Dubstep – A Generation of Bass


All too often, one is forced to choose between music that is great to listen to and music that is great to dance to. Dubstep is both. Its heavy bass quality gives it the most essential characteristic of pop music: danceable beats and tempos. Yet at the same time, good dubstep is rich, complex, and all-consuming. The basic dubstep beat is not particularly enjoyable on its own; what it does, however, is provide tracks with a depth that allows them to be layered with not only snippets from other electronic music but also strains from other genres. The result is a robust sound that’s sorely lacking in most popular music.

Great dubstep has texture. When listening to it, one can feel the beats and rhythms as the music transports them into an ethereal world of trance-like charm. It’s truly visceral, or dirty, in the lingo of dubstep lovers. Warning: It’s not for the faint of heart.

Personally, I like my music like I like my wine: full-bodied. Dance music doesn’t get any more full-bodied than dubstep. Depending on the tempo and beat, dubstep can have the smooth, easy-going quality of jazz, the frenetic energy of techno, or the epic thunder of classical music. The genre literally and figuratively mixes different styles to create eclectic, innovative sound that is unlike any other contemporary dance music.

Some people claim they can’t stand dubstep based on one or two bad dubstep tracks they’ve heard, which brings to the surface the hard part of dubstep: finding the truly talented artists. Since the movement has been, until now, mainly underground, few pedigreed critics have had the chance to define what constitutes great dubstup; good and bad tracks sit side by side on YouTube or music-sharing websites. Though sifting through the genre to find its best moments can be a painstaking process, it’s a search with rich rewards.

The field of great dubstep is vast, and a diligent search on the web will reveal some pretty great music. Ultimately, dubstep is great for mainstream sound because it does for electronic music what progressive and alternative music did for rock: It delivers heightened complexity and beauty. Admittedly, this effect is not solely confined to dubstep, but it is one of several closely related genres like glitch and drum ‘n’ bass that are transforming dance music, turning it from a clichd set of simple beats into awesome music. The future of music—both electronic and pop—is looking bright and less and less people are calling it “Techno”.

To the “haters”, Dubstep is popular, not because it allows its fans to act trendier-than-thou, but because it’s one of the most exiting musical movements to emerge in years. Although you may only listen to Indie Pop, with pretty harmonies and worn out chord changes, some of us like our music to kick a little bit. Like it or not, you can’t deny that good Dubstep is intricately arranged and allows for repeat listens and advanced musicianship. Furthermore, your claim that you can’t dance to dubstep is simply not true. You will bare witness to it’s influence at any nightclub in Indianapols. It is everywhere and people are….wait for it…dancing.