“For Five Years, no one cared about it, no one was interested”

Astounding details to be found in Joseph Flatley’s essay on Dubstep over at The Verge.

Essentially, it’s pop.

To paraphrase Nick Lowe, it’s now music for now people.

Or, as Skrillex told the crowd at the Grammy Awards: “I guess there’s no formula or format any more. We can do whatever we want.”

Also has great details for the gearheads too:

Another popular trick is to take a MIDI track (MIDI containing no audio itself; it is basically a sequence of parameters such as velocity, pitch, note length, etc. that can be used to “play” any electronic instrument with MIDI input or any soft synth that understands MIDI commands) and connect it to two, four, or half a dozen or more instruments: mid-range lead synths, phased pads, samplers with growling electric punk rock bass samples and deep, dubby, low end bass samples. Everything moves together, the bass line doing double duty as a melodic line, while everything pulses and undulates sort of (but not entirely) out of sync with everything else. On the dancefloor, this isn’t a listening experience — it’s a whole body experience.

Required reading.

Author: Will Kuhn

I teach music technology to high schoolers. I do some other stuff too. @willkuhn on Twitter.

3 thoughts on ““For Five Years, no one cared about it, no one was interested””

  1. I have a few guitar students are into DubStep at least mildly. I just can’t get into it. I understand a fair amount of what DJ’s and, hesitant to say, musicians do to create it. I say it not out of cynicism, but I really don’t know any local musicians involved with it outside of the DJ realm. I have a neighbor across the street who started out as a Wedding/Party DJ and is now a club DJ complete with DubStep as part of his act now. Perhaps it’s my age but I’m not so far ahead that I can’t appreciate it. I remember when Techno as an umbrella term came on the scenes and appeared different and sometimes dumb IMO but it grew and I found acts and musicians that I came to admire and respect their catalog. Nick Lowe’s comment is probably spot on and I would say it’s modern Pop and part of the current Zeitgeist.

    1. My view is to get into the trends, even if it doesn’t get at you personally. As a music teacher, I have to know how to relate to my students, and being “in the know” in the kinds of music that they’ll eventually associate themselves with is a very important angle that I think too few teachers take.

      1. Oh for sure I totally agree. I would be a foolish teacher for not soaking at least some of it up. 🙂 If I don’t like something I might let them know. If I do I will tell them I respect it and/or understand it. I guess I was personally responding to DubStep. On the surface it appears to offer something that would appeal to me being a synth guy.

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