Dubstep dates back to 1998, and originated in South London, United Kingdom. Since its inception, it has seen a tremendous growth not only as its own genre of music, but has also branched out into different forms within its own genre. (See our dubstep glossary). The sound has even infiltrated modern music as we know it, with several dubstep remixes of popular songs emerging, as well as the creation of original music featuring the distinct sound. I interviewed Journalist/Dubstep Expert Tom Dotan who reflected on his first exposure to the genre, why he thinks the genre is becoming prevalent in modern music today, and where he thinks it’s headed.
Why did you become interested in Dubstep?
I follow British electronic music and was interested in the precursors to dubstep, two-step and garage. Dubstep, as soon as it crossed my radar was the next step in my exploration through the genre.
What intrigues you about the genre?
It’s very primal and yet totally a product of technology. And it’s visceral, literally. You can feel it in your guts when it’s done right.
Why do you think Dubstep is popular amongst music fans?
I don’t know if popular is the word I’d use, I’m skeptical we’ll ever have a whole pop song done that slowly, and with a bass that distorted. But its peaking into the mainstream is probably because dubstep’s presence is so recognizable so quickly. Pop music is always looking for a signature riff, and dubstep is clearly that.
Do you think its infiltration into the pop world will affect its sound in the future?
Sure. Because dubstep is an amalgam of so many music styles and based on high-end audio technology it will naturally evolve and take in different influences, pop and otherwise.
Where do you see dubstep going? Where do you want it to go?
A musician like James Blake is a good example of what a post dubstep artist– more vocally oriented and less reliant on the “drop.” Remember, dubstep isn’t a new genre, by the time it caught on in America, it was almost 10 years old in the UK. We’re already living in the post dubstep world, despite the new popularity of artists like Skrillex.
Why did you create the Owl City video?
I was interested in mapping out the structure and pattern of a dubstep track; it comes with being a musician and boring music major. It was mostly for my benefit, I didn’t think anyone would really care (do they?). Plus if dubstep can give some soul to a plastic trinket like Fireflies, it must be worth delving into.
Anything you would like to add about dubstep?
Wub wub wubwuwuwuwuwuwwub wubwub voooom!
Also, check out Dotan’s video he created breaking down the components of the dubstep sound in the dubstep remix of Owl City’s hit song Fireflies below: