Dubstep is a term used to describe a type of post-garage form of music that was originated in Croydon in South London. The genre can be attributed to two major influences. The first came from musicians such as Scream who were working with Big Apple records, which no longer exists, and the second was a show that happened at a place in London called Forward…
Chalice Dubstep Masquerade: Techno Music and a Festival Atmosphere
The development of the sound which lent itself particularly well to pop music promotion went from the U.K. to the United States, providing a techno sound with a driving bass that was particularly appealing to large festival style crowds. A festival that originated at The Canopy Club in Champaign Illinois provided a venue and crowd that was electric and exciting. Attending the Chalice Dubstep Masquerade provided an opportunity to find out about the dubstep experience. Dubstep has infiltrated both popular music and regional sounds, creating a new technologically based music that is still currently driving sectors of the music industry.
According to Gaerig and Nocito who wrote about dubstep for Spin Magazine, dubstep began as a reaction to U.K. garage music, itself an innovative, underground club movement that had been polished to a pop sheen” (60). The type of music created for the genre was slow and intense, which meant that as it crossed the ocean into the United States, American teenagers related to its similar feel to rock radio. In the process of promoting the music in the United States, the feel of the new sound made into a popularly relatable mix meant that it could be translated via festivals. Gaerig and Nocito continue on saying that the new festivals that are cropping up all over are particularly geared for the frenzy of the sound that is aggressive and based on the desire to create a dance atmosphere that is without restraint. (60). The dance atmosphere of the dubstep genre can be described by the drive that the music puts into the crowd. According to Yunigan, the music is hard to describe because it comes from a number of different sources, but it is highlighted for downtempo rhythms that have an off-kilter sort of shuffle. The power of the DJ to create the sound has made them into musicians, just as Brewster and Boughton describe when they wrote that beat –mixing gave disco DJs the power to be more creative with the music that they played in different venues (136). There are two broad categories that describe dubstep, with the first being darker and more melancholy with beats that are low energy, but with the other side of the music being heavy on the bass as it is rich in dance driving aggressiveness. The dance version of the music is described by Yunigan as grimy with electronic sound that is attracting fraternity types across American campuses. It is a sound that is passed around with DJs picking up the concept and translating it for their crowds. While the DJs work on creating wild and relentless frenzy at their venues, the festivals drawing bigger and bigger crowds, some musicians work on the complexity of the rhythms and mood that are at the core of the style. Some of it becomes so complex that Yunigan describes it as difficult for dance, citing artists like Mount Kimbie, James Blake, and Untold as examples of this more musically challenged work. These musicians are not for the festival crowd, but for using in a more domestic environment. Although the popularity of the genre has made it much more commercial and has created crowd pleasing shows like those performed by Rusko, the DJs picking up and translating the sound are sometimes accused of ‘bastardizing’ the work. In a video where he discusses dubstep, producer/musician Deadmau5 discusses why he hates the concept of dubstep, he first provides a discussion on dance music when it was not really popular. He puts his career into perspective and provides his feelings on the rising success of his music. He discusses the sound of dubstep as a type of music ...
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