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The result? Something that sounds like dubstep, except they took out all the good parts and replaced with crap. Fucking Skrillex.
January 16, 2012 2:22 PM   Subscribe

"With a little help from the internet, the genre grew because it was so unique. But in growing, it also evolved. The relaxed, dubby vibe got pushed aside to make way for more. More wobble, more sounds, more everything. Maximize to maximize."

Liquido asks: Who killed Dubstep? (more)
posted by dunkadunc (248 comments total) 39 users marked this as a favorite

 
Wheatbix.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:29 PM on January 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Whoever it was, give that person a medal but tell them that their job isn't finished yet. The beast still roams the Earth, its dark cry of WUB WUB striking terror in mortal hearts everywhere.
posted by Sangermaine at 2:35 PM on January 16, 2012 [30 favorites]


bros
posted by nathancaswell at 2:36 PM on January 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


Good read, thanks for that. Popularity often kills interesting things.
posted by awfurby at 2:37 PM on January 16, 2012


Know my favorite part of dubstep?

The part that goes "DOOF! DOOF! DOOF! DOOF! DOOF! DOOF! DOOF! DOOF!..."
posted by Mister Fabulous at 2:38 PM on January 16, 2012 [6 favorites]


In before dubstep remix of this post.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 2:38 PM on January 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


The thing that killed dubstep was all the clueless wobs who couldn't dance and the unmusical DJ's who made weird music that no one could dance to for them.
posted by Rubbstone at 2:38 PM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


It may not have been Skrillex, but he certainly pissed on its corpse.
posted by R. Schlock at 2:39 PM on January 16, 2012 [5 favorites]


Ahh... Dubstep Warz. See you in 2 hours.
posted by gwint at 2:39 PM on January 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


PUT A DROP ON IT
posted by naju at 2:41 PM on January 16, 2012 [34 favorites]


This is from an extreme layman viewpoint, but the way I see it: oftentimes when an act such as Skrillex enters into a genre and makes it more mainstream, both in terms of image (the brostep phenomenon of Middle America fans suddenly going to raves and 'dubstep' concerts) and in terms of the technical qualities of music, the genre becomes more like pop. For the former, the genre takes on an image that's more palatable for a popular audience. I'm not sure how Skrillex achieved that, but I assume it has something to do with him being an outsider to dubstep to begin with, what with his emo past and all. Being a personal friend of deadmau5 probably helps. But I find the latter to be more compelling- for a complete lameman-layman such as me, there's something about Skrillex's music that makes it different from various "traditional" dubstep acts. It kind of sounds more- pop. His songs have some sort of weird melody that arises. Melody, I feel, is key, to approachability to music. That's why pop is a drug. So really, dubstep, like so many other genres, is slowly turning into a form of pop- both in terms of image, and in technical aspects.

Someone rebut this please.
posted by Apocryphon at 2:42 PM on January 16, 2012 [8 favorites]


You know, I really liked jazz until that punk kid Dizzy whats-his-face started throwing all those flatted fifth chords and doodly doodly bullshit on top of it. Fucking guy ruined it.
posted by fungible at 2:46 PM on January 16, 2012 [11 favorites]


wheres the drop obama
posted by p3on at 2:49 PM on January 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


> The part that goes "DOOF! DOOF! DOOF! DOOF! DOOF! DOOF! DOOF! DOOF!..."

Please don't bring classic four-on-the-floor Detroit house into it.
posted by scruss at 2:50 PM on January 16, 2012 [18 favorites]


PUT A DROP ON IT

Of course out of everything that Aphex Twin has put out Skrillex loves the song that everyone and their third-grade sibling has heard. Nice crate-digging, bro.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 2:51 PM on January 16, 2012 [5 favorites]


Liquido asks: Who killed Dubstep?

When after all, it was you and me.
posted by 7segment at 2:52 PM on January 16, 2012 [14 favorites]


Why not give Justin Bieber a chance? You might like it.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:53 PM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I really must have missed more of Korn's career than I realized if they were "dubstep before dubstep." Mission accomplished! And the idea of a Bieber dubstep album sounded terrible at first, but the more I think about it, just might have the potential to be interesting in that WTF Metallica/Lou Reed way. Only minus talent and inspiration.

Wheatbix.

Please, Weetabix can't even ruin breakfast.
posted by Hoopo at 2:53 PM on January 16, 2012


I.G, to give him some credit, the track was Flim, which is lovely, with wonderfully organic skittery drums and whimsical melodies, not Come To Daddy, which is mostly a joke OTT Prodigy pastiche.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 2:54 PM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'd say Korn killed it. I've been following music since at least the early 90s, and they seem to be right at the forefront of whatever is waning in popularity.
posted by Dark Messiah at 2:55 PM on January 16, 2012 [6 favorites]


This is a fantastic and on-target rant, by the way.
posted by naju at 2:56 PM on January 16, 2012


Well, it was suicide, wasn't it?
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:58 PM on January 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


I.G, to give him some credit, the track was Flim, which is lovely, with wonderfully organic skittery drums and whimsical melodies

I agree, I love the song too, but saying that it's one's favorite song of all time is something you'd expect to hear from Musically Oblivious Eighth Grader in response to a question about "techno".
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 2:59 PM on January 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


You know who killed dubstep? The people at the centre of the scene who gave up when a version they liked less became more popular. Who gives a shit if Bieber is doing it? If Skrillex sounds too aggressive and mid-rangy? What does that have to do with you doing what you do? The problem is that they fall under the same label? Right, that's always been the problem with dance music, not enough names for sub-genres.
posted by neuromodulator at 3:01 PM on January 16, 2012 [10 favorites]


Dubstep is unique because it treats subwoofers as musical instruments.

In the same way as maracatu does not make sense as a recording — you gotta be there, feeling the drums punching you in the guts. Better yet, banging on a drum yourself. So we have a very popular music genre, but really without albums or studio bands.
posted by Tom-B at 3:01 PM on January 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


just might have the potential to be interesting in that WTF Metallica/Lou Reed way. Only minus talent and inspiration.

Um, what?

Did you listen to Lulu!? Nevermind James Hetfield screaming "I AM THE TABLE!" -- when the lyric is "I am the tablet" -- the fact it sounds like a third-tier Metallica cover band jamming in the background while Lou Reed stumbles through, possibly in the throes of dementia.

Lulu is vile. Not even the novelty factor can sustain a listener. Lou Reed stopped making music for people who liked music a long time ago.

Sorry for the derail but, seriously, fuck Lulu. If I'd been given the album free I would still ask for a refund.

So really, a Bieber dubstep album would be EXACTLY like Lulu.
posted by Dark Messiah at 3:02 PM on January 16, 2012 [6 favorites]


Music changes, it's a massive, diverse industry. There's tons of stuff out there, and I wouldn't waste too much time crying about the ones that aren't appealing.

The popularity of dubstep (or whatever is replacing it) draws people into electronic music, and some of them are bound to branch off and do their own things. No loss there.

Desperately trying to stop music from changing seems insane and backwards, and hating on whatever everyone else is listening to is a waste of energy.
posted by Stagger Lee at 3:06 PM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Dubstep is like the first hour of a DXM trip, where you're all itchy and confused and very badly need to fart.
posted by Afroblanco at 3:06 PM on January 16, 2012 [8 favorites]


Desperately trying to stop music from changing seems insane and backwards

You did read the second article, right?
posted by dunkadunc at 3:09 PM on January 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


S K R I L L E X
posted by Smart Dalek at 3:14 PM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


And the idea of a Bieber dubstep album sounded terrible at first

Why? Bieber's got that early Jackson 5 thing going on with his vocals, which seems to translate well into Bmore Club, so who knows, maybe it'll mix well with dubstep.

This whole discussion reminds me of the "who killed punk rock" discussions from way back when. New people using a new take on your favorite genre doesn't "kill" it. There's nothing stopping you or anyone from playing the music the way you reckon it should be done. Music is just as alive as the people playing it and listening to it.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:18 PM on January 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Did you listen to Lulu!?

No actually. But I do think Lou Reed and Metallica are talented musicians, and the idea is interesting at least. I don't like Metallica enough to bother when they put an album out, but when they or Bieber try something crazy it's way more likely to get my attention.
posted by Hoopo at 3:20 PM on January 16, 2012


Bieber's got that early Jackson 5 thing going on with his vocals

WHAT not even close you are crazy
posted by Hoopo at 3:21 PM on January 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


You don't hear it? Funny, I thought that's what he was going for this whole time.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:22 PM on January 16, 2012


This is probably a minor quibble, but a lot of things that people refer to as "dubstep" aren't actually dubstep. Dubstep is more than just wobbly bass. The result is that a lot of the shitty faux-dubstep gets lumped in with stuff that actually has some artistic merit.

Basically what I'm saying is Korn can fuck off and I hope Justin Bieber chokes on his own tongue.

(And just to preempt the inevitable "Music is like, organic, man, and so is art, and it's always evolving, and who are you to say what is or isn't this thing": The whole point of language is that things have a definite meaning so we can all understand what we're talking about. Broccoli is not the same thing as apples just because they're both plants you can eat; likewise, something isn't dubstep just because some Jagerbomb-chugging fuckwit thinks it sounds kinda sorta the sameish.

I'm sorry. I needed to let that out. Forgive me.)
posted by Misunderestimated at 3:23 PM on January 16, 2012 [13 favorites]


People whining about Skrillex are the new... people whining about thing they like being mainstreamed...? It doesn't have much to do with Skrillex, who just has the unfortunate knack of marrying dubstep to pop hooks and creating songs many people like.
posted by mightygodking at 3:24 PM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Read the article. Listened to the tracks. So I'm not imagining it - dubstep did actually start out with dub! Certainly wouldn't gather that from it these days.

Most awful thing I've heard / seen / been made cognitively aware of, ever: "Dubstep remix" of the Pixies' Where is my Mind.
posted by Jimbob at 3:25 PM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Since no one's critiqued by earlier post, I will reduce it further: there are only two types of music: pop, and the non-mainstream. The latter inevitably becomes the further.
posted by Apocryphon at 3:26 PM on January 16, 2012


The whole point of language is that things have a definite meaning so we can all understand what we're talking about.

No argument about musical taste is complete without a tangent into prescriptivism!
posted by no regrets, coyote at 3:26 PM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I can't wait until we all understand what we're talking about!
posted by aubilenon at 3:27 PM on January 16, 2012 [12 favorites]


Bah, dubstep is last year's news. It's all about dubtrot now, like Omnipony or 3ight8it. Or if you want to stay old school, just enjoy this video of Skrillex' Equinox
posted by Nelson at 3:27 PM on January 16, 2012 [5 favorites]


Man, I remember when snarky articles that told you that you were uncool were so underground. You just lived it, you know?

/* goes back to coding with headphones cranked on any electronic music he can find. */
posted by thanotopsis at 3:28 PM on January 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


Regrets, aubilenon: If you've got an actual rebuttal, I'd love to hear it. I find reasoned arguments help me learn a lot more than smug snark.
posted by Misunderestimated at 3:32 PM on January 16, 2012


Am I wrong in my impression that any time a sort of electronic music is played by at least three people it gets its own named sub or sub-sub genre?
posted by Justinian at 3:32 PM on January 16, 2012 [19 favorites]


Wheatbix.

It's made of WEET.

But, yes.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:33 PM on January 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


more interested in the beats and the feel than the bass - although there are times that works - but it's getting to be a cliche
posted by pyramid termite at 3:34 PM on January 16, 2012


If I recall correctly, more than 5+ years ago British dubstep had already fractured into a bunch of different subgenres, all with their own names.
posted by stratastar at 3:35 PM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Who killed Dubstep?

From the moment the invaders arrived, breathed our air, ate and drank, they were doomed.
posted by Malice at 3:40 PM on January 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


I am over judging stuff based on its genre.

I think Skrillex is both overrated and over-hated. I do like Flux Pavillion, Bassnectar, Doctor P, Knight Riderz, Nero.

And no doubt a bunch of other things, except so many of these people release singles or remix a couple of things and then disappear or change their names, instead of releasing albums, and I'm an album listener.
posted by Foosnark at 3:40 PM on January 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


Dubstep is unique because it treats subwoofers as musical instruments.

Uh, there's this form of music called dub that pre-dates techno and dubstep by almost half a century that used entire soundsystems - including the subwoofers - as a musical instrument.

It's kind of where dubstep got its name from. Today's dubstep doesn't really have anything to do with real dub at all, but the early dubstep was heavily influenced by dub in the same way that popular early 90s ambient/house like The Orb was influenced by dub.

Anyway, dubstep isn't at all unique in that regard when it comes to contemporary dance/electronic music. Everything from early electro and breaks to techno and house, not to mention drum and bass and jungle - most of it requires a subwoofer to be enjoyed properly.

Modern, mainstream dubstep like Skrillex isn't even that bass-heavy anyway. I could drop a thousand tracks from before 1995 that are all much bassier. Hell, I could probably find a thousand tracks before 1985 that have more bass and woofer action.

What killed dubstep as a genre? Well, besides all the stupid-drunk and mildly stoned bros just looking for tits, ass and/or drugs at parties - what killed dubstep was it's own stupid hubris that people thought it was new, like they invented bass music or easily predictable bass/drum drops.

Hey, kids? You're on my lawn. I don't mind the bad, spastic dancing - though it wouldn't hurt if you learned to actually swing your ass around to some good deep house. I don't really care if you want to drink cheap beer and get wicked stupid - you're young, it goes with the territory.

But when you start claiming you invented this shit like a long decay bass note or triplets on the drums are somehow new? Well, you just picked a fight you won't ever win, and I'm going to nuke you from orbit with mad science.

There's a reason why a lot of good electronic dance music doesn't use builds and drops like mainstream dubstep does today - because it's fucking boring, that's why. We already went through all this shit with east coast house, west coast breaks, goa and psytrance and that awfully tame and lame arena megarave trance like Tiesto.

This "rock guitar-solo aesthetic" keeps trying to re-infect electronic dance music and it loses every time. It doesn't belong here. Go home, guitar hero. Go home, ego-preening stage queens. You're unwanted and unneeded, here. All we want is endless flow and groove. We don't want nor need your public wankery.

It's cloying. It telegraphs itself many bars in advance - it's too predictable. It has no play or element of surprise. It's the cheap tricks of a guitar shredder on solo, forever.

It's no coincidence that the same kind of dude-bros that used to think Metallica or Korn (or, gah, Joe Satriani, or Nickleback) are totally "epic" also think that mainstream dubstep is the shit - it's because it's music for people who don't actually like to think or be challenged by their music.

It's the difference between Kenny G and Thelonious Monk. It's the difference between a bag of Skittles and a scratch-baked tiramisu cake. It's even the difference between John Cage and John Zorn.

Hey, if you want to eat refined sugar until your teeth fall out of your head - that's cool, man. You can do that. I'm not going to stop you.

But I'm not going to agree to call a bag of sugar the same thing as a cake. Both are sweet, but they're not even anywhere near the same thing, nor do they take the same amount of skill or craft to create - or enjoy or fully appreciate.

Is that culturally elitist? Is it elitist to point out that a $1 McDonald's cheeseburger isn't anywhere near the same thing as a two pound porterhouse steak? I don't really care. I can enjoy both - but I know what the difference is between the two...

...and, well, in a nutshell - that's what taste is - the ability to discern.
posted by loquacious at 3:43 PM on January 16, 2012 [98 favorites]


I've got a modest proposal: Since this whole idea of distinct musical genres seems like it's useless except as a mechanism for either self-satisfaction or righteous indignation, lets just get rid of the damn thing. Abolish it altogether. Just to make it easy on everyone, there can only be two categories for music: "Noises we both like," and "Shit."
posted by Misunderestimated at 3:45 PM on January 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


It's been said, but it's still true –

The killer of dubstep?

Thy. Name. Is. Skrillex.
posted by koeselitz at 3:47 PM on January 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Inspector.Gadget: "PUT A DROP ON IT

Of course out of everything that Aphex Twin has put out Skrillex loves the song that everyone and their third-grade sibling has heard. Nice crate-digging, bro.
"

Wait, Flim is the one that everyone heard? I thought it was Windowlicker or Come to Daddy. Yeah, Flim's on the EP, but it's not the one that most know of. That said. I fucking hate Skrillex.

I'm confused now, because Flim is probably one of my fave Aphex Tracks (though Avril 14th and the prepared piano pieces are probably my all time faves), and I hate thinking Skrillex might like anything I like.
posted by symbioid at 3:48 PM on January 16, 2012


But when you start claiming you invented this shit like a long decay bass note or triplets on the drums are somehow new? Well, you just picked a fight you won't ever win, and I'm going to nuke you from orbit with mad science.

Clamoring to claim "FIRST!" is also a fight you will never win.

The only real battle worth fighting and winning is the war against Eurobeat.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:49 PM on January 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Hey guys! Let's all talk about how much we hate Justin Bieber and Rebecca Black and how bad Twilight is!
posted by Apocryphon at 3:50 PM on January 16, 2012 [6 favorites]


Wow, there is so much "other people can't like what I like or even have a new take on it" going on in here that it's just disturbing. Jesus Christ, I'll stop listening to your fucking music already.
posted by wierdo at 3:51 PM on January 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


Wait, who's who in the Cage vs Zorn thing, because, well I think I know what you mean, I'd like to make sure I'm reading you right.
posted by symbioid at 3:52 PM on January 16, 2012 [6 favorites]


Man, wait til you guys hear about Ponystep.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:56 PM on January 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Do you think having one's identity wrapped up in musical taste and the territorial whining that results from it a product of American culture? Western culture as a whole? Or is it just embedded in social behaviors that go way back and is just the latest manifestation of an ancient thing?

TEL L ME NOW
posted by palidor at 3:56 PM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also:

"Welcome to Coffee Talk with Linda Richman. Modern "Dubstep" is neither dub nor step. Discuss amongst yourselves."
posted by symbioid at 3:56 PM on January 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Wait, who's who in the Cage vs Zorn thing, because, well I think I know what you mean, I'd like to make sure I'm reading you right.

I'm not really familiar with Zorn, but if you're saying Skrillex = Cage, that is deeply weird.
posted by juv3nal at 3:57 PM on January 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah if you're calling Zorn junkfood we got beef.
posted by neuromodulator at 3:58 PM on January 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


Clamoring to claim "FIRST!" is also a fight you will never win.

No, that's my point exactly. I am forever (happily) surprised at how far back electronic music goes, and music in general. Finding the "FIRST!" moments is a fools errand, though it can be interesting.

There recently was a monthly listening party here in Seattle called "Voltage Control" that was entirely dedicated to electronic music created before 1983 - which is the year when MIDI instruments and tools became publicly available - and I was astounded that people even had that much electronic music that fit that description, much less that they had it on original vinyl, and not just scratchy bootlegged files or tapes.

The event ran for just about a year, bi-monthly, and people never ran out of music, and so much of it was surprisingly good and "IDM" sounding, and it wasn't just Wendy Carlos or Cabaret Voltaire or Throbbing Gristle.

It was a small, little thing when it started. My friend played the first night, and there was maybe 10 people there, and maybe 5 of those were DJs. And it quickly grew into a hipster-in-the-know favorite on Capitol Hill that was too crowded and too noisy to actually, you know, listen to the music.

I suspect that the guys throwing it intentionally killed it off at the one-year mark to prevent that kind of thing from happening further because, really? We just wanted to listen to some cool, weird music, not become a nightclub sensation or social event where people talked more than listened. They already know how to do that kind of club, this was more about having some beers and being nerdy about music.
posted by loquacious at 4:00 PM on January 16, 2012 [6 favorites]


I'm just now listening to Flat Beat (which I very much like, especially teh video) , dating all the way back to 1999. I'll give you it isn't quite the modern version of dubstep, but it has a ton of WUB and would sound like a precursor. I'm thinking all this mid 2k stuff is kinda late and it got going before then.

Mind you, I just like music but ain't so edushmated about it.
posted by Bovine Love at 4:01 PM on January 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


Sorry, that wasn't clear, I didn't just first hear Flat Beat, I just coincidently was listening to it when I tripped over this thread.
posted by Bovine Love at 4:02 PM on January 16, 2012


I'm out of touch with everything. I've been trying to figure out what dubstep is for about a year, and people keep earnestly and passionately trying to explain it to me, but they use a bunch of words that I also don't understand, which means I think that I'm too dull even to be a square. I fire up youtube every once in a while and listen to things, but, well, youtube isn't particularly well curated, and it all sounds like this to me.

What I'm gathering is that it's electronic dance music (too dull to be square!) where the 4/4 structure is broken down so that the felt pulse is very slow, with bass low enough that you feel the individual pulses of the sound waves more than a "note" per se. But more than that, I just can't sort. I think I just don't know enough about the metagenre to be able to discern the fine differences, which bugs me, because I know a lot of people are really passionate about it and I want to know what's so cool.
posted by KathrynT at 4:06 PM on January 16, 2012 [5 favorites]


Heh, sorry. My comparison of John Cage vs. John Zorn is a subtle piece of music nerd fuckery fully intended to rile the jazz curmudgeons in the room.

In my opinion - Cage is a lot more accessible and mainstream than Zorn. I like both. I'll leave it to you to decide which artist - if any - is actually the metaphorical junk food.

If I had to chose one and only one of these two Johns I'd probably pick Zorn, but I'm biased towards bricoleurs and "additive" or "inclusive" artists that like to break, blend and destroy genres. He's a connectivist and experimenter and I'm down with that.

My favorite music breaks and defies genres. When DJing electronic/dance, I don't stick to a genre. I may not mix a jungle track directly with a classic house tracks, but I'll go all over the map as long as I can find the threads and paths to tie it together.
posted by loquacious at 4:08 PM on January 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


No, that's my point exactly. I am forever (happily) surprised at how far back electronic music goes, and music in general. Finding the "FIRST!" moments is a fools errand, though it can be interesting.

I think so. One case in point: I visited a friend of mine one day, in like '92 maybe? We went to his dad's house to pick up an old amp. My friend's younger brother, who was 15 at the time, was watching TV with his dad. Nirvana was performing a song (Territorial Pissings, I think) on MTV's set. As the song ends, Kurt smashes his guitar on the ground. My friend's brother was amazed, and turns to his dad ... who was just wistfully smiling.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:08 PM on January 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


(sigh of relief)
posted by neuromodulator at 4:10 PM on January 16, 2012


The first time I heard about the Skrillex/Korn thing I thought it was a joke

and I was like "ha ha that is a funny joke"

but then I found out it was real and I was like "wait what?"

but I could still be amused by it in a kind of detached way

until one time I was trying to drive to a show I was playing on the other side of town

but the Skrillex/Korn show was happening in between and traffic was all snarled up

and I sort of started taking it personally

like, you know, they're literally making it more difficult for me to make music

so now I dislike them pretty strongly

the end
posted by speicus at 4:25 PM on January 16, 2012 [20 favorites]


There recently was a monthly listening party here in Seattle called "Voltage Control" that was entirely dedicated to electronic music created before 1983 - which is the year when MIDI instruments and tools became publicly available - and I was astounded that people even had that much electronic music that fit that description, much less that they had it on original vinyl, and not just scratchy bootlegged files or tapes.

wat
posted by ymgve at 4:25 PM on January 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's no coincidence that the same kind of dude-bros that used to think Metallica or Korn (or, gah, Joe Satriani, or Nickleback) are totally "epic" also think that mainstream dubstep is the shit

Metallica really was epic from 1983 to 1986.

it's because it's music for people who don't actually like to think or be challenged by their music.

Since we're talking about dance music, "X is for people who don't actually like to think" is just a mean way of saying your preferred flavour of ice cream is better than theirs. I thought you said the point of it was endless flow and groove, and to shake your ass around a bit. That sounds enjoyable, but not objectively better or more challenging.

I could say "X is for people who don't actually like to think" about any genre of music. Punk and metal? Headbanging. Classical and jazz? You're just enjoying what the cultural elite tell you to like. Country and folk? Sentimental bullshit. Pop? Easily digested fluff. etc. etc.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 4:28 PM on January 16, 2012 [8 favorites]


the early dubstep was heavily influenced by dub in the same way that popular early 90s ambient/house like The Orb was influenced by dub

I just wanted to say to all the musicians out there that I never, ever tire of reverb, analog delay, and really loud, low bass. I'm cool with people putting "dub" in the name as long as you keep those parts.
posted by Hoopo at 4:29 PM on January 16, 2012 [9 favorites]


wat

Sorry. I should have qualified that line with something like "good, listenable electronic music" and maybe also qualified with "it's not "electronic music" if they just happened to be a band with a Moog, other modular synth or an Optigan or something."

It's hard to find electronic music that's actually entirely electronic music that's also good that predates 1983. Silver Apples? Doesn't count. Live drums and bass. Pink Floyd? Grateful Dead? The Beatles? Also not allowed, same reasons. Can? Neu!? I like 'em, they sound like techno and acid house mixed with punk - but they're also not "electronic music".

Truth be told there was a lot of rather dirgy, unlistenable pre-industrial crap that was played, as well, but it's not like MIDI helped make less of that - which was kind of the point of limiting it to pre-1983 music entirely, to explore that space.
posted by loquacious at 4:35 PM on January 16, 2012


If this doesn't cound as good, listenable electronic music, I don't know what does.
posted by ymgve at 4:37 PM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I could say "X is for people who don't actually like to think" about any genre of music. Punk and metal? Headbanging. Classical and jazz? You're just enjoying what the cultural elite tell you to like. Country and folk? Sentimental bullshit. Pop? Easily digested fluff. etc. etc.

And adding to this, since when is good music defined by its ability to make you think? I love a lot of admittedly dumb, dumb music. "Cartoon Heroes" by AQUA, for example, is an incredibly vapid song. If songs were university students, that song would be taking correspondence community college courses, majoring in building paper airplanes. But it is an amazing fucking song that I will turn up as loud as possible every time I hear it.

I don't get why music needs to be measured by its intellectual importance. Maybe if your chosen genre focuses on message, and a lot of them do, sure, your lyrical and compositional content should probably be pretty sharp. Otherwise, damn, just enjoy the sounds.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:39 PM on January 16, 2012


I'm just now listening to Flat Beat

The first time I heard dubstep, I immediately thought Mr. Oizo. Dubstep sounds a bit cleaner, more manic; Oizo has a slight delay before the bass.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:39 PM on January 16, 2012


If this doesn't cound as good, listenable electronic music, I don't know what does.

Jean Michel Jarre was a regular go-to at this event. Re-read my statement. I didn't say there wasn't any, I said that I was astounded that there was so much that was good.
posted by loquacious at 4:43 PM on January 16, 2012


I was really into DJ Rupture for sometime, and to a lesser extent Burial.

At work someone asked if I was into dubstep, I excitedly said yes only to hear this thing called Skrillex. Then, the local scenester place started playing dubstep exclusively and I learned the hard lesson that what appears in Pitchfork is not necessarily what normals think is representative of the genre.
posted by geoff. at 4:44 PM on January 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


Since we're talking about dance music, "X is for people who don't actually like to think" is just a mean way of saying your preferred flavour of ice cream is better than theirs. I thought you said the point of it was endless flow and groove, and to shake your ass around a bit. That sounds enjoyable, but not objectively better or more challenging.

Conceded, but I chose the wrong words.

I'm talking about music that is easily predictable being less-than others. It's less interesting to many people who have developed their ears and listened to a lot of music. That whole thing where you can tell the bass drop is coming because the hi-hats go into triplets and the melody gets a nice fat resonance cut off filter sweep... yeah, that's predictable and overused.

The same goes for known and over-used chord progressions in rock/pop. Sure, you can make nice, clean pop music by sticking to the known and reliable patterns - but is it new? Is it novel? Is it interesting? Is it also aesthetically pleasing?

But as a whole? I'm perfectly comfortable standing with the idea that art, including music, should be challenging. It should be unexpected. Novel. Serendipitous.

It should make you think or feel about things differently. It should communicate new perspectives.
posted by loquacious at 4:50 PM on January 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


Liquido asks: Who killed Dubstep?

I don't know who killed dubstep, but MeFi apparently killed Liquido -- the main link is dead.
posted by briank at 4:51 PM on January 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


I rather like Lulu. Nice smiley Liverpool pop.
posted by cromagnon at 4:56 PM on January 16, 2012


It's hard to find electronic music that's actually entirely electronic music that's also good that predates 1983

Geez, man, Kraftwerk. Trans-Europe Express, frickin' brilliant, is 1977. Check them out performing live, no MIDI, in 1981.

Art of Noise formed in 1983 and almost certainly did without MIDI in the beginning. Of course, their name was based on a 1913 essay that, though not based (obviously) on electronic music in fact, it was based on it in spirit.

There are other 70 & 80's acts that were, IMO, great and pioneering, though I've carefully trashed most of that part of my brain (I have a broad 10 yr or so rule about music).

Of course, your definition of good may not include Kraftwerk. That would be a shame.
posted by Bovine Love at 4:56 PM on January 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


something isn't dubstep just because some Jagerbomb-chugging fuckwit thinks it sounds kinda sorta the sameish

On this subject, I made a discovery over the Christmas season. To some people, Jagerbombs aren't actually that thing where you put the shot glass of Jager into the glass of beer and drink it down. The Red Bull variant is, however, still gross.


Of course, your definition of good may not include Kraftwerk

Man when I read that comment upthread about "hard to find good stuff from before 1983" I thought it was in the context of putting together a theme night at a bar, and yeah I agree it might be hard to assemble a whole evening-length playlist of just pre-83 electronic music once a month or whatever. I didn't get the impression he was saying there wasn't any good pre-83 electronic music.
posted by Hoopo at 5:04 PM on January 16, 2012


Of course, your definition of good may not include Kraftwerk. That would be a shame.

Of course we liked and played Kraftwerk and Art of Noise. You need to recalbirate your crate digging depths to something much deeper because I'm way ahead of all of these suggestions. We're all aware of this stuff that is known and good and easily accessible.

Now try DJing about 24 individual 5-6 hour shows (about twice a month, for a year) without repeats, with all good, listenable electronic music from before 1983, and without just playing Kraftwerk, Art of Noise, Mike Oldfield, Wendy Carlos, Yello, Jean Michel Jarre or any of the other known standards back to back.

Now do it mainly off of actual records.

It was something to behold. Some of the biggest electronic music nerds in Seattle came to DJ this thing. I had no idea there was so much good stuff available, much less that it was actually pressed to vinyl and not just random tape reels of sound experiments from the Radiophonics workshop.

When I say I was astounded - I mean I was pleasantly astounded and impressed that there was so much good stuff beyond all of these known electronic standards. It was good stuff. I should have taken detailed notes.
posted by loquacious at 5:09 PM on January 16, 2012 [7 favorites]


I like all the comments in here calling Skrillex "mainstream". You people have never turned on a radio.
posted by DU at 5:11 PM on January 16, 2012 [8 favorites]


I'm still not sure what dubstep is, but I'm glad it exists because this is a really great software synth that didn't me cost a ton of money. I use it all the time though not any of it's "dub" presets.
posted by Doleful Creature at 5:15 PM on January 16, 2012


I recenly watched a presentation on Overtone, "an open source audio environment being created to explore musical ideas from synthesis and sampling to instrument building, live-coding and collaborative jamming", and one of the examples was this:
(define dubstep [freq 100 wobble-freq 2]
  (let [sweep (lin-exp (lf-saw wobble-freq) -1 1 40 5000)
        son   (mix (saw (* freq [0.99 1 1.01])))]
    (lpf son sweep)))

(dubstep)
Which is the WAH WAH WAH WAH WAH WAH WAH sound. I'm guessing simple synth software in the hands of dull people is what's killing dubstep.
posted by zengargoyle at 5:18 PM on January 16, 2012 [9 favorites]


As a long timer lover of electronic music (as it evolved too, not some looking back thing), I dearly wish I could have attended those, loquacious. It would have been very fun and even though I'm not very nostalgic, lots of that music still has relevancy and you can hear its influence today. It would be nice if someone released the 'tapes' of those sessions. When my wife did a history of music course, she came home to tell me about learning about Kraftwerk and its influence. I'm like, oh, these guys? With english and german versions, of course :)

I recently mostly purged Art of Noise from my listening list, but have a harder time purging Yello; damn catchy stuff.

Yeah, Skrillex "mainstream" kinda cracks me up. One sub culture shitting on another, larger-ish one .
posted by Bovine Love at 5:19 PM on January 16, 2012


dubstep is a powerful cat deterrent.
posted by desjardins at 5:31 PM on January 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


When an airhead Canadian Conservative Minister's Aide (who, sadly, is on my Facebook friend list) waxes poetic about her love for Skrillex, I'd say that he's mainstream.
posted by Yowser at 5:31 PM on January 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


So I'm pretty sure the dubstep wobble's existed ever since someone decided to hold down a low octave note while tweaking the LFO on a moog.
posted by naju at 5:33 PM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's cloying. It telegraphs itself many bars in advance - it's too predictable. It has no play or element of surprise.

And these are oddly enough the very same reasons dubstep works so well as a soundtrack to images. The music telegraphs that something is about to happen, and in fact the listener can guess pretty much to the instant when that thing will happen. if something occurs visually at the same time as the drop, it's predictable, yes - yet strangely satisfying.

Thus, Salad UK, a bloke who mixes dubstep and short video edits most beautifully, and is one of the only things about the whole scene I really keep coming back to. Here's a showreel (starts at 1:10), and my favourite single thing he's done,
Dubstep Japan
(which features Bassnectar and which is most definitely NSFW).
posted by stinkycheese at 5:38 PM on January 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


This thread needs more good dubstep links for the uninitiated.

Bass, pace and space.
posted by erebora at 5:43 PM on January 16, 2012 [30 favorites]


Who killed Dubstep?

Apathy, that's who killed Dubstep... (uh, what)...
posted by ovvl at 5:46 PM on January 16, 2012


..., Klaus Schulze, Hans Joachim Roedelius, Heldon, Omit, Tangerine Dream, Eno, Ash Ra Tempel, Mark Shreeve, ...
posted by Ardiril at 5:47 PM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Dubstep Japan (which features Bassnectar and which is most definitely NSFW)

Dole Banana Man! Oh, how I missed you.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:54 PM on January 16, 2012


i need a macro to auto-post @loquacious's response all over the internet.
posted by Señor Pantalones at 5:55 PM on January 16, 2012


KathrynT, there's an interview w/Bassnectar where he kinda beatboxes his way through the various rhythms and evolution of electronic music (i.e. techno/house, etc...)

It's pretty decent, and from what little i know, it's mostly solid. Check it out

There's also
Ishkur's Guide to Electronic Music which apparently hasn't been updated since forever. :( (that is to say: No dubstep listed -- the closest you'll get there is 2-Step Garage, I think but that's kinda more like Cro-Magnon to Dubstep/Brostep, at least, again, according to my limited understanding)...
posted by symbioid at 5:56 PM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


(crap, my linkage is wrong "There's also" links to the bassnectar interview; "Ishkur's guide..." links to... ishkur's guide.)
posted by symbioid at 6:00 PM on January 16, 2012


Sorry, it's not apathy, it's confusion.

Dubstep is an interesting experimental genre. The problem is in the framing, the expectations of the hungering masses waiting for the next big thing, hopefully with a beat that they can dance to. Dubstep was the next innovative thing which came around, but it doesn't really capture the imagination of the mass audiences in the same way that other mass cultural phenomenons did...
posted by ovvl at 6:04 PM on January 16, 2012


A serious soundsystem, like the one the Pure Filth guys take around LA, is an intoxicating thing indeed. How is that bassline manifesting itself as a breeze blowing through my arm hair? Unfortunately the local acts who use it (as opposed to the occasional visitors from the UK) rarely seem to have much else going for them. Also fun is overhearing a conversation among bro-types about how come girls don't go to dubstep in which none of the bros seem to be aware that the walls of the warehouse are covered with cartoons of naked women.

The last song on Lulu is good. Give the last few minutes a listen. No Metallica, no barking.
posted by Adventurer at 6:05 PM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have no idea what you kids are talking about, but I'm always on board for new and interesting music. What should I listen to, if I want to get a good short representative intro (I don't have time or inclination these days to dig all that deep) to the best of this particular music?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:17 PM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


loquacious: This "rock guitar-solo aesthetic" keeps trying to re-infect electronic dance music and it loses every time. It doesn't belong here. Go home, guitar hero. Go home, ego-preening stage queens. You're unwanted and unneeded, here. All we want is endless flow and groove.

QFT. I may have to spouse you for this.
posted by LMGM at 6:17 PM on January 16, 2012


Skrillex is to dubstep as Limp Bizkit is to rock music.
posted by secondhand pho at 6:21 PM on January 16, 2012 [5 favorites]


Stavros, the stuff I linked above are pretty good examples.

Clean production, original sounds, no overblown "drops".
posted by erebora at 6:22 PM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Stavros (or anybody else that wants an intro to dubstep), listen to the following essential mixes:

Joker
Nero
Magnetic Man
Breakage
Skream
Kode9
Noisia
Dj Zinc
Caspa
Rusko

Just pick any of them at random. They're each two hours of mostly dubstep, though they tend to mix in a lot of music from other genres as well.
posted by empath at 6:26 PM on January 16, 2012 [37 favorites]


I'm just now listening to Flat Beat

The first time I heard dubstep, I immediately thought Mr. Oizo. Dubstep sounds a bit cleaner, more manic; Oizo has a slight delay before the bass.


Flat beat actually ended up being one of the stepping stones to dubstep, via the Timo Maas remix of Doom's Night which was heavily influenced by it, and which was a cross-genre hit, and got remixed again by Stanton Warriors who turned it into a proper 2-step anthem.

Note the wobble bass, sparse production, etc... It's basically early dubstep if you slow the drums down to half speed.
posted by empath at 6:31 PM on January 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


And, btw, what 'killed' dubstep (and it's far from dead, btw), is what kills every new genre of dance music -- when all the soft-synths etc have presets to make 'dubstep bass', etc, any 14 year old can slap together a dubstep track in a weekend and they don't have a fucking clue about the original context of the music (ie, the dance floor), and moreover are making it on shitty speakers that have no bass response, etc. So you just get a flood of amped-up all mid-range adolescent arena-rock bullshit.

There's nothing wrong with dubstep, though. There's just a lot of shitty me-too bullshit on the market right now.
posted by empath at 6:36 PM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wait, Dubstep isn't a style of dance?
posted by [insert clever name here] at 6:39 PM on January 16, 2012


Not primarily, no.

The 'step' part comes from '2-step' which is dance music that doesn't have kicks on the 2 and 4 beats. As in, 2-step Garage as opposed to Speed Garage, which is 4 to the floor.
posted by empath at 6:49 PM on January 16, 2012


Wait. I'm confused. Was it Jim Zorn or Dave Krieg who killed dub?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 6:59 PM on January 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


A couple weeks ago, I was looking for something fun for us to do on New Year's Eve in Chicago.

One of the listings was for "Rusko."

Me to internet: "WHAT IS A RUSKO"

Internet replies:THIS

Me:
goes like this


Then I proceeded to do some more research. I showed my results to Mr. Mustachio, and we came to the conclusion that though it sounds like the bottom of a k-hole and we are not so fond, at least The Kids are now making music that annoys us for the right reasons, instead of merely failing to realize that Yacht Rock was a parody and making smooth jams that just made us sad and nauseous.

So excellent job,You Kids With Your Hair and Your Music. Now get off my lawn.
posted by louche mustachio at 7:08 PM on January 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm waiting to find out that Skillrex is just Sara Gilbert in character doing a Joaquin Phoenix-esque prank...
posted by pxe2000 at 7:14 PM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Geez, man, Kraftwerk. Trans-Europe Express, frickin' brilliant, is 1977.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clara_Rockmore
posted by Foosnark at 7:19 PM on January 16, 2012


there's an interview w/Bassnectar where he kinda beatboxes his way through the various rhythms and evolution of electronic music (i.e. techno/house, etc...)

Funny, I always thought Bassnectar was the one who invented dubstep. He's the first DJ I ever heard playing music that sounded like what we would now call dubstep, anyway. I am a little confused that he never gets mentioned in all the recent hype about the genre.
posted by Mars Saxman at 7:22 PM on January 16, 2012


Bassnectar wasn't part of the club scene. He was a Burning Man guy who hopped on a trend, afaik. I don't think he really did anything that pushed the genre forward.
posted by empath at 7:27 PM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Louche M, that is the Nathan Barleyest thing I have ever seen. Ugh.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 7:40 PM on January 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think what confused me about dubstep is that it sounded a lot like chopped and screwed, slowed down significantly more. So I thought people were just remixing remixes.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:43 PM on January 16, 2012


Geez, man, Kraftwerk. Trans-Europe Express, frickin' brilliant, is 1977. Check them out performing live , no MIDI, in 1981.


Parenthetical to the main thread, and Empath's brought it up before, but if you want to look at the beginnings of sequenced synth music, let's talk about the grandaddy of them all, I Feel Love. Which was apparently done with some sort of home-brew smpte code to sync the moog overdubs. It's still a pretty unbelievable piece of work.
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:50 PM on January 16, 2012 [5 favorites]


Well, the bottom line on Dubstep for me is:

There is some seriously cool music in this genre, particularly in the space of genuinely creative remixes. I suppose there's some "bros"/"frat dudes" that people don't really identify with, who listen to this genre as well. Am I supposed to care about that?
posted by effugas at 7:52 PM on January 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


Internet needs Pony Johnny
posted by jeffburdges at 7:59 PM on January 16, 2012


The best part about dubstep is watching people dance to it.
posted by mullingitover at 8:00 PM on January 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Is this where we show off our obscure knowledge of pre '83 electronic music?
NOIA '78-82
Thomas Leer & Robert Rental 1979
YMO 1979
Dark Day 1980
Bernard Szajner 1980
Crash Course In Science 1981
Liaisons Dangereuses 1981
Cybotron 1981
Logic System 1981
EMAK 1982
Zero Set 1983
Robotnick 1983
also leaving out a ton of italo disco which may have had 1 or two live instruments, but was also basically electronic.
posted by p3t3 at 8:02 PM on January 16, 2012 [10 favorites]


A pre-1983 electronic suggestion of mine is the first two Human League albums, Reproduction and Travelogue. God I love those albums. It's like a different band altogether recorded Dare (although that album is fine too, in a different way).

There was lots of great synthpop before 1983. Early Fad Gadget is another suggestion.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 8:02 PM on January 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


I love Fad Gadget, but he used live instruments in his records.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:05 PM on January 16, 2012


I showed my results to Mr. Mustachio, and we came to the conclusion that though it sounds like the bottom of a k-hole and we are not so fond, at least The Kids are now making music that annoys us for the right reasons, instead of merely failing to realize that Yacht Rock was a parody and making smooth jams that just made us sad and nauseous.

The fact that Rusko and dubstep annoys me is why I like it. It is like having an itch right in between your shoulderblades, but instead it is in your head. I think it is like coffee, with which I had a breakthrough a couple of weeks ago. I kept patiently waiting to grow up enough that it would taste good and not bitter yech. Then I had an epiphany! little winn, I said to myself, coffee is supposed to be bitter yech! That is its raisin detrah!

Thus it is with the step of the dub. It is supposed to give you the heebie jeebies! At least I think so, but I am old and maybe these youths do not get the heebie jeebies from it.

I also like boxcutter, but apparently he is not actually 'really' dubstep.
posted by winna at 8:06 PM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Back in the mid-90s, when my outpost of America finally started picking up on electronic music, I remember a constant search for parties or rooms where they would be playing "dark" drum and bass... I didn't want lollipops and k-holes, I wanted to be perfectly sober and dance to something that was fucking ominous. Dilinja's Hard Noize was the track that came to epitomize that sound for me. I don't really listen to electronic music anymore, but when I hear dubstep I realize it's exactly the sound I wanted to hear like fifteen years ago, and it makes me extremely happy that that narrow band of sound is being exploited to death. #forthekids
posted by eddydamascene at 8:07 PM on January 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


I remember a constant search for parties or rooms where they would be playing "dark" drum and bass

Champion Sound was the best..
posted by empath at 8:11 PM on January 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


I've totally got this one.
The only thing i know about dubstep is that skrillex killed it, apparently.
posted by bxyldy at 8:12 PM on January 16, 2012


Give my screen name I feel the need to post that I love flat beat.

It's also funny that it's such a genesis of dub step since it's a fairly housey track!
posted by flaterik at 8:12 PM on January 16, 2012


I wouldn't really overstate it's influence :) it's one of many tracks that fed into it.
posted by empath at 8:13 PM on January 16, 2012


As a middle aged, middle america, father, my usual strategy for communicating with younger, hipper colleagues is (a) as soon as I become aware something is popular, start hating it and (b) as soon as I realize people hate something, start liking it ironically. Given that I became aware of Skrillex this week (via the New Yorker article on EDM - a sure sign it's time to affect hatred) and now that I'm supposed to hate Skrillex (via MF), I'm at a bit of a loss. Is it too soon for ironic appreciation?
posted by TheShadowKnows at 8:25 PM on January 16, 2012 [7 favorites]


Since synth pop prior to 1983 has been mentioned, maybe I should point out that the greatest synth pop album ever recorded was released in 1980. That record was really a genre-defining moment.
posted by koeselitz at 8:27 PM on January 16, 2012


Man, I was going to link to that bassnectar video but it got pulled off youtube. It was nice in its simplicity.

As much as I agree with your general thrust, loquacious, IMO the whole "art needs to make you think, challenge you, take you on a journey" stuff is fighting with the enemy's weapons. Especially when you are talking about electronic dance music. It's the tools of western art discourse, and works really well to explain certain aesthetics, and yet totally misses another whole side of human artistic experience. For me, there is an aspect of music that is about creating and affirming relationships in a really subtle way, and which is really poorly served by the traditional discourse.

On another note, I have to relink for truth the ad "bad sound kills good music".
posted by ianhattwick at 8:30 PM on January 16, 2012


Good links, erebora. I played through a few of those, and then got my first listen of Skrillex. No comparison, the hate is warranted.
posted by Ardiril at 8:31 PM on January 16, 2012


Is it too soon for ironic appreciation?

Yes. Far, far too soon.
posted by jokeefe at 8:45 PM on January 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Given that I became aware of Skrillex this week (via the New Yorker article on EDM - a sure sign it's time to affect hatred) and now that I'm supposed to hate Skrillex (via MF), I'm at a bit of a loss.

Personally, I feel for the guy, and his deathly fear of bees.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:10 PM on January 16, 2012 [7 favorites]


Was it ever alive?
posted by gijoedo at 9:18 PM on January 16, 2012


Fwiw, friend of mine does the bookings for a huge club in a major west coast city, and she says that Skrillex is one of the nicest, down-to-earth, hard working, professional, no bullshit acts that she books, and she isn't shy about talking shit about people.
posted by empath at 9:28 PM on January 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


"Dubstep was the next innovative thing which came around, but it doesn't really capture the imagination of the mass audiences in the same way that other mass cultural phenomenons did…"

So they decided to just make nu-metal electronic party music and keep the name. Like the Tom Cruise "Mission Impossible" movies.

"I've been trying to figure out what dubstep is for about a year"

Your confusion is warranted. When you hear someone say "Dubstep" just think of all the people you’ve heard say "Techno" for the last 20 something years. They’ve just changed the word they use for any electronic dance music.

Skrillex and such is not my thing, but what I find really weird is that people even call it Dubstep. Might as well call it Jazz or Ragtime, it bears about as much similarity.
posted by bongo_x at 9:29 PM on January 16, 2012


"Fwiw, friend of mine does the bookings for a huge club in a major west coast city, and she says that Skrillex is one of the nicest, down-to-earth, hard working, professional, no bullshit acts that she books, and she isn't shy about talking shit about people."

Of course he is. It’s a rule. That musician you love, who speaks to your soul and writes deep meaningful music; he/she is a shallow, callous, asshole. The one you hate for their trite bullshit is a really nice person who works hard and believes in what they do. This is true about 85% of the time.
posted by bongo_x at 9:34 PM on January 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


Skrillex and such is not my thing, but what I find really weird is that people even call it Dubstep.

Skrillex calls it complextro.

Yeah, i know...
posted by empath at 9:37 PM on January 16, 2012


I dunno for me it went something like this:

shoegaze > trip-hop > 2-step garage > jungle > dub > dubstep (really, I would muddle the ingredients between 2-step and dubstep but then it's bait for another subgenre war, and it's late...)

All I know is, I mostly blame Meat Beat Manifesto. It started at least by 1992 with Satyricon (if not earlier) and RUOK (...in dub) nailed it.

Also I miss drum and bass. And jungle. Dancing to dubstep feels like coitus interruptus to me - can't keep a good, ebullient rhythm going, and it's just frustrating overall; but to each his/her own.

Maybe I need more WAH WAH WAH bass-wobbling and less JAH JAH JAH Jamaican Dancehall-style head-bobbing?
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 9:51 PM on January 16, 2012


Btw, I just got around to reading the article, and he's spot on on every point, and dubstep isn't the first genre that that's happened to.

I'd go further than he does, in limiting where you can really appreciate dance music. You not only have to listen to songs played on a big sound system, but you need to listen to songs at particular clubs on particular nights, played by particular djs. Because it's not that songs are meant to be played at a club, but it's important to note that they're meant to be mixed with other songs, and particular kinds of songs. And without the physicality of the club and the people and the vibe, you can maybe enjoy them from imagining what they would be like at a club, but it's not even close to the same as being there.

Just an example of a subgenre I'm pretty familiar with, here's some kind of generic Baltimore club music from scottie b. Simple, maybe stupid? even boring, right? I'd never listen to it at home.

But look at the reaction it gets at the Paradox, an actual club in Baltimore. I was at this party, and I can't emphasize enough how fucking BIG the bass is at the Paradox. The floor bounces with every beat. It sounds like the world is ending. Baltimore club music was literally made to be played at that particular club. But it's not just the sound, it's that you have people who LOVE the music all around you and people that no how to dance to it, and a DJ that knows how to mix it.

What kills all genres of music is taking it outside of it's original context. If you love dubstep, go listen to it in London. Because that's basically the only place you're going to hear it the way it was meant to be heard.
posted by empath at 10:00 PM on January 16, 2012 [8 favorites]


Also, I have a Flat Erik doll who would like to say hello to flaterik of MeFi and he says he prefers M-Seq for its dubby breatdown over Flat Beat any day.

Empath, I srsly need to get to B'more soon!
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 10:06 PM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Fwiw, friend of mine does the bookings for a huge club in a major west coast city, and she says that Skrillex is one of the nicest, down-to-earth, hard working, professional, no bullshit acts that she books, and she isn't shy about talking shit about people.

Yeah, repeated for truth. Apparently/supposedly I saw Skrillex ages and ages ago at a small warehouse party but as these things go I was running around working or preventing people from playing with broken glass or some other horseshit.

But everything I've heard about him from that party and elsewhere is that he's super hard working and a really nice guy. I'm just not a fan of his fans, 'cause, well...

...ok, setting aside the d-bag dudebros finally invading my IDM/EDM space after years of telling them that Limp Bizkit or Korn or whatever nu-metal trash music they're listening to at the time is utter shite...

...truth be told I'm getting old and I may have been around the same block too many damn times. It's harder and harder for me to find real novelty in the world, and that's increasingly a personal problem.
posted by loquacious at 10:10 PM on January 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


I don't get all the complaining. I've been listening to electronic music passionately and adventurously since the late '80s and until today I had never heard a Skillrex track. There is so much great electronic music being made right now in myriad sub-genres that there is no need to listen to anything you don't enjoy, much less lament the "death" of dubstep or any other genre. If you don't like where it's going then find one of the thousands of other artists who are producing your favorite style and posting their tracks for your free enjoyment.

We are in a golden age of electronic music. Thanks to Soundcloud, Beatport, all the other music listening sites, even Youtube, I can wallow for hours in glorious beats, discover fresh and exciting new artists, revisit old favorites, compile mixes of all kinds of tracks to my heart's content, and not pay a cent. Every motherfucking genre, sub-genre, sub-sub-sub etc, has its proponents and communities. Find the ones you like and listen to them. Ignore those you're not feeling. That's all there is to it.

With that said, if you're upset about what's being played in the clubs, well then, welcome to getting old.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 10:12 PM on January 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


Unicorn on the cob: is that a Ghibli museum ticket?
posted by aubilenon at 10:34 PM on January 16, 2012


Personally as an electronic dance lover since the early 90s, I thought dubstep was a problematic sub-genre from its outset. Namely because what people initially called dubstep already fit pretty well into the other 20 subgenres surrounding it - breakbeat, grime, 2-step, UK garage, hardcore, breakcore, broken beat, whatever.

I refused to use the term for the first couple years because genres were getting too fragmented and losing meaning. When sub-genres start becoming differentiated only by the placement of a snare drum or some such nonsense, you're bound to have people misusing the name. As a techno purist who is happy to correct people misusing the name, even I am not 100% sure what dubstep is supposed to mean.

First it was UK garage mixed with dub techno. Then it was Jump Up (wobbly drum n bass) mixed with microhouse, bigbeat and wonky Brighton techno, etc, etc. Now it's a catch-all for any beat more complicated than 4 on the floor paired with synthy basslines.

I used to be a proponent of MORE electronic subgenres so that people would keep their microhouse out of my minimal techno. And maybe it's just my increasing old aged grumpiness, but I think we passed a tipping point, and we don't need to differentiate things like UK bass vs. footwork vs. B'more vs. juke or chillwave vs. witch house vs darkwave, etc.

This has less to do with dubstep's popularity than its mutation, but then again if it hadn't mutated, would it be this popular?
posted by p3t3 at 10:47 PM on January 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


But look at the reaction it gets at the Paradox, an actual club in Baltimore. I was at this party, and I can't emphasize enough how fucking BIG the bass is at the Paradox. The floor bounces with every beat. It sounds like the world is ending. Baltimore club music was literally made to be played at that particular club. But it's not just the sound, it's that you have people who LOVE the music all around you and people that no how to dance to it, and a DJ that knows how to mix it.

I don't have anything to add. I just love Bmore club, love Paradox, and I thank you for posting this.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:30 PM on January 16, 2012


(More a fan of Murder Mark myself though.)
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:33 PM on January 16, 2012


Thus it is with the step of the dub. It is supposed to give you the heebie jeebies!

It gives me neither heebies nor jeebies.

I LIKE the heebie jeebies. I actively court the heebie jeebies. The one thing I do enjoy about dubstep is the potential for darkness, and one of the things that annoys me is it doesn't GO into the darkness, at least not in a satisfying way. There might be some that does, but I haven't found it (and believe me, I looked.)

If I were more adept at such things, I would make it myself, tailored to suit. Darkstep.
WOB WOB, children.


Louche M, that is the Nathan Barleyest thing I have ever seen. Ugh.
I confess I had to look up Nathan Barley. And having done I can now say HA!
posted by louche mustachio at 3:18 AM on January 17, 2012


I still have yet to hear a dubstep song. I feel lucky that this trend seems to have missed me entirely. Seems like I didn't miss much.
posted by jonmc at 6:14 AM on January 17, 2012


FINALLY, A PLACE ON THE INTERNET WHERE I CAN COMPLAIN HOW DUBSTEP HAS SUCKED SINCE THE END OF 2007! *whew*
posted by Theta States at 6:39 AM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Skrillex-style dubstep isn't the first time the douchebros have gotten into electronic music. Back in the 90s, there was a period when big-beat of the Fatboy Slim variety became frat-party beer-bong music, on the strength of it filling much the same niche as James Brown and such.
posted by acb at 6:49 AM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, Prodigy + Chemical Brothers + Fatboy Slim = Heavy Mid-range, radio-friendly music.

The wisest thing any dance record has ever said is "Cut the Midrange, Drop The Bass!"
posted by empath at 6:54 AM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Reading this thread was a relief. By the time I got to the bottom of the thread everything I was going to say had already been said.

I used to have to hunt down my favourite music and then when I found what I considered the high water marks of the genre I would move on to something new. I have had a lot of favourite music.

I remember finding Ishkur's guide (Version 1.0) decade ago and navigating the flash interface listening to the samples was really cool because I had my own categorised music collection and I thought his samples were spot on. The best part however was when I clicked on Florida Breaks and there it was - Ishkur's personal favourite genre was the same as mine at the time. Florida Breaks FTW. It seems like the person who has compiled Ishkur's Guide Version 2.5 isn't a fan of Florida Breaks anymore. It could even be Ishkur himself disavowing it. Jaded ravers are like that sometimes.

I don't mind dubstep stuff, it seems like a Fat Boy Slim type Big Beat version of all the cool music I have liked over the last ten years. It will end up on a lot of movie soundtracks. Hah the page just refreshed and acb beat me to it. Nuff said.
posted by vicx at 7:06 AM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


This thread is now about Florida Breaks.
posted by empath at 7:32 AM on January 17, 2012


D'n'B - reggae + Alice in Wonderland = Dubstep.

This and other EM equations can be found in my forthcoming Idiot's Guide to Old Music Wrapped Up in New Disguises. SEO, Amazon link and Mary Ann Hobbs' imprimatur as soon as you chip in at Kickstarter.
posted by Twang at 8:14 AM on January 17, 2012


I've been thinking of something to say in this thread, and it looks like you guys have got it all covered. Empath coming in was just the nail in the coffin. Good job, Metafilter.
posted by azarbayejani at 8:25 AM on January 17, 2012


Recently I've been listening to Skream and Benga's In New DJs We Trust, which is a solid radio program; they play a lot of interesting new bass music. Interestingly, they also have been playing some of the brostep stuff too, including some Skrillex, which is some sleeping-with–the–enemy type of shit. I really want to warn them: "Oh my god, Skream and Benga, no! The calls are coming from INSIDE THE HOUSE!"
posted by Frobenius Twist at 8:31 AM on January 17, 2012


What are you talking about, Skream invented bro-step.
posted by empath at 8:35 AM on January 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Emp, I found Florida Breaks cause I was looking for the electro sound. Lucky for me the electro sound became very popular so I got to hear plenty of electro in pop/clash/mashup/house and breaks flavours. Florida Breaks are a little bit unique though. The blissed out bridges in some of the tracks are quite nice.

Now that I'm old and have an internet acquired attention deficiency I just like any music that is a little bit fun. Like this Video game music mix on Soundcloud.
posted by vicx at 8:39 AM on January 17, 2012


I found florida breaks because Icey used to play at my favorite club every few months..
posted by empath at 8:41 AM on January 17, 2012


Ahhh Florida breaks! It was the squeaky-clean blissout digital power pill after an overdose of angry gabber and dirty jungle. Happy memories.
posted by Theta States at 8:51 AM on January 17, 2012


Yeah I got to hear all sorts of music at outdoor and warehouse parties. I never once heard any Florida Breaks but plenty of psybreak sounds. It might have been regionally specific sound to Eastern Australia - I never heard it anywhere else.
posted by vicx at 8:57 AM on January 17, 2012


I once saw Infected Mushroom and Icey on the same night, does that count as psybreaks? :)
posted by empath at 9:02 AM on January 17, 2012




I LIKE the heebie jeebies. I actively court the heebie jeebies. The one thing I do enjoy about dubstep is the potential for darkness, and one of the things that annoys me is it doesn't GO into the darkness, at least not in a satisfying way. There might be some that does, but I haven't found it (and believe me, I looked.)

If I were more adept at such things, I would make it myself, tailored to suit. Darkstep.
WOB WOB, children.


DJ Grue
First album: "Likely to be Eaten"

I'll even let you use that.
posted by Stagger Lee at 9:25 AM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


It probably does count. The psybreak sounds I remember sounding a bit like this stuff I just found as an example

Time to start the DJ Grue killed Darkstep thread.
posted by vicx at 9:31 AM on January 17, 2012


I just gotta say, I clicked into this thread totally expecting a long-winded "my musical tastes are better than yours" debate, and you guys did not disappoint!
posted by mysterpigg at 10:21 AM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


When I saw the movie "Constantine", I thought it was a pretty well executed supernatural mystery film. The Hell imagery was done well, the cast was pretty great (even Keanu, and I was FLOORED by how much I liked the guy from Bush), and while it wasn't the greatest movie ever made, I thought it was pretty good.

My friends all hated it, thought it was an abomination, a total insult to movies, comics, life, etc. I admitted I'd never read any Hellblazer comics, so someone lent me a few. After reading them, I discovered that I still like the movie Constantine, but yeah, it has precious little to do with this other thing with a character named John Constantine.

That's sort of how I feel about Skrillex and Dubstep.

Also, whenever I play Skrillex for anyone, the response always seems to be "Oh THIS is Skrillex... I've heard everyone bitch about him, but I've never actually heard any. I don't see what the big deal is."
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 11:01 AM on January 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm not sure what it is that people find so offensive when people talk about the music they like and the music they dislike and why. It's just people expressing their preferences and tastes. It's not "my tastes are better than yours" any more than a discussion of cilantro is.
posted by Hoopo at 11:04 AM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Better" is such a subjective term. When I measure my tastes against others, I prefer to use empirical methods to demonstrate their superiority. My taste in music, for example, has a density of 32600 kg/m3. I don't care how excellent you think you are, the fact is that I'm way denser than you. So drop that, bros!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:45 AM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Empath's brought it up before

Thanks for that link -- I'd been considering a "teach me more about trance" AskMe and empath's post totally scratches that itch.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:57 AM on January 17, 2012


KathrynT, there's an interview w/Bassnectar where he kinda beatboxes his way through the various rhythms and evolution of electronic music (i.e. techno/house, etc...)

AHA!

Thank you, symbioid. I'm not going to say I "get it" now, this is obviously a dense genre, but: it seems as though the defining feature of dubstep is that it's a half-time break beat with heavy bass and a lot of infill in the beat. I don't like all of it, but I do like some of it, and I can see why some people love it so. (I don't like all the "tweep tworp bzz" stuff, it makes my fillings ache.)

That and the techno.org link really helped clarify a lot of things for me. I don't particularly like house music, I like trance (in the largest possible sense) only under a very specific set of circumstances (including, weirdly, listening to when I'm at the dentist), but I do like the whole Industrial set of things quite a lot. My ears still glaze over at all the fine genre splits of goa/psy/ambient/dark whatnot, but that's OK, I don't have to understand everything.
posted by KathrynT at 12:37 PM on January 17, 2012


This 2003 radio show documenting the genesis of "dubstep" is kind of illuminating in a historical sense. As in, it documents a number of people who are working on the edge of UK garage, 2-step, and breaks music and how they relate to some newer sounds of the time. Features a 17 year old Benga and his Playstation beats!
posted by mikeh at 1:35 PM on January 17, 2012


I snarked earlier in the thread but in all seriousness, why does electronic music need so many named subgenres to differentiate between extraordinarily similar sounds? It really does strike me as navel gazing to an extent not found in other genres. Please to explain?
posted by Justinian at 1:36 PM on January 17, 2012


It really does strike me as navel gazing

No, it's Shoe Gazing. Navel gazing is for jazz subgenres. Sheesh!

/Comic Book Guy
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:43 PM on January 17, 2012


Justinian, I think it's more an issue of number of journalists who have an interest in writing about new genres or scenes than it is musicians or the music itself.

Then again, it could be confirmation bias in that I can think of old school hip hop, gangsta rap, thug rap, backpacker rap, nerdcore, regional variations of rap (Bay area, dirty south, New Orleans or Atlanta, Houston), horrorcore, etc.

I think most genres have a lot of variation.
posted by mikeh at 1:44 PM on January 17, 2012


Justinian, I'm a classical musican, and that tendency is definitely found in classical music as well. And I know just from proximate observation that there are a hundred zillion kinds of jazz. I think it's a human trait, to take pleasure just in the act of dividing and combining.
posted by KathrynT at 1:45 PM on January 17, 2012


So, as one living in London who has been wanting to go to hear some dubstep in the wild, where is good?

(Currently and hour and a half into the Rusko essential mix, thanks empath).
posted by fizban at 2:11 PM on January 17, 2012


Justinian, it's because DJs mix records. DJs like to play records that sound similar together. So they have to categorize and subcategorize.

I can open up a random crate of 'tribal house' and mix all night without even previewing a track, and it'll sound decent. They'll all have the same bpm, same vibe, similar instrumentation, etc.

Give me a crate full of 'electronica' and it 'll be a clusterfuck. 160 bpm jungle with 120 bpm deep house and 140 bpm dubstep just doesn't work (or you can make it work, but it's fucking hard).

Just like animal species split off when they can no longer breed together, new genres split off when the songs no longer mix together easily.
posted by empath at 2:22 PM on January 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


So, as one living in London who has been wanting to go to hear some dubstep in the wild, where is good?

Fabric is probably a decent introduction, on a dubstep night.
posted by empath at 2:25 PM on January 17, 2012


"It really does strike me as navel gazing to an extent not found in other genres."

Obviously not a metal fan. Seriously though, I was going to say what empath said. Can we just get a button for that?
posted by bongo_x at 2:33 PM on January 17, 2012


OH GOD...
posted by naju at 2:59 PM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


So, as one living in London who has been wanting to go to hear some dubstep in the wild, where is good?

FWD>>
posted by neuromodulator at 3:05 PM on January 17, 2012


Okay, so essentially people highly interested in specific genres of anything find highly narrow distinctions a lot more useful than people without such a specific interest.

Next you'll try telling me that everyone doesn't find the distinctions between high fantasy, dark fantasy, sword and sorcery, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, space opera, hard SF, cyberpunk, milSF, post apocalyptic SF, New Wave, New Weird, and New Space Opera to be of earth shattering importance. But you wouldn't try that because no one could take such an assertion seriously.
posted by Justinian at 3:12 PM on January 17, 2012


aubilenon: yes, yes it is. :)
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 3:25 PM on January 17, 2012


I knew this was going to be loquacious well before I scrolled down to the "posted by" message.

As far as Skrillex goes, I think his stuff is kind of fun, but I don't see what's "dubstep" about it; even the rhythm patterns seem more like "techno" or "house" than anything that evolved from broken beat styles.
posted by infinitywaltz at 3:50 PM on January 17, 2012


I like big wobbly bass with glitched-up stuff on top of it. It makes my ass move. It makes me dance like a broken fuckbot.

I don't care if it's "real dubstep" or "brostep" or even "goddamn Skrillex". I like Skrillex.

I mean, look, I like lying on the floor in the dark with headphones on exploring the delicate textures of regret and loss that make up Aphex's SAW2 as much as anyone else who was a nerd in the nineties... but these days I'd rather go to a party with BIG ROOM-FILLING BASS that does WEIRD JERKY THINGS. And then I bust out my burlesque moves and get lots of boys drooling on me, none of whom I care to take home. I'm at the tail end of a furry con; I spent the last three nights doing this.

Which I guess means I am a double ruiner, because not only do I like the dubstepper-come-lately musicians, but I'm also a furry and have happily danced to brostep in rooms full of fursuits.
posted by egypturnash at 4:08 PM on January 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


loquacious > That whole thing where you can tell the bass drop is coming because the hi-hats go into triplets and the melody gets a nice fat resonance cut off filter sweep... yeah, that's predictable and overused.

When you're dancing to music you don't know inside out, and have maybe never heard, it is great to have cues that "hey the music is about to change" because that gives you a chance to shift up from, I dunno, doing fast footwork or something, to swinging your ass back and forth like a pendulum of come fuck me right on time with the drop.

Loqu, you say you're in Seattle - what are the "dubstep" nights you really avoid? I think your taste in electronic music nights is precisely counter to mine, and I need to get out and do more dancing. *grin*
posted by egypturnash at 4:14 PM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Justinian, I'm one of those people who basically picks out which afterparties/festivals/cities to travel to cross-country based on subgenres. If I hear "house party," for example, I REALLY REALLY REALLY need to know if it's Chicago/Superjane-style house, or Kaskade. Because the latter I'm not wasting money on.

Same goes for dubstep. If I see Mary Anne Hobbes, I need to know if she's catering to the DNB crowd or dubstep crowd; same goes for anyone on the Play Me label. For example: I'm more likely to see Cyberoptics play than FS, honestly.

I can absolutely tell you that there's a difference between minimal techno, tech-house, Detroit techno, and electro. And I can hear the overbleed in cross-genres, such as techstep and dubtech (why are these different? who fucking knows, but I can hear that they're not the same thing).

Within about 10-15 seconds I can hear/tell whether there's 2 or 3 tracks being played or whether it's a DJ using effects one one track, such as a delay or echo button; I can hear the audio differences between the studio track and live PA version. It's incredibly frustrating to me when other people say "wait has that same song been playing for 30 minutes? I can't tell these songs apart" because I can't UNHEAR the differences.

That said, the garrulousness that recalls Industrial pioneers (like 1000 Homo DJs and Clock DVA) and rough mixing style is actually one of the things I like about Detroit techno; it's much more militant than euro-style techno, like what Magda plays. But they're still both "techno" - and not "techno" meaning any kind of electronic music whatsoever, which is what neophytes tend to (confusingly) call it, thus requiring the genre/subgenre breakdown.

If you're from certain parts of the southern U.S., it's much like the "I'll have a coke. Ok, what kind? Dr. Pepper" terminology problem. Here, ALL sodas are "cokes" (I realize this is a generalization, but it's a common thing in Texas). To non-fans, ALL electronic music is "techno." It can be... frustrating.

Here's a few examples:
Magda - Japan is minimal techno.

Underground Resistance - Analog Assassin is Detroit techno.

Aux 88 - Eectro Slaves is electro.

Black Sun Empire - Crash Bunny (Subsonik Remix) is techstep.

And yet, Monolake - Stratosphere is dubtech.

It can be VERY confusing sometimes, but those small, distinguishable differences guide where I spend my money to go out dancing - because to me, that's where it matters most.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 4:20 PM on January 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


To non-fans, ALL electronic music is "techno." It can be... frustrating.

A while back I was doing a set of German minimal italo disco on my radio show and this guy came in and said something about "So do you always play techno?".

GRRRRRRR
posted by dunkadunc at 4:32 PM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wtf is German minimal italo disco?

I haven't logged in for a while, I guess it's time. This article was fantastic. I feel a little sorry for the guy, he's obviously a bit swamped by the response. Since seeing that Bassnectar video with the genre descriptions, I've been wondering how garage transformed into dubstep, and the incredible EL B song linked to in the article firmed it up for me a bit.

Now there's a few things I'd like to clear up: first, Bassnectar, since the subject came up. I can remember when he used to play at the outstanding Yoga Tai Chi parties at Cellspace in SF about ten years ago. What he played back then was fairly standard breakbeat, with maybe an occasional jungle song thrown in there. Not at all dubstep, or even garage I don't think.

And now that we're talking about jungle, you were wondering what the most evil drum & bass song ever made is? Why it's a little song made by Mr. Grooverider, with the help of his friend Optical, called Where's Jack the Ripper. It's as dark and brutal as it sounds but occasionally a glimpse of light shines through too. To me it sounds oddly like a precursor to Mt Kimbie's Maybes in the sonic palette it draws from.

Shifting gear I also thought it was interesting that Florida breaks and electro came together in this thread with no mention of a lovely little number by DJ Icee (ok, Icey) named Escape (Electro Mix).

Ok, as to the central question of what killed dubstep...I think what's more lamentable is the death of a 'scene' rather than a genre. Genres are constantly evolving, but a thriving scene is a transcendent thing. Call me a scenester if you must, I don't know because I wasn't in London for the inception of dubstep. I did see a lot of the later era of drum & bass's golden age in the US, from '98-'02.

What I notice now is that dance music as a thriving subculture is waning across the board. It's hard to find a decent place to dance now without some jackass shitting up the dancefloor by checking Facebook on his smartphone or worrying more about catching everything on video than actually enjoying himself. Maybe I just don't know where to go anymore. I'm sure there a throbbing dancefloor out there, somewhere, blessedly free of Facebook, smartphones, or the omnipresent watchful eye of YouTube.

There is still good dubstep music being made, it's been touched on already, big names like Sepalcure and Mt Kimbie, less well known acts like VVV, Kuedo, Shackleton. It is evolving though and many artists these days seem to be gazing fondly back over the history of house music.

Jeez that turned into a long comment. Crap. If anyone actually reads this far I thank you from the depths of my soul and hope you don't mind if I throw in a little reddit link in case someone wants a place to look for new music. Cheers. Bring that beat back.
posted by viborg at 8:21 PM on January 17, 2012


egypturnash: "I like big wobbly bass with glitched-up stuff on top of it. It makes my ass move. It makes me dance like a broken fuckbot. I don't care if it's "real dubstep" or "brostep" or even "goddamn Skrillex". I like Skrillex. I mean, look, I like lying on the floor in the dark with headphones on exploring the delicate textures of regret and loss that make up Aphex's SAW2 as much as anyone else who was a nerd in the nineties... but these days I'd rather go to a party with BIG ROOM-FILLING BASS that does WEIRD JERKY THINGS. And then I bust out my burlesque moves and get lots of boys drooling on me, none of whom I care to take home. I'm at the tail end of a furry con; I spent the last three nights doing this. Which I guess means I am a double ruiner, because not only do I like the dubstepper-come-lately musicians, but I'm also a furry and have happily danced to brostep in rooms full of fursuits."

I want to say from the outset that I mean no disrespect by this, and you're obviously entitled to your own opinion. Still, I have to say - the more I think about this comment, the more it gets under my skin.

Look, I get it. This is how it must seem to you: there is 'smart' dance music like Aphex Twin, and then there is 'fun' dance music like Skrillex. And that's okay. If you really don't care much about the music, if you only like it as a soundtrack, fine.

First of all, though, that is emphatically not how the world of dance music is laid out. And you may look at this thread and see a bunch of elitist, arty posers going on and on about how Skrillex is not nuanced enough or whatever, and you may say 'how pretentious!' But please take my word for it: the people here flogging their opinions about dance music are not doing so from some place of pretention. Plenty of us like fun dance music that is visceral and immediate and simple and enjoyable and that is not Skrillex. Such a thing does indeed exist, so this false opposition you've set up between fun Skrillex and lofty pretentious IDM or whatever is just nonsense.

Second, I don't know what you thought of the article, but I guess this is as good a time as any to state plainly that I thought it was not that great, and that it maybe even failed at its task. It made a valiant effort, but there's a lot more going on, too. At the very least, I think it failed utterly to explain why Skrillex is execrable. And given the way this thread has gone, that was a big failure.

To finally come to the point: what bothers me so much about Skrillex is not that he uses too much LFO in the midrange, or that he makes music that's derivative, or that he stole a style or whatever. I don't know the guy, and by all accounts he's a fantastic person, but what I really dislike about his music is the fact that his incredible sharp obsession with filth is not mitigated by any sense of comraderie or love.

I know this is abstract stuff, but such is music, and I think it's worth trying to sort out the truth about these things. Skrillex seems to me to belong to a whole subset of music that reaches across genres, a subset that could be called "transgressive music." The point is to shock, to express this oh-so-fucked-up-ed-ness that it jolts the listener. I think a lot of people have come to love that jolt. Another recent example is Tyler The Creator, who's an incredibly intelligent kid making some very impressive music which is unfortunately mired in his effort to convince everyone that he's a really fucked up dude inside. It's purgative, I guess - I think that's the point, anyway. It feels good somehow to listen to somebody who's all about how fucked up they are; it makes us feel better about our own faults, and it gives us ammunition for when we might fear having those faults exposed. This sneering kind of self-deprecation or showy announcements of one's problems - this kind of thing is incredibly popular. GI was about to say "incredibly popular now," but I guess it's been around for a long time. The Sex Pistols were almost nothing but transgressive music, even if there was something slightly thrilling behind it.)

So when Skrillex makes a song that announces, for example, that "I WANT TO KILL EVERYBODY IN THE WORLD," I can't help but sigh and sort of get annoyed. I know it's just supposed to be dance music, but I think that's an essential part of Skrillex's massive appeal - the transgressive filthiness. That's what his music sounds like to me - a thirteen-year-old kid pissed off at the world and putting his angst on display. Kids still love this stuff. It's what made nu-metal popular a few years ago.

Suffice it to say that this is not where dubstep came from. Dubstep is awesome, it is sonetimes dark, it is often stinking, but that simplistic element of showy juvenile filth is pretty much counter to its independent nature. And what's more its really counter to the whole ancient and everlasting culture of dance music, a culture that for a lot of us still means love of music and togetherness and enjoyment.

It's basically like if someone came into your furry convention and tried to monetize it in a way that was counter to the ideals of the community. And I don't think anybody would like that, do you?

TL;DR - The only good reason anybody ever has for hating something is because they love something else to much to see it destroyed. That's why a lot of people hate Skrillex - out of love for what dance music can be. I hope you can keep an open mind about the fact that fun dance music is possible without the angsty showmanship.
posted by koeselitz at 9:12 PM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Which I guess means I am a double ruiner, because not only do I like the dubstepper-come-lately musicians, but I'm also a furry and have happily danced to brostep in rooms full of fursuits.

Ummm, where do I sign up?
posted by mad bomber what bombs at midnight at 9:14 PM on January 17, 2012


OK, guys: what words or search terms do I need to know to find things that are more like this or this, both of which I enjoyed quite a bit, and less like this or this, both of which make me want to yell at people to get off my lawn?
posted by KathrynT at 9:33 PM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


KathrynT, you appear to share Uncle Ira's taste in music. Might I suggest MeMailing him? In the meanwhile, try checking out Black Sun Empire's podcast and some Noisia mixes as well.

I just read Liquido's follow-up article from Dec. 12, 2011 to the one originally posted here. Boy, was shocked and pleased to see him referencing the Belleville Three and many of the new, up-and-coming dubstep influencers which MeFites already mentioned above (Mount Kimbie, Ghostpoet). Nicely done, Liquido - I salute your optimism in regard to the next genre-based paradigm shift in music. Might I suggest some light associated reading, courtesy of Thomas Kuhn?

Seems like he got the gist of it in the follow-up, which is: It'll never be what it was before; but now, it has more opportunities to grow into completely original and unexpected ways (*cough* more subgenres), but if you're uninspired, keep looking and listening.

Whatever you want, it's out there, waiting to be heard.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 9:56 PM on January 17, 2012


STOP! HAMMERTIME!
posted by Artw at 9:56 PM on January 17, 2012


Dubstep is awesome, it is sonetimes dark, it is often stinking, but that simplistic element of showy juvenile filth is pretty much counter to its independent nature. And what's more its really counter to the whole ancient and everlasting culture of dance music, a culture that for a lot of us still means love of music and togetherness and enjoyment.

I get that. I spent my youth in Detroit clubs and warehouses dancing with fellow minded travelers as we transcended space and time and became one with the music.

But I also spent a lot of time down there moshing to GWAR, KMFDM, Skinny Puppy and a ton of other industrial and goth groups. And a lot of that shit was dark, stinky and filthy. But that doesn't mean it was meaningless, and a lot of the noisier and experimental genres of EDM I'm fond of, like glitch and breakcore (I'm probably dating myself mentioning those), were influenced by by industrial.

As the proliferation of genres of EDM shows, there's plenty of space for everyone. I'm sure in my early days going down to a party, all "We're going to see Richie Hawtin!", I sounded like a Trancecracker to the older crew. But I expanded my tastes. And maybe some of the new blood coming in via the dubstep craze will turn out ok too.

Anyways, reading this entire thread was worth it for the discovery of Overtone alone, thanks to zengargoyle. Brilliant timing since I started learning Clojure last week. Also, I'm still trying to catch up with empath's best of 2011 list, this thread isn't helping :).
posted by formless at 11:55 PM on January 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


Apropos of nothing in particular, electronic music reached its peak with A Guy Called Gerarld's Voodoo Ray, while videogaming reached its peak when GTA3: San Andreas allowed me to fly around in a Cesna while listening to Voodoo Ray on the in game radio while doing nothing in particular.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 1:15 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


But koeselitz, it is the nature of genres to be destroyed. They come, they do their time and eventually mutate into something for a new audience (and hated by the old audience). People making the old version are basically genre tribute bands (or just milking it for the old folk). Is Skrillex the evolution of dubstep, or a abomination of it? I know that the longtime fans of dubstep are going to say abomination, but the long time fans of a genre always do, right up until they grow tired of their genre and let it die on the plain of dead sales. Or maybe until all the makers die, get bored and quit or otherwise disappear. In electronica, the makers often get bored before the fans, it would seem.

Genre death is as inevitable as any other death.
posted by Bovine Love at 4:59 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Shifting gear I also thought it was interesting that Florida breaks and electro came together in this thread with no mention of a lovely little number by DJ Icee (ok, Icey) named Escape (Electro Mix).

That's actually an Icey remix of Kaycee - Escape, which itself was a rip-off/cover of a much earlier song -- 4voice - Eternal Spirit (memorably used in Paul Oakenfold's amazing Goa Mix from 1994 that introduced Psytrance to most of the world.)

(i know way too much about this shit than is healthy)
posted by empath at 6:16 AM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


TL;DR - The only good reason anybody ever has for hating something is because they love something else to much to see it destroyed. That's why a lot of people hate Skrillex - out of love for what dance music can be.

Underground will live forever baby, just like roaches.
posted by empath at 6:23 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


[REDACTED]
posted by clvrmnky at 6:54 AM on January 18, 2012


Within about 10-15 seconds I can hear/tell whether there's 2 or 3 tracks being played or whether it's a DJ using effects one one track, such as a delay or echo button; I can hear the audio differences between the studio track and live PA version. It's incredibly frustrating to me when other people say "wait has that same song been playing for 30 minutes? I can't tell these songs apart" because I can't UNHEAR the differences.

You are the person in the crowd I mix for. Thank goodness you exist and I'm not being needlessly anal retentive.
posted by Theta States at 7:41 AM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Bovine Love: “But koeselitz, it is the nature of genres to be destroyed. They come, they do their time and eventually mutate into something for a new audience (and hated by the old audience). People making the old version are basically genre tribute bands (or just milking it for the old folk). Is Skrillex the evolution of dubstep, or a abomination of it? I know that the longtime fans of dubstep are going to say abomination, but the long time fans of a genre always do, right up until they grow tired of their genre and let it die on the plain of dead sales. Or maybe until all the makers die, get bored and quit or otherwise disappear. In electronica, the makers often get bored before the fans, it would seem. Genre death is as inevitable as any other death.”

I don't mind that. I just don't like juvenility and filth purely for the sake of filth. Skrillex seems transgressive to me; I'm borrowing that word from literature, where "transgressive fiction" usually denotes fiction that wallows in evil for the purgative effects. For instance, one of the defining classics of transgressive fiction (if that even makes sense) is Chuck Palahniuk's Fight Club. I can't stand that movie and all its 'look at us, we're wallowing in evil! Aren't we awesome?' silliness; and I can't stand Skrillex. It's not really a genre thing.
posted by koeselitz at 7:42 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


egypturnash: “... these days I'd rather go to a party with BIG ROOM-FILLING BASS that does WEIRD JERKY THINGS. And then I bust out my burlesque moves and get lots of boys drooling on me, none of whom I care to take home... When you're dancing to music you don't know inside out, and have maybe never heard, it is great to have cues that ‘hey the music is about to change’ because that gives you a chance to shift up from, I dunno, doing fast footwork or something, to swinging your ass back and forth like a pendulum of come fuck me right on time with the drop.”

Maybe my big issue here is that I really can't stand it when people use dance purely as an aggressive and manipulative mating ritual intended solely to cement their superiority over others. It may sound weird, but I actually like dancing because... it's fun. It's enjoyable to move around with other people. I don't pretend that people are oozing with lust for me when I do my stuff; I'd rather not think about that. And it sure as hell isn't my goal to manipulate them into wanting me or anything like that. We're just people dancing together, nothing more and nothing less. So I guess you and I get completely different things out of it.
posted by koeselitz at 7:53 AM on January 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


I love the post-dubstep chillness that crosses in to IDM, indie rock and downtempo tropes. My love letters to that blend are found within here and here. [mixcloud links]
posted by Theta States at 7:55 AM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


You are the person in the crowd I mix for. Thank goodness you exist and I'm not being needlessly anal retentive.

Not to get all philosophical about it, but when I was DJing I worked REALLY HARD to make it sound like I was playing the same song for 3 hours. That's what seamless mixing is all about. It's great that there are trainspotters that can spot the seams and appreciate the subtleties of what you're doing, but I have to say that on some level it's kind of missing the point. Getting lost in the music is all about losing track of where one song stops and the next starts. When I was clubbing, I loved the music so much more when I had no idea what the DJs were doing. Knowing how the magician does all his tricks takes away a lot of the magic, I think, though you can appreciate it on a different, more intellectual level.
posted by empath at 8:02 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's enjoyable to move around with other people. I don't pretend that people are oozing with lust for me when I do my stuff; I'd rather not think about that. And it sure as hell isn't my goal to manipulate them into wanting me or anything like that. We're just people dancing together, nothing more and nothing less.

This. Exactly this. That was why I loved EDM clubs over the usual college bars.
posted by empath at 8:04 AM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Not to get all philosophical about it, but when I was DJing I worked REALLY HARD to make it sound like I was playing the same song for 3 hours. That's what seamless mixing is all about. It's great that there are trainspotters that can spot the seams and appreciate the subtleties of what you're doing, but I have to say that on some level it's kind of missing the point.

I more meant the gratitude in the sense that someone was REALLY LISTENING to what was happening, hanging on all of the subtleties.
Even if a mix has the same sounds and vibe for 3 hours, one can relish in the technical minutae that is happening in the mix layers. And when you are used to a genre and a number of the tracks, you know when a new track comes in.

I love a genre-mashing reference-heavy Z-Trip mixes as much as a techno mix that just loops fragments of tracks I don't know. I just listen in different ways.
posted by Theta States at 8:24 AM on January 18, 2012


Yep, I agree with both of you guys, actually, Theta States and Empath. I don't always listen for the track changes - especially if I'm dancing - but when they're not done artfully or someone bumps the table or the DJ runs back from the bathroom after the track's winding down, for example, and rushes the next track in without beatmatching it? That I find it incredibly jarring. So much so that when I stop and look around and people are oblivious to it, I'm kind of shocked. (This is probably why I get so frustrated when people with excellent music collections but no technical skill play music in public - and why I've only DJ'd ambient sets.)

But when I hear a track change go seamlessly, I'm just as impressed - if not more so - than when I can hear the edges of the next song coming in; sometimes it makes me question whether the DJ's using an acapella track, or if it's a remix I haven't heard before, or what... and that's when the magic happens.

Then I'm off to research that sound online, chat with the person playing, buy that particular version of the track, or look for more mixes by the same artist/dj to download or start following them on SoundCloud or whatever. I'll start supporting their gigs, and spreading the word to others I think would appreciate them as an artist. It's not much, but isn't that what fandom's for?

And sometimes, the DJ's unique approach and mixing style transcends all those little skips, auditory incongruencies and mismatched beats (Rob Hood, Derrick Carter, and Anthony "Shake" Shakir come to mind). Individuality of style and expression can be just as impressive as a faceless, seamless 3-hour set posted anonymously online. But I do admit to feeling unabashed joy when I recognize a track that's coming into the mix - and sometimes it takes 5-10 listens before I can tell which version of that particular track I'm hearing.

Thanks for the truly excellent discussion that this thread has turned into instead of mere genre-bashing and off-my-lawning, guys. This is exactly why I joined Metafilter.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 8:50 AM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Empath, thanks for the history lesson. Always appreciated. For some reason I thought the Icey mix was older than 1998, and yet I had no idea that psytrance had been around since '93. I guess it is obvious that songs like Age of Love are an immediate precursor. I look forward to checking out the Oakenfold mix.

Icey was also on the scene way back when, I'm sure he was probably familiar with the original Eternal Spirit too. It's interesting how he brings out the 'electro' sound too, accentuating that warbly synth in the breakdown, or however you say it. I really wish I could craft evocative descriptions like a music writer.

If you're interested, I'm sure your participation in those reddit forums I listed would be appreciated, or if you know of other forums for ongoing discussion of this music I'd love to hear about them!
posted by viborg at 8:56 AM on January 18, 2012


KathrynT, you may want to check out SPL, and Distance. I think they might be up your alley. Also Amon Tobin's newer stuff.
posted by Uncle Ira at 9:01 AM on January 18, 2012


Since I have you all here ... for a while now, I've been a bit hooked on Daft Punk and Justice (yah, I know, how passe) but have not have had the best of luck finding more. I'm listening to the "Electro House" channel on DI.FM right now (tsnm & gRASp present no excuses vol. 20, DI is good since we can get it in Canada...) , and it hits quite a bit of the flavour some of the time, but unfortunately DI's stream info is often lacking, often listing the DJ show and not always making it easy to figure out from the DJ's track list what it is your listening to. Any pointers would be nice.

Speaking of DI, I love their Minimal and Progressive channels ... my (current) kind of music, especially for working.
posted by Bovine Love at 9:10 AM on January 18, 2012


I did see a lot of the later era of drum & bass's golden age in the US, from '98-'02.
That's it. That same transition from deep and atmospheric to techy and futuristic to fun and wobbly to midrange-heavy pablum is the same progression that DnB went though at the turn of the millenium. And so a genre that brought us this turned into this.

All of this has happened before; all of this will happen again.
posted by Uncle Ira at 9:19 AM on January 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


Daft Punk and Justice

You want 'french house'

Look up acts on Ed Banger records:

Busy P and DJ Mehdi essential Mix

Justice Essential Mix

Daft Punk essential Mix

The Twelves Essential Mix
posted by empath at 9:29 AM on January 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


Hmm, The Twelves (Brazil's answer to Daft Punk!m heh), Busy P and DJ Mehdi are new to me, I'll have to check them out, along with some other Ed Banger records artists. My previous searches (admittedly a couple of years ago) for French House didn't give me a lot if hits that seemed to fit the sound I wanted, though that was likely my fault.

Thanks! Always wonderful to have some new music to explore.
posted by Bovine Love at 10:28 AM on January 18, 2012


koeselitz > Maybe my big issue here is that I really can't stand it when people use dance purely as an aggressive and manipulative mating ritual intended solely to cement their superiority over others. It may sound weird, but I actually like dancing because... it's fun. It's enjoyable to move around with other people. I don't pretend that people are oozing with lust for me when I do my stuff; I'd rather not think about that. And it sure as hell isn't my goal to manipulate them into wanting me or anything like that. We're just people dancing together, nothing more and nothing less. So I guess you and I get completely different things out of it.

Maybe, maybe not. While I talk about "swinging my ass like a pendulum of fuckme", I am actually entirely disinterested in using a dance to get laid. My dance style is super-slutty because I'm an amateur burlesque dancer, so I have this huge palette of moves designed to draw attention to the desirability of my body. And ones that work very well for escaping from someone who's radiating too much "I want to do you" at me - pirouettes both look good, and take me across the floor at high speed! (I'm typing this in the airport lounge while waiting to go home from a furry con, at which I hit just about all the dances - over four nights of shaking my booty off, I think I had to do that like twice? Mostly when some folks from the next convention came into the Dead Dog party.)

I'm there to enjoy dancing as much as you are. Except, well, I am a sexy lady who dances really sexy-like... because she really loves to move that way.

I dunno, I've got some tabs open from this article and its discussion, and on the way to the airport I was saying it's time to go do a dive into some new music. Guess I'll do that when I'm home. And maybe I'll end up coming to loathe Skrillex too - though I doubt that.
posted by egypturnash at 11:28 AM on January 18, 2012


I will make a $30 donation bet to the animal shelter of your choosing that after a few months of exploring new bass music that you will at least become significantly disenchanted with Skrillex. :)
posted by Theta States at 11:57 AM on January 18, 2012


"That's it. That same transition from deep and atmospheric to techy and futuristic to fun and wobbly to midrange-heavy pablum is the same progression that DnB went though at the turn of the millenium. And so a genre that brought us this turned into this ."

Yes. I’m old, and not at all up to date, but was and still am a DNB fan. So at some point I’m reading "you’ve got to check out the new awesomeness of DNB hotness, Pendulum". I did and all I heard was the sad trombone sound and the my eyes were full of blinding WTF?!? There is a certain segment that keeps thinking it would awesome to make Prog Metal and Nu-Metal with Reason.
posted by bongo_x at 6:40 PM on January 18, 2012


Wtf is German minimal italo disco?

I promise you, Justus Köhncke's "Timecode" will blow you away.
posted by dunkadunc at 6:43 PM on January 18, 2012


I am breaking down a track list for a big tag team set I did on Saturday night (well, only two hours, but these days even a tag-team over an hour is good to get), and I kept thinking about this thread. The other resident mefi DJs and EDM lovers have been doing a great job so I don't feel like there's a lot missing, but it still feels weird to spend most of my non-work and non-metafilter-lurking time on dance music and parties and not say SOMETHING...

What drew me back here right now was the "Dubstep is unique because it treats subwoofers as musical instruments." comment. Loq addressed it pretty well already, but with the baselines in this set relentless banging the headphones against my head it came to mind...

We were playing mostly recent deep house, funky house, and nu-disco, and holy shit the baselines on some of these newer releases is just nuts, and I love it. I've been buying by bass for a decade, but it just keeps getting better.

I also have to think about egypturnash's comments about wanting big fun music, and irony of how often I've been sick of how goddamn deadly serious dub step and electro seems to take itself, and how I just want to have some fun. It's become all about MUST BE MORE EPIC ALL THE TIME, with a side of "MUST DECONSTRUCT YOUR IDEA OF THIS MUSIC BECAUSE A GLITCHY BREAKDOWN IS SO TRANGRESSIVE" instead of getting into a funky groove and losing yourself to dance. On saturday we managed to have a very successful party, and the dance floor was packed full at 10:30 (at a party that ended at 4!), to wonderfully fun funky silly music played by two people who have made talking shit about dubstep a hobby. (We somehow managed to sneak 4 hours of house music into a burner party, with no dubstep at all, and barely any electro. Some of you will know what a coup THAT is).

While I'm babbling about parties and events, I've also recently been thinking about how much I miss the party ethos of The Party (and that whole Temporary Autonomous Zone thing), rather than it just being a big DJ concert. It didn't used to be the same thing at all, and even with the people i run with it's getting rarer. People like skrillex and deadmau5 have been taking that to the extreme, but they're just doing well playing a game that already exists, so I can't really blame them for it, making that a pretty big tangent.
posted by flaterik at 11:26 PM on January 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


I can't believe I wrote "baseline". I'm going to blame autocorrect.
posted by flaterik at 12:27 AM on January 19, 2012


I promise you, Justus Köhncke's "Timecode" will blow you away.

Indeed, it blew me away (even if I wasn't the one it was aimed at). I ended up buying Kompakt Klassics 1, which happens to even have a track or two I knew from listening to streaming radio. Really great stuff.
posted by Bovine Love at 5:48 AM on January 19, 2012


BTW, in particular, I really really love Funky House since I tripped over it a few months ago (always late to the party!); it is my new shiny tunes for when work or traffic is going slowly and I'm getting dragged down. I've not been trying out deep house, but now I'm gonna have to give that a swing.
posted by Bovine Love at 5:51 AM on January 19, 2012


If you want some old school 90s funky house, there's a bunch here.
posted by empath at 5:54 AM on January 19, 2012


I've been watching a lot of old vogueing stuff as of late and I'm digging the 80s house like Ellis D - Took My Love Away and Raze - Break For Love. I want more of that late 80s stuff.
posted by Theta States at 6:09 AM on January 19, 2012


Theta, are you on spotify? I'm about to send you like 10 hours of it.
posted by empath at 6:13 AM on January 19, 2012


Here's some 80s acid house mixes from The Hacienda

Here's a bunch of early 90s, late 80s Bad Boy Bill hotmixes.
posted by empath at 6:18 AM on January 19, 2012


Not on spotify yet, but every music nerd I know seems to be migrating towards it for some reason...
posted by Theta States at 6:26 AM on January 19, 2012


That reason would be unlimited music that is easy to share. I've got a play list of like 8 hours of acid house on there.
posted by empath at 6:32 AM on January 19, 2012


KathrynT, you may want to check out SPL, and Distance . I think they might be up your alley.

Why yes. Yes they are.

Thank you, all of you. Not to be too cheesy, but you've taken me from "You kids with your pants and your music" to "omg this is cool you have to listen to this" in, like, two days. My clubbing days are mostly behind me; I have two small children and I live in the suburbs and none of my fun clothes fit any more (or, rather, yet), but being able to smack on some high quality headphones and just listen to an hour of deeply immersive music is awesome.
posted by KathrynT at 10:38 AM on January 19, 2012


While we're posting mixes, check out Joplin at Lightning in a Bottle from last year. It's a very different side of funky house than what's above - much more on the lower tempo funk/soul side of things. That was one of the most fun times I've ever had dancing, and I do a lot of dancing! (It being on the best sounding funktion 1 system I've ever heard also didn't hurt)

(also that's who I tagged with last saturday, so you'll hear shades of what I was talking about re: basslines)
posted by flaterik at 1:14 PM on January 19, 2012


And, anyone that liked the Kompakt releases, you should check out the label instruments of rapture. You will find things you like. A lot. (also stuff you don't like, most likely, but that's how it goes.)
posted by flaterik at 1:17 PM on January 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


I sometimes feel like I don't have a posh enough sound system for Kompakt.
posted by Theta States at 1:26 PM on January 19, 2012


Everyone needs more subwoofers.
posted by flaterik at 2:26 PM on January 19, 2012


Since I am largely condemned to doing my listening to headphones; my Beats Studio (yah, I know, that tends to get ppl wound up, but I love them and the noise cancellation is good for work, so there) most days. They'll wiggle on your ears if you get some real nice bass going.
posted by Bovine Love at 2:31 PM on January 19, 2012


I had no idea those headphones got people wound up! Clearly my gear snobbery is out of date.
posted by flaterik at 3:54 PM on January 19, 2012


It's not the headphones that get me wound up - they may be very good headphones - but the fact that they're made by Monster Cable, and Monster Cable will sell anyone anything if they think they can profit from it. Gold-plated $225 HDMI cables, etc. I hate them on principle, but wouldn't want that to be confused with judgment of Bovine Love's headphone choice.
posted by neuromodulator at 4:55 PM on January 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, I didn't know they were a monster cable product. We are of a like mind, then, on both counts.

(monster cable is also a SOPA supporter, in case you needed another reason)
posted by flaterik at 5:18 PM on January 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Don't worry, Monster won't be making Beats headphones for much longer.
posted by Uncle Ira at 5:24 PM on January 19, 2012


Some day in my future, lingering on the horizon, is the day I just snap, take an extended leave of absence from work, buy myself a beginner's hi-fidelity system (say... $10k range?) and just sit down and relisten to all of the amazing albums I have for like a year.
posted by Theta States at 5:59 AM on January 20, 2012


I just try to pretend that Monster didn't make them. They are thieves, of that I have no doubt, but mysteriously made headphones that are great for the music I like, plus have noise cancellation. All without mentioning oxygen free. They were destined to lose that contract.

Theta States, there are a lot of opinions on HiFi, but for a regular sized room you should be able to obtain a seriously kick assed system for significantly less then $10K.
posted by Bovine Love at 6:57 AM on January 20, 2012


Way, way less than 10K! Way.

Just as one example, any of SVSound's systems (with a sub of course. why aren't they listing systems with subs any more? weird) will sound great with any reasonable receiver (I happen to like onkyos but partisans about those things are silly), and even the mid-range there is going to be less that $2k total.
posted by flaterik at 2:59 PM on January 20, 2012


KathrynT thanks for the link to Noisia - Machine Gun. I just love the top comment "This is so dirty, i switched to porn when my mom walked in" Hahahah. I live in a apartment and I'm a good neighbor ... now. I would feel self conscious playing that track through my loud speakers.
posted by vicx at 10:55 PM on January 21, 2012


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