Is Dubstep the New Blues?

December 7, 2010 § Leave a comment

Wait. What? Dubstep? Blues? Let me explain…
Dubstep is a genre that is becoming more and more popular every day (mainly because of this guy). But the problem I am beginning to see is it is reminding me of the blues. Not like Flying Lotus is playing 12 bars in A, but let’s face it, more people play the blues poorly than any other genre. It’s just inevitable. Any slouch who knows how to play a bit of guitar can get on stage and “wail out” on some “blues”. Not to get too far off point, but the following clip out of Ghost Worldshould help prove a point. Basically these girls meet Steve Buscemi, who collects old blues vinyls and I’ll let the clip speak for itself about people playing shitty blues.

Now that’s understood, onto Dubstep. A friend of mine recently stated his disapproval…”Dubstep is often formatted in ways similar to other electronic genres. Mainly, it differentiates in regard to rhythm. The bass & percussion characteristically sounds as if it’s in ‘half-time’ in comparison to the overall track; while I can understand why some people would like this effect, the overall feeling it gives feels sluggish, and not indicative of something someone might feasibly ‘dance’ to. This disjunction between meter and melody (or the rest of the track) creates the grungy, grinding feeling some people look for in dubstep, but this technique isn’t very difficult to do with the right equipment, and doesn’t really require an deep understanding of music. As a result, artists may be lauded for producing work that is really more systematic than artistic.”

So basically the idea is, it’s easy to create, so more people do it and think it sounds great, when it does not. Take the following example.

Smokey – Bad Guy by Smokey Dubstep

Nothing against Smokey Dubstep here, but most would agree, this is just a bunch of noise. It seems too many people are getting away from the original idea of what Dubstep was suppose to be (heavy on the drum and bass) but now people are just throwing in whatever sounds seem relevant. Listen below

Dub War by

Again, no hard feelings, but this thing is just everywhere. I’m not someone who says ‘DJs have no talent because they don’t play an instrument.’ This is false. People like Girl Talk, synchronizing songs like that, takes skill and a massive amount of time. I just wish more DJs put in the extra effort and work to create some great new music, like this guy…

Point being, as more and more people can easily create this music, hopefully it doesn’t go too far down hill.
And for a great dubstep resource, check out Generation Bass. Hell of a blog.

Update- Just found this nice piece on Dubstep from Martin Clark via Pitchfork. Maybe a little more legitimacy behind the dubstep topic?


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