February 28, 2008 5:11 PM   Subscribe

Barefiles: the premiere source for dubstep mixes

"Bare Dubs records formed in summer 2006 to support the already well established free dubstep and grime mix download site Barefiles.com. The website has grown from a free download site to a vital part of the community providing forthcoming talent the same opportunities of exposure as those of more established artists by allowing people to submit their mixes. Bare Dubs' aim is to release tracks from producers around the world that have previously not been given the opportunity to release on vinyl."
posted by prostyle (30 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
Dubstep sounds like whale noises.
posted by empath at 5:36 PM on February 28, 2008 [4 favorites]

posted by empath at 5:36 PM on February 28, 2008

eh, I love dubstep, but pretty much anyone who knows dubstep knows barefiles, right?

And while you're at it, why not at Subfm and dubstepforum?
posted by Espoo2 at 5:50 PM on February 28, 2008

Yay! Free mixes! Thanks.
posted by everichon at 5:51 PM on February 28, 2008

Reminds me of Mouse on Mars, are they dubstep?
posted by parallax7d at 6:11 PM on February 28, 2008

Any electronic music genre with "step" in it is most likely overcategorized and doesn't really exist outside of music critics' imaginations. For example, take a garage beat, remove the 2nd and 4th kick drum hits, and you have "2-step". Is there really that much of a difference between "dubstep" and any other reggae dub done primarily on electronic instruments, such as that of Mad Professor?
posted by DecemberBoy at 6:18 PM on February 28, 2008

A dubstep documentary? Fucking English people, man. Next they'll to make a documentary about the dubstep documentary scene.

parallax7d, no, they're not. Dubstep has incredible amounts of bass that Mouse on Mars usually doesn't have. That said, Kompod on Iaora Tahiti comes kind of close :)

BTW, here's a Skream mix I really like.
posted by redteam at 6:20 PM on February 28, 2008 [1 favorite]

Cool stuff, thanks!
posted by carter at 6:24 PM on February 28, 2008

As an EDM aficionado, dubstep is the first subgenre that's completely baffled me. I don't think it's bad. I just don't get what people like about it. I may be getting old, though.
posted by empath at 6:31 PM on February 28, 2008

Is there really that much of a difference between "dubstep" and any other reggae dub done primarily on electronic instruments, such as that of Mad Professor?

Regular dub doesn't use stuff like Reese lines and LFO bass that goes WUB WUB WUB WUB WUB.

There are also a lot of dubstep tracks that cross over with genres like hip hop and drum 'n bass as well. A lot of dubstep artists these days are going for a harder edged style that has little to do with traditional dub/roots sounds other than the occasional vocal sample or horn blast.
posted by First Post at 6:34 PM on February 28, 2008

I hear you, empath. Sometimes I wonder if someone just decided to make a big deal out of the sound of a track or two and call it a genre - then everyone followed. I have a hard time finding similarities between many tracks other than ass-destroying amounts of sinister bass. The name is misleading - most of the tracks sound nothing like dub and the "step" sounds like a clever marketing ploy for an ad-hoc genre.

Check this out, though - I heard breaks DJ/producer Freq Nasty play the Santa Cruz "Freakers Ball" on Halloween 2006 and he played a track that nearly disemboweled everyone in the room. Ok, not so much, but I seriously thought that the bass on that track would at least knock down the building. It was like nu-skool breaks on heroin or something. Apparently some track he made with David Starfire. Anyway, I started hearing all about dubstep and how Burial was everyone's new god and all this shit and I just wasn't buying it. Then after listening to some dubstep DJ mixes (like that Skream one I linked to above) I found some other tracks like that one Freq Nasty played.

So I guess they made a name for really, really, really bass-filled tracks. Maybe eventually they'll start to sound more alike.
posted by redteam at 6:43 PM on February 28, 2008

Regular dub doesn't use stuff like Reese lines and LFO bass that goes WUB WUB WUB WUB WUB.

There are also a lot of dubstep tracks that cross over with genres like hip hop and drum 'n bass as well. A lot of dubstep artists these days are going for a harder edged style that has little to do with traditional dub/roots sounds other than the occasional vocal sample or horn blast.

OK, cool. Thanks. I need to check out more of it then, because the admittedly not that much of it I've heard just sounds like dub made with synths and drum machines/breakbeat samples. Not that I don't like that. The harder-edged stuff you mention sounds like something I'd be into.

I still maintain my opinion about genres with "step" in them. I've never gotten a satisfactory explanation on how "darkstep" is substantially different enough from drum n' bass to warrant a different name, for example.
posted by DecemberBoy at 6:46 PM on February 28, 2008

actually, dubstep is the only electronic music that has excited me in years... and I've loved all types of electronic, from fringe to as mainstream as you can get, for a long time. Hell, I even create it, every day.

But it's gotten pretty stale out there.
I took a look back at what drum and bass was doing, and found dubstep, and fell in love. It does take a bit to get into it, but when you get it, it sinks it's teeth in HARD.

I kept dragging a few friends out to the dubstep night here in Austin (with local giants Tyrant, Innerlign, Parson, and Grommit) and, after a few weeks, they went from hating it to full-on fanboys.
posted by Espoo2 at 7:32 PM on February 28, 2008

we could be friends
away from my heart
posted by plexi at 7:33 PM on February 28, 2008 [2 favorites]

I may be getting old, though.

Chances are it's true and you are unable to hear what it's all about....but that's no longer an excuse. For instance (as I got called on by bugbread) not owning a television is no longer a justifiable excuse for being unable to tune into quality televised programming—just watch it on DVD or from the internet.

The amazing frequencies are there, I'm certain, it just takes a helper to show us the way.

Here's how. Have a musically-savvy friend—one who possesses the requisite aural sensitivity and equipment—identify the unheard frequential patterns and replay them at frequencies for you adjusted for your aural abilities.

Welcome to the future. It's good.
posted by humannaire at 7:51 PM on February 28, 2008

Wheeee Dubstep Radio [fm].

Never heard the term dubstep, but loving dub [Yeah, Mad Professor, Prince Far-I], love the new shit. And I'm old, love the music, it's all about the rythm. The beats. The Bass. LOUD. my ribs are lov'in it.
heh, thanks for the tip, prostyle.

MySp Skream. Midnight Request Line. Nice.
Is he going to sample Boards of Canada¿ hmmm¿

Heard any Cadence Weapon¿
Previous, Black Hand
Latest, After Party Babies

My first taste was The Gorilla Is For Sand Racing. [sign up to imeem to hear full version], otherwise, jus' a snippet.
Could this be the full version¿

Kinda waiting for Lady Sovereign to do dubstep then. Labeled her grime. That would seem like fun. Where the hell is she lately¿

Even the fuckin' CBC has a Dubstep Article with plenty linkage.

Heh, Freeworm [écoutez le petite video clip]. S'interessant.
now part of The National Parcs ¿ huh ¿ Listen to a chant with loons in the background called 'Whisper's From a Grave'.
That's crazee. and I don't see how Freeworm 'is a part of'...
but I like it. 'aint no dubstep that.
Obviously driving with out a GPS. nice.
posted by alicesshoe at 7:54 PM on February 28, 2008 [1 favorite]

I'm a great fan of Dubstep as a genre, and I've produced a few tracks of it as well. One thing that these mixes can't really convey is the sheer weight of this music's bass in a club enviroment - the bass takes on a disorienting, psychedelic quality. It definately is its own genre: it has a unique rhythm where the kick and snare are at half speed - so the snare is on the 2 instead of the 1 and the 4 like it would be in rock and hiphop - while the hihats and other rhythmic elements are at full speed. It's an evolution of hardcore/jungle's halfspeed bass tempos.

Decemberboy, if you like the harder stuff try this classic mix by Excision in the darker style. One of the real innovators in the genre is Kode9, who first discovered Burial (and some people think might be Burial, who has never revealed his identity). Here's one of Kode9's best mixes.

If you want to learn more about the community, DubstepForum is the center of the scene online, and has a large number of North American and British members... it's sort of like what MNML.NL does for the Minimal genre, bringing fans together worldwide... both have small enough followings that this sort of concentration is possible.
posted by Spacelegoman at 7:57 PM on February 28, 2008 [1 favorite]

** counts the seconds for jonmc to come in and take the piss because this fpp ain't got guitars or cowbell or some other humbucking stringed reliquary from the crusades, pushed through a wall of marshall half-stacks, aimed at a witless impotent crowd of gravel-toothed, skullet coiffured, drunken troglodytes who still think that Frampton really wanted to know how they felt at the time.
posted by isopraxis at 8:05 PM on February 28, 2008 [3 favorites]

For the people that like it -- what's the ideal way to listen to dubstep? It's obviously not something that sounds good on shitty laptop speakers.

In a club? What kind of club? At home on a good system blunted out of your mind? What? This is a serious question.
posted by empath at 8:13 PM on February 28, 2008

Well, here in NYC the best Dubstep nights are at Love, which is basically just a cave filled with bass - its underground and the dancefloor is a cover over subwoofers installed into the ground so the bass radiates up your legs. If any Metafilter NYC'ers are going out tomorrow, Tayo will be playing there - he's a British breakbeat DJ who throws some Dubstep into his sets.

A good speaker at home or some high quality headphones work well too but they won't really give you the full experience.
posted by Spacelegoman at 8:27 PM on February 28, 2008

I love dubstep and have produced a bit of it (only notable release was 'The Lights' on Hotflush). Watching the evolution of house to garage to two-step and finally to the gorgeousness of dubstep has been completely fascinating.

Dubstep tracks have an incredible breadth for sounds emphatically within a recognized genre. Random example comparison; Skream's Dutch Flowerz - a sublime, summer vibe of a track with an incredibly hooky bouncing melody and the sweetest synth pads -- matched against Loefah's Candyfloss remix for Hotflush; a brutal, uncompromising dancefloor destroyer of the darkest nature. Both tracks the same tempo, made by producers living within a few miles of each other and could be included easily within the same mix without anyone batting an eye.

Pardon the semicolon abuse, I'm completely in love with this sound and collect it pretty obsessively. Buying import vinyl of very limited pressings is hard on the wallet, but the best of these tracks are hard to get elsewhere. (Hint - buy the early release white label copies, no art or text but somewhat cheaper)

Labels of note: Skull Disco, DMZ, Deep Medi, Tectonic, Dub Police, Tempa, Hotflush, the list goes on...
posted by erebora at 8:31 PM on February 28, 2008

Also, dubstep is the most plate-of-beans genre ever. Every bit of success is met with waves of nervousness and self-loathing on the forums. Rusko even wrote a cheeky tune about dubstepforum and etc., The Moaners.

Most of "the scene" hates the hard jumpin' stuff like Night and Sponge Bob and Well 'Ard but it's a sound that goes off well on the dancefloor and gets people outside the day-to-day genre to stop and say "Whoa, what's this?"

I dig the merging of DIY and dubplate culture that I find in dubstep, though. If you don't like the direction it's going, you're always welcome to write tracks that take it where you'd want it to go. My first track release in over a decade as a working DJ is coming out next month, so I'm pretty stoked about that. As others have said it's done for them, dubstep has really rekindled my interest in electronic music.
posted by First Post at 9:50 PM on February 28, 2008

Dubstep is not just the "halfstep" stuff. The first music to be called dubstep was by horsepower productions and el b- it was basically 2 step with a dub aesthetic. The sound has been evolving for a while. It is really not a new thing it has just been getting a lot of attention lately mostly because of the popularity of burial's record.

Now the sound has branched off into several directions. There is the half step side of it. The techno influenced stuff - peverelist/ skull disco/ hessle audio/ martyn (this is my favorite branch). The D&B influenced stuff and a sort of resurgence of the 2 step sound as well lately(burial)

Now for some ramapant self promotion (sorry :) )
I Dj dubstep amongst other types of music in SF, CA and on subfm.com under the name selector dub u I have opened for quite a few of the more well known producers here. I also have a record coming out on Hoflush recordings next month that I co produced with TRG. I am also part of a promotion company that promotes dusbtep events in San Francisco called SureFire productions.

By the way the erebora you are too modest! I love your music! I have a record that you put out on upstate as well. Your music is very good.

As for the best listening environment i would say is a at a dance with a soundsystem that can convey the lower frequencies clearly and with force.
posted by yertledaturtle at 11:28 PM on February 28, 2008

Thread needs more Clownstep inna mix.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:13 AM on February 29, 2008

Burial's Untrue is dubstep, eh?

I played that record at a party the other night, and people got all crazy. I had to leave my CD behind. Two of my friends fought over it.
posted by chuckdarwin at 2:20 AM on February 29, 2008

Long but fascinating Burial interview. I find it amazing that he does all his music using nothing but Sound Forge. (Of course the forums called BS on this, leading the interviewer to ask him about it here) His work is usually counted as dubstep, although a lot of it seems to ride more on that 2-steppy fringe. Classifying UK dance music has generally become an even more futile effort than usual in the past few years, though.
posted by First Post at 3:51 AM on February 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

Excision has some intense mixes on barefiles that are very satisfying to play at loud volumes at 5:40 am.
posted by riverrun at 5:41 AM on February 29, 2008

Skream has already been mentioned but I would like to recommend Blue Eyez and Dutch Flowerz, both of which you can sample at the last.fm page. Irie-vod is Skream's best track because of the haunting bass.

Pinch & Distance's Memory Loss is also a favorite of mine.
posted by riverrun at 5:55 AM on February 29, 2008

Awesome! Thanks for the great post, prostyle.

So is Burial really Craig David or what?
posted by mullingitover at 7:03 AM on February 29, 2008

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