>> Friday, March 14, 2008
the motherload... dubstep. don't bother listening if you don't have speakers or headphones with good bass output. you'll miss the root of the issue.
you might have heard about it. even the new york times had to talk about it. it's usually fast (150 bpm) and also slow (75 bpm) at the same time, with a mix of woofer-wrecking bass, dark textures, and diverse vocals ranging from dancehall toasting to grime rap to singing (or all of the above.) it crosses through drum n bass, twostep garage, minimal house/techno, hip hop, reggae dancehall, ambient music and world beat. a little bit of everything for the bass-lover.
(mp3) loefah - "disko rekah"
starting off real easy with a nice dubstep tune that shows the form well. sparse beats, deep bass, and basic synths and vocals (in this case a sample of busta rhymes).
(mp3) boxcutter - "glyphic"
this is sort of the other end of the spectrum, a really elaborate dubstep tune with a couple different sections, instrumental layering, great melody. this is the title track from my favorite album of 2007. the album has all kinds of different genres representing, all surrounding the amalgam that is dubstep.
(mp3) burial - "gutted"
this tune makes me misty. not sad, just nostalgic for the love of bass music. btw, burial's second album, "untrue" was universally loved by the critics. i find it boring, repetetive, and unnecessarily simple compared to his excellent self-titled debut.
(mp3) milanese - "reading you"
this comes off of planet mu's great 200th release compilation. it's a nice example of dubstep with more traditional pop vocals.
(mp3) pinch - "get up" feat. yolanda
this tune shows the link to twostep garage music, the more housey side of dubstep's origin. it's from the album "underwater dancehall", which is a close runner up for last year's best, featuring great vocal work from brooklyn-based juakali.
(mp3) kode9 & spaceape - "quantum"
spaceape's vocals remind me of mutabaraka, but more cyborg. kode9 is one of the early dubstep producers, and their combined album "memories of the future" is in my top ten dubstep albums of all time.
(mp3) benga - "combs 60"
this is the first dubstep track that really caught my attention, made me fall in love. it's really simple, even repetitive, but i give a lot of props to benga overall... check out his album "newstep".
(mp3) shackleton - "blood on my hands" (ricardo villalobos remix pt. 1)
this tune is a remix that marked the awareness of dubstep by more traditional 4-on-the-floor electronic music, in this case minimal techno royalty, ricardo villalobos. shackleton is on the more mystical side of the whole dubstep scene, deeply influenced by middle eastern instrumentation. in my opinion if he learned how to play some of those instruments instead of sampling he could rule the music world (but in the meantime i'll play them for him if he wants!) btw, i would have uploaded the original, but it's over my 10 mb space limit. there is a video here of the original with o.k. sound.
well now you can listen to dubstep. learn yerself. this is just a smattering of the many talented artists out there...
you can go listen to a bunch of others (and more full tracks of the same) at last.fm's dubstep archive. i also like pinch, skream, digital mystikz, bass clef, geeneus, d1, the bug, drop the lime, sub version, luke envoy, warrior queen, scuba, appleblim and neil landstrumm (his album, "resturaunt of the assassins" is challenging, but super-awesome...)
btw, if anyone knows who drew the image above, i'd love to credit them. it basically captures the future envisioned by dubstep. the holy war of sound, liberating the lower frequencies. the cultural machine complex.