their favorite euro artist. They start looking at internet forms and say "Hey what was that crazy song they used in the Pantene Pro-V plus commercial?"

Step 5. There's a breakthrough crossover pop hit using dubstep or dubsteppian elements that cracks the BBC Radio 1 top 5, ala Magnetic Man's I Need Air

Step 6. The hit crosses the pond over to the US and becomes a mild underground hit. (Note.. Underground in the States usually means "just bubbling under the mainstream" in Europe and the UK). Lets take the Drum N Bass lite of Olive's You're Not Alone as an example(im not dissing the track, I love it)


Step 7.Has a few scenarios
7a. American group or artist goes to Europe and hears this "Crazy new sound" then brings it home and incorporates it into their music. Sometimes it can have great results like the seamless soul/rap/drum n bass hybrid of The Roots You Got Me.


Sometimes you'll get some cheesetastic results like David Guetta teaming up with the Black Eyed Peas

7b. American or European producer tries to get clever and starts inserting the hot genre in working with an American artist. Lets take Dr. Luke and Max Martin sneaking it into the breakdown of Britney Spears comeback tune "Hold It Against Me" You have kids in the US not even knowing what dubstep is all of a sudden going all crazy for it. Rihanna has taken a few stabs at herself.

8. Dubstep-lite starts invading everywhere. 50 Cent may flirt with it, or Madonna will sneak in some elements on her album a la Ray of Light (dont get me wrong, I like the drum n bass influences and drum loops on Ray of Light, it was done tastefully)

9. The Genre dies and goes back underground, becomes dark and nearly unlistenable. Artful Dodger? Craig David? Yeah didnt think you would remember either.


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