A Eulogy To Dubstep


28 Tuesday 28th October 2014

A lot of people blame Skrillex, and that's fair as well. If you spend ages cultivating an underground music scene in a Croydon bedsit, only to discover that the prick out of From First To Last has had enough of singing Emily and wants to give production a try, you're going to point the finger at him when it all goes south.

However, he recently sold out a 10,000 person capacity show, in which sixteen people went to hospital because they couldn't handle their mandy. This turn-out suggests that he might single handedly keep the scene alive, because it doesn't seem like anyone else is bringing in the cash. In a series of infographics representing the Beatport sales chart, Dubstep rapidly rose in 2008, peaked in 2011, and is pretty much back to the bottom in 2014. (Blame Beatport's infamous tagging system if you think these are wrong)

Notably, those so desperate to defend their dub are typically American who were a bit late to the electronic party. For one, they refer to going to Dubstep shows as raves, and wear neon and glitter to go "raving" in, which I can confirm from Facebook friends across the pond who like to partake in this sort of tomfoolery.

I haven't heard someone in the UK speak seriously about Dubstep since 2011, but maybe that's because the only time I immerse myself in Electronic music is when all my friends are going to Warehouse Project and I don't want to sit at home alone. I think we all know that Dubstep thrived and subsequently died in England at the same time another phenomenon was sweeping the nation, that one marked a plant fertiliser that rotted the UK inside out. That stuff was so bad for you it made Dubstep sound good. Think about that. 

My relationship with Dubstep has an exact start and end, August 2009 - May 2010, aka my first year at college. Sure I listened to little bits here and there before and after, but those months were spent abandoning my iPod classic for SoundCloud and attending, on more that one occasion, an under 18s night in which Borgore was headlining. The combination of being a bored teenager in the suburbs of London and starting a new college somehow caused me to give a shit about BPMs.

While I wasn't exactly coherent in mind at this stage of my life, I vividly remember listening to Coki on my blackberry as I wandered to AS Philosophy. Dubstep was at an all time high, sweeping over the youth as fast as New Rave. Suddenly basslines reserved for dodgy warehouse raves became the nation's easy listening.

While an intelligent genre, with high production value and craftsmanship, it did produce some truly awful bangers (shouts to the Lloyds TSB remix) However, no matter how hard I try, the following five songs will forever be ingrained in my memory, for better or for worse. 

Cragga - Mr Postman 

Nothing like taking a beautiful Motown classic and butchering it with the sounds of a distant future where forks are permanently stuck in your washing machine. Fun fact, this remix reminds me of such a truly awful period in my life that listening to the original Marvelettes classic over dinner one day caused me to have to leave the restaurant until it was over. 

Benga ft Coki - Night 

This was one for the end of the evening. Decidedly more chilled out than its counterparts, this repetitive number kept the K-Holed soldiers comforted. A numbing 6 minutes and 46 seconds of pleasant mental inactivity.

Rusko - Cockney Thug 

I loved a little bit of an intro to a dub step classic, maybe because it was the closest you'd get to lyrics, something I missed desperately in my diversion from anything with a normal musical structure. Rusko telling me to "WAKE THE FUCK UP" was probably sound advice. I should have woken the fuck up listened to some Nicki Minaj. 

Mt Eden Dubstep - Sierra Leone 

I always enjoyed Sierra Leone. It vaguely resembled a Pendulum song I liked lots when I was 14, and I fancied a boy who always played it. In retrospect it might've been a lust listen. Also in retrospect, it sounds like I'm slowly descending towards the end of the world. And not in a trippy out of body ketamine type way.

Borgore - Love 

I once spent £20 to see Borgore perform this:

"Cause I love your pretty smile
I love your needy style
I love to be able to see that you are glamorous from a mile
I love the way you look
I love the way you cook
I spend all the time watching your pictures on the facebook
'Cause I love to buy you flowers
I love our hot showers
I can watch you sleepin' for hours and hours
I love the way you dance
The way you shake that ass, 
but the thing I love most is cummin' on your face,
suck it bitch" 

I can't even begin to tell you how disappointed I am in 2010 me. I was on my friend's shoulders singing a long. If I could see 2010 me now, I'd punch her in the face. 

I'm sure these aren't all that different from anyone else's. Back then, It seemed harder to get your hands on any new Dubstep unless you were an expert on the genre. I admire those who are keeping this genre going. It's pretty hard to flog a dead horse, but Dubstep is definitively dead for me, RIP. 

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