DUB STEP: BOOM!
By: Marc Emmelmann
Prior to the internet boom, music evolution was driven by word of mouth, corporate radio waves, television and media. Today, itâ€™s due to the efficient digital age that new genres of music are created, shared, and discovered. Dubstep evolved in the UK about 10 years ago, and today in the U.S., itâ€™s embarking on its own boom-phase. Itâ€™s not smart or devious marketing at the helm â€“ itâ€™s the science behind the sounds that can send your brain into a pulsating, creative, euphoric, and energizing place. Granted, people perceive and respond to music in different ways, but dubstep has an emerging mass of people talking about its dope effects and their happy ears.
Most people are familiar with electronic music enough these days, right? Thereâ€™s house music, techno, trance, tech house, euro trance, progressive house, electro, breakbeat, drum-n-bass, etc. However, car commercial marketers will soon be buying up dubstep tracks to market their product. Advertisers have done a good job using catchy up-and- coming rock and electronic music to sell cars, but wait until they get a load of dubstepâ€™s â€œtightly coiled productions, overwhelming bass lines and reverberant drum patternsâ€ with its tempo reaching 138-142 beats per minute.
Local free-lance dancer Matt Carney was pleased with his plunge into dubstep at NUG Magazineâ€™s recent 2 year anniversary party at SPIN Nightclub. â€œMy body danced to the blend of beats while the dramatic deep base shook me from the base of my feet all the way through my spine,â€ he shared. The dance floor at NUGâ€™s 2 year was actually filled with a slew of local dancers whom I had the privilege of seeing lose themselves to dissonant harmonies of pulsating bass with intermittent reggae and classic rock clips produced by San Diego DJâ€™s â€“ IdeaL & J-Break. Not to sound too whimsical, but the dance floor was alive, moving, living, and downright breathing.
It is now common knowledge that music can slow and fasten the heartbeat, breathing rate, affect blood pressure, and even dilate the pupils. Many agree that music can help the brainâ€™s ability to learn, and yes, there is something called an â€œelectro-encephalogram,â€ which can actually detect the amplitude and frequency of brain waves. I will come out and say it: dubstep is something marijuana smokers will surely enjoy, whether they are at the club or dancing naked in the shower. If sativa is your strain of choice, try using dubstep with your next creative project, or if indica is preferred, vegging out to dubstep would also be a worthwhile experiment.
If your brain likes music, and youâ€™ve yet to make room for dubstep, start with local producing DJâ€™s who are accessible and have knowledge about the intricacies of this art form. OSAL8 is known to be a leader in the dubstep movement in San Diego. And if your first experience with dubstep is at www.djideal.com or soundcloud.com/djideal/groups, you are off to a good start. IdeaL & J-Break not only gave NUG Magazine a delicious taste of dubstep at the 2 year party, but they are also some of the brains and artists behind ELEV8 and Mainline, popular parties for dubstep in San Diego. Blogs are also a great way to explore dubstep. Try filthydubstep.blogspot.com, thedubstepblog.com and dubstepdirectory.com/blogs. There are also other internet platforms such as dubstepforum, the download site Barefiles and Dubstepfm.com. Donâ€™t forget the grandmother and grandfather of dubstep:Â DJâ€™s Mary Anne Hobbes and John Peel. If you want to see how mainstream artists are assimilating dubstep, check in with Snoop Dog, Rihanna and even Brittney Spears.
San Diego DJ John Joseph (djjohnjoseph.com) thinks dubstep is a craze thatâ€™s taking off. He shared, â€œI first heard it at EDC 2000 and I thought it was something that so many people would love. I feel itâ€™s helping define what the music will become in the next 10 years. Itâ€™s definitely something to look forwardÂ to. Itâ€™s the next step from electro because a lot of music now incorporates some dubstep just to attract that crowd.â€ However, not all DJâ€™s agree. Local newcomer known as â€œMacoeâ€ (soundcloud.com/macoe) thinks otherwise. She recently shared, â€œHonestly, the more I hear it, the more I dislike it… some of it sounds like a nightmare I canâ€™t get out of. I respect those who play it, itâ€™s just a little too dark for my tastes.â€
Local professional dancer, Trystan Merrick, weighed in stating, â€œIâ€™m not always a fan of electronic sounds, but the beats are so varied and layered itâ€™s like your dancing to a few songs at once. I like being able to pick up on a really slow beat with an adagio movement one second and switch it up to something staccato as a new layer of faster sounds emerge. Plus, I think it sounds more spacious than older synthesized styles â€“ so itâ€™s easier on the ears.â€
Dubstep in San Diego, like any other hot commodity, entertains multiple mindsets about what is available and what is important. Some people with a keen interest in music might want to jibber jabber about whoâ€™s right and whoâ€™s wrong, or whoâ€™s legit and whoâ€™s novice, but at the end of the day, gossip and interpersonal drama will not assist the plight of art. Music is art. Dubstep is music, is art. Let the artists create and let the listeners engage respectfully.