What Is Dubstep?

DJ Skrillex performs at the Samsung Galaxy S III Launch hosted by Ashley Greene at Skylight Studios on June 20, 2012 in New York City.
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Dubstep is a genre of electronic dance music. The best way to recognize a dubstep track or mix is by the reverberating sub-bass that is present in most productions. The sub-bass is reverberated at different speeds to give a sense of movement and insistence.

Dubstep tracks are typically higher in beats per minute, ranging between 138 and 142 BPM typically. The style does not favor four-to-the-floor beats, instead relying on spaced, syncopated percussion to which the listener typically adds their own mental metronome.

By 2009, the genre found life through dubstep remixes of popular artists like La Roux and Lady Gaga. Artists such as Nero incorporate dubstep into their drum and bass and layer it with vocals to create a more accessible sound. Singer Britney Spears tapped into this trend in her 2011 song "Hold It Against Me," that features the sub-bass frequencies and syncopated beats during the bridge segment.

Origins of Dubstep

Arising in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the genre has lately seen a more pronounced foothold in mainstream music. Dubstep originated from dub remixes of 2-step garage that was taking over in London at the time. Remixers attempted to introduce new sounds into the 2-step genre, resulting in a sound that would soon require its own name. Dubstep, the word, is simply the combination of "dub" and "2-step".

The term dubstep began to be used about the year 2002 by record labels. It began to climb in popularity in 2005, breaking out with coverage in music magazines and online publications. Baltimore DJ Joe Nice is credited for spreading dubstep to North America.

Dubstep Artists

Skrillex, El-B, Oris Jay, Jakwob, Zed Bias, Steve Gurley, Skream, Bassnectar, James Blake, PantyRaid, Nero