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Doors opening for Dubstep

Guest Blogger: Tina Hart

Blimey. Magnetic Man’s single has gone in at number ten in the mainstream chart and a Dubstep album has claimed the equivalent spot in the compilations chart. Didn’t see that coming.

OK, so I Need Air isn’t strictly 100% Dubstep but you can still hear the influence of the genre, as the trio behind the beats Magnetic Man consists of Dubstep pioneers and super-producers: Skream, Benga and Artwork. Hopefully this will open doors for their peers…

Dubstep has been around for yonks, morphing elements from other underground electronic dance sounds but never really getting itself much mainstream attention until recently. If you want to get technical, the Wiktionary definition of Dubstep is: ‘(music) A genre of electronic music descended from garage music, characterised by its dark mood, sparse, syncopated rhythms, and emphasis on bass.’

The moment it came to my attention was early last year when a friend played me Skream’s remix of La Roux’s In for the Kill which left me speechless (a rare occurrence). Dark and dirty, a far removal from the watered-down dance-y pop we were moving to in the club at the time, it was pure brilliance pouring into my ears. Then earlier this year I went to a Chase and Status-headlined gig and got the live experience which was, in a word, mental. Dubstep fans are the nu-skool heavy ravers and the sound has been spectacularly well-received at even some of the Pop-ier festivals and gigs I’ve been to this year.

During the early Noughties, when I was downloading tunes by Dizzee Rascal and Pay As You Go (a few members now who are in Roll Deep) I never thought Grime could or would make an impression on the mainstream market. I thought the wider public wouldn’t ‘get’ or even like the sound, I thought, no matter how chart-friendly the lyrics become, or how the sound evolves, the masses just won’t buy into it. I’m delighted to see I was proved wrong and I think Dubstep is about to follow a similar path to success now, with high-profile fans around the world including Pharrell, Snoop Dogg, Eve and Rihanna to boot.

Yes it’s dark, gritty and bass-heavy but this weekend’s chart positions show the time is right for Dubstep to shine in the mainstream spotlight…

This post is dedicated to my dear friend who played me the La Roux/Skream remix. Her unborn baby dances to Dubstep and is due to come into the world sometime very soon.


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