What is dubstep?

Posted on 20 February, 2008. Filed under: ambient dub, chillout, Dance music, dub, dub techno, Dubstep, Electronic Music, Music, Music Genre, sub dub, UK Garage | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Last year I came across some music that quite caught my fancy. I’m not sure if it was the smooth hypnotic feel it gave me or the waves of bass, but I LIKED IT! It had the smooth, sustained feeling of dub-ey reggae but with bass lines that couldn’t help but evoke  a little movement of the hips.  The sound was Dubstep… makes sense really.

Dub is a form of Jamaican music, which evolved out of reggae in 1960s Jamaica. The dub sound is usually accomplished by removing the vocals from an existing music piece, and adding extensive echo and reverb effects, and occasional snippets of lyrics from the original version.

Dubstep is a genre of electronic music which has its roots in London’s early 2000s UK garage scene. The genre’s name was coined by Ammunition Promotions. Musically, dubstep is distinguished by its dark mood, sparse rhythms, and emphasis on bass. In late 2005 and early 2006, dubstep steadily became more popular, expanding beyond small, local scenes thanks to coverage in music magazines such as The Wire, as well as the internet. Interest in dubstep grew after BBC Radio 1 DJ Mary Anne Hobbs began championing the genre, devoting a show to it, entitled “Dubstep Warz”, in January 2006. By October 2006, the genre was being covered by the Daily Telegraph, which wrote of “the latest development in British dance music… yet another sound stemming from London’s garage scene, a bass-heavy instrumental form rather confusingly known as Dubstep.”

Big thanks must go to radio program RTR FM, Underground Solution. Without shows like this we wouldn’t have exposure to so many awesome and ear-opening sounds. It’s programs and radio stations like these that make for a richer, more rounded community.

In general, these ‘alternative’ radio DJ jobs can probably seem a little thankless, so THANK YOU to all those guys who sit behind a mic, in often cold and empty radio studios, at excessively random hours of the night, talking to no-one yet sharing their fantastic love with so many people.

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My ‘Simian Mobile Disco’ flashback

Posted on 22 May, 2007. Filed under: Dance music, Disco, DJ, Electro, electro funk, Electronic Music, electropop, Music | Tags: , , |

Has anyone else born in the late ’70s-early 80s experienced random flashback feelings while listening to any of the new stuff by Simian Mobile Disco? Particularly stuff from their “Attack Decay Sustain Release” album?

A few days ago I heard “I Believe” on the radio. I felt like I was listening to Heaven 17 mixed with Kajagoogoo, with a slightly more dancey feel. I suddenly had flashbacks of sitting in the back of my parent’s car with my white Sony walkman (I was so freakin’ cool), clicking STOP, REWIND, PLAY over and over again just so I could listen to my favourite song at the time repeatedly (this was before I learnt how to record the same song over and over again on to one tape).

Yesterday I was driving along, had the radio going (forgot to put CDs back in after cleaning it out) and next thing I know… “down down baby down down the rollercoaster sweet sweet baby I’ll never let you go…!” I remember playing that game in primary school! It was so cool.

Anyway, talk about retro revival! It was like this group was playing out my childhood. This album definately had their target audience in mind. I’d be interested to see the demographics of people who buy this album.

Grandma grandma, sick in bed! Called the doctor and the doctor said!
Let’s get the rhythm of the head Ding-Dong! Let’s get the rhythm of the head Ding-Dong!
Let’s get the rhythm of the hands Clap-Clap! Let’s get the rhythm of the hands Clap-Clap!
Let’s get the rhythm of the feet Stamp-Stamp! Let’s get the rhythm of the feet Stamp-Stamp!
Let’s get the rhythm of the Hoootdog! Let’s get the rhythm of the Hoootdog!
Put ’em all together and what do you get?!?!

DING-DONG CLAP-CLAP STAMP-STAMP HOOOT-DOG!

Track details: Simian Mobile Disco – I Believe
Simian Mobile Disco – Hotdog

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