Thursday, May 22, 2008

I Call It Dubtec.

The amalgamation of two genres and two sounds, both with very different origins has started to materialise. The Berlin Dub Techno scene has been around for over 15 years now, with the godfathers of the metallic Techno sound, Basic Channel, (Pictured) having influenced everyone in the electronic scene since their inception in 1993. Since then they have created era defining Techno, dubbed out House and Electronic Reggae all with the metallic shards of sound that became their signature and which has been imitated by so many.

Dubstep has its origins in a very different place. Out of the UK Garage/2 Step scene in the late Nineties emerged two separate genres. Grime, with its influences from Hip Hop and its utilisation of the MC as the main focus for the music and Dubstep, with its influences coming from Drum 'n' Bass and Dub Reggae. The commercial strains of 2 Step have been totally bred out from Dubstep's genetic structure, this has led to innovation and exploration of Bass and rhythm that now shares Techno's passion for innovation and pushing boundaries of sonic exploration.

Recently however a divide in the genre has become more evident. like Drum 'n' Bass a decade ago, Dubstep is becoming fractured between the heavy sounds and punishing bass for the dancefloor and the deeper strains which which are starting to be influenced by the Techno scene. One could argue that it all started with Ricardo Villalobos' remix of 'Blood On My Hands' by Shackleton, a tune which was already heading into deeper sonic territory than previous Dubstep offerings.

There are a new crop of artists emerging that are taking the Dub Techno influences to produce music that now seems a logical merger between the two sounds. Artists from the Bristol scene including Shackleton himself, Skull Disko co-founder Appleblim, and artists Peverelist and (dutch producer) 2562, both on Pinch's Tectonic label are merging Techno influences to create a new hybrid of Dubstep. I like to call it Dubtec.

Shackleton and Appleblim have always cited Basic Channel as a big influence and now what with Shackleton moving to Berlin and Appleblim being shown the 'secrets' to the Basic Channel sound from the Hardwax crew, and remixes by both camps now doing the rounds, this amalgamation of sound is set for a very interesting future.

Check the following releases to hear what I'm talking about.

Appleblim and Peverelist - Circling // Skull Disko 008

2562 - Channel Two // Tectonic

Peverelist - Junktion // Tectonic

Appleblim has just mixed Vol 6 of Dubstep Allstars. Buy.
The new album 'Aerial' by 2562 is released on Tectonic on June 2nd. Buy. Check out the review at FACT
Buy Peverelist and listen to his remix of Pole here.

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Call it what you want, dubstep still sucks.

Let's run down the reasons:

1) Most dubstep is IDM wankery at the expense of danceability
2) Following the same route that DNB lamentably followed, dubstep has mutated from 2-step and the first few Tempa releases to become nothing but a "my bass is bigger than yours, my effects more prominent in the mix" dick waving contest
3) Similar to the worst of the "broken beat" phenomenon it's a way for stuck up techno snobs to get away with still liking music
without a four on the floor kick
4) Perhaps my biggest problem with dubstep is that I desperately want it to be dance music, like 2-step or jungle, but it's just not. it's listening music, chill out music, and even though I love ambient and downtempo, dubstep almost always
ends up being ultimately disappointing.

The exception to prove the rule: I do particularly like what I've heard of Deadbeat's Journeyman's Annual album.
Strong words there CZ.

Although I agree that Dubstep is becoming way too hard for its own good and this will lead to a split in the scene, I have to say that if you have never been to DMZ then you have no idea what you are talking about. Dubstep not dance music? Fuck off.

The best innovation is still going on in the more 'mellow' strains, this could also be said for Techno in the 1990's and 00's

And as for thinking that Psytechno (read Trance) is innovative then that is just laughable.
Wow, that's what Basic Channel looks like? I'd never seen a photo of them before - part of me half-expected than any photo of them would end up turning black or maybe some shadowy blur like those photos of Bigfoot or Loch Ness. But they look so normal...

Disillusionment aside, this was a great post.
Love this stuff. Music needs to fuse and mutate to stay vital. Thanks for posting. Two great tastes that go together: Dubtec forever!
Well, I never once said psytechno was innovative, did I? All I said was that the current minimal techno sound owes a great debt to the artists in the psytechno realm, specifically those who were using Ableton early on. Also I draw a clear distinction between trance and what I call psytechno. I'm referring specifically to timbre, rhythm, and effects similar in mnml and some psytechno (not trance). Chances are you haven't heard the stuff I'm talking about, just as I haven't heard any of this so-called "hard" dubstep. Most of what I have heard has been ambient/downtempo with scant resemblance to 2-step, its danceable (and fun) elder brother.

Perhaps rather than telling me to eff off, you could point me in the direction of a dj set that exemplifies the most danceable dubstep? :)

Until then, dubstep (mostly) still sucks.
Go watch Rusko play a set. Although in style it maybe a far cry from what this post is about, for me he portrays dubstep as a dance genre better than anyone. Commercial, accessible, call it what you like, its fun and enjoyable to dance to, which is the sole purpose of dance music.
solid gold - any idea where i can hear a set of this rusko fellow online? i'm in new york, ny, usa, and i'm guessing dude is in the UK? there's a club here that does a regular dubstep night, maybe i'll keep an eye out for him as a guest dj.
This comment has been removed by the author.
here's his latest mix -

i think before you pass judgement on dubstep not being dance music, you would have to go to a good dubstep night with good sound.

FWD which is on weekly in London, or as the man says, DMZ if you want to do it properly. it's on at mass in brixton.

cs - i would say skream is one of the most danceable [], have a listen to the new steppa's delight compilation too, particularly Ikonika - Please

so if appleblim and peverlist are 'dubtech', what's vex'd?
and kode 9?

"i think before you pass judgement on dubstep not being dance music, you would have to go to a good dubstep night with good sound."

while i see what you're getting at, it is a logical fallacy for these two reasons:

1) though i understand and appreciate the appeal of a perfectly tuned club sound system (probably more than 99% of the general population) i do have quite a sufficient sound system at home.

2) if music is going to make me want to dance, it's just as likely to make me want to dance on the train platform, or in my living room, or waiting in line for the grocery store, or while washing dishes, or while in bed.
CZ Why are you even having this debate? just so that you can still say Dubstep is not dance music (and therefore shit) despite having not heard it on a real club system with the power to make you internal organs shake. My favourite dubstep is still for home listening.

Not all electronic music is for the dancefloor.
dupstep still sucks,

some observations:

-not at all fun party music, That is why it is so hype! Party music that aint party music! Get it!
Ain't going to play it at my party . you should not play it at yours.

The talent comparisons of Dubstep DJ music often sounds like comparing the fine subtleties of bad PA feedback from the bass player who masturbates a lot. Listen and read the blog posts..
this dude's track went boom.
His whoommp was so hard, I left the club soaking wet.

The dubstep wizard?
Pull the curtain back Opps the eletronic wizardry and tomfoollery software is exposed...
The magic is a computer program not the DJ..

it is not dance music, stop telling me it is. but it is but it isn't Well it sinsn't but you can dacne to it. HUH? . Do you really know. Or do you even know how to dance? (i know.. and yeah I know you know this one dude who did a track you could dance too..)

Maybe that is why going to a Dubstep show is comparable to watch a DJ masturbating his knob to a bunch of suburban white kids who are learning to dance. I know they are trying real hard god bless them lil' rug rats. (I know you guys keep telling me it is not dance music, so why do they keep trying to play it in dance clubs?)

Sure i like tripping balls and chilling out to some good sounds Dubstep is good BACKGROUND music. Dubstep sometimes fits the bill. But I am sick of hearing that it is the next HUGE thing. NOT! (read background music sentence over and over till you get it.)

Girls don't dance to it, that means it doesn't put them in the sexy sexy mood. It is dude music.
Or you will only hook up with girls with blown eardrums. Or maybe you can only see yourself having a sex with a girl who has her hands covering her ears. you will never have sex if you keep listening to it. I promise.

If it only sounds good on a dance club sound system but it aint dance club music. Why would your go to a dance club to listen hear it? Really Your intelligence is 11 on the spinal tap scale. .

And why does it have to be played so loudly to bee good? So loud that it hurts my ears feelings. How can you appreciate the subtleties when you can't hear yourself think?

I have heard some of the most popular and prevalent acts in Dubstep in various clubs and my response is

aint music meant to be an expression of life.
the joy the pain, the love.
all without a soul. The music ain't talkin about nothing. what is the point?
( I know there is not point you dubheads keep telling me that) dub step response is shallow mumble:

it still sucks ass!

Whoever left the last comment was right to do so anonymously.

Perhaps given the childish nature of this inane drivel, the author didn't wish to disclose their identity for fear of being grounded for using the Internet past their bedtime.
good post! I seem to always find myself inbetween these 2 genres when I'm looking for what I think is dubstep, but it's really morphing into different things at the seams... where it's more interesting anyway. peace, Matt
I should also mention I blabbed a bit about the same topic here... The more I've listened to the compilation I tend to appreciate the Appleblim tracks a bit more... stranger in a way.

Sam Shackleton & Accidental Genre Collisions
Anonymous u are fucking mad where are u from ? i bet usa. fucking suburban kids shit its from croydon im not the biggist dub fan but is a new sound thats gone global i remember how the style developed from breaky garage u even know big apple records where it stared.The only thing fucked up about dubstep is smoking ban in clubs
things i've seen dubstep do.

1. divide crews who at one point had the same goals

2. clear dancefloors time after time.

3. subvert dnb/jungle

4. bring wankster vibes/attitudes

5. destroy sound equipment

the only thing good about it is that it gives dj's with no talent or dedication something to waste their time on rather than further ruin dnb/jungle which is what they would still be doing otherwise
yeah being a 10 year dnb dj and hearing plenty of dubstep djs of all different shapes, sizes and styles it has NEVER hit me or made me want to get off my drunk ass and dance like a proper dnb dj can.. i respect the style (i even book dubstep djs at my events) i just don't understand the hype..
I fucking HATE dubstep, everyone likes it and it sounds like fucking dogshit.
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