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Dubstep emerged from the streets of South London, particularly Croydon, in the early 2000s. Born as a UK garage offshoot, it was a musical alchemy blending 2-step rhythms, dub production, and flavours of broken beat, grime, and drum and bass. Dubstep’s roots can be traced back to the Jamaican sound system scene of the early 1980s. Dubstep is defined by its syncopated beats, heavy bass lines and dark, brooding soundscapes. The rise of this underground movement can be attributed to the influential broadcasts on Rinse FM, and the legendary nights such as “Croydub” and “FWD>>”.

The term “dubstep” was officially embraced by record labels like Big Apple, Ammunition, and Tempa around 2002, marking the distinction from its predecessors, 2-step and grime. As the mid-2000s rolled in, Dubstep began spreading far and wide and the late 2000s and early 2010s marked dubstep’s rise to commercial success in the UK. It was at this time, in 2009, that our Dubstep channel was launched with Black Sun Empire’s Hyper Sun being our first upload.

Producers started experimenting, fusing dubstep with various other styles, giving birth to subgenres like future garage and post-dubstep. While in the US more intense and aggressive subgenres helped dubstep take hold. Today, dubstep remains a powerhouse in electronic music, with its distinct beats, mind-bending basslines, and a legacy that continues to inspire artists and bassheads around the world.

SUBGENRES

Dubstep, born from the UK’s electronic music scene, has expanded into a spectrum of subgenres, each with its own identity. Riddim, characterised by minimalistic and repetitive bass patterns, places a strong emphasis on rhythm, creating a hypnotic atmosphere. Brostep, originating in the United States, took a more intense turn by incorporating heavy, distorted bass drops and dramatic sound design, appealing to a wider, more mainstream audience. 140 takes us back to the genre’s early days, featuring slower tempos, deep basslines, and a dub-influenced sound palette that emphasises spaciousness and sub-bass frequencies. Colorbass, focuses on vibrant and experimental sound design, often incorporating unconventional elements to create a vivid and colourful sonic experience. Together, these subgenres showcase the diverse evolution of dubstep, ranging from its roots in the UK to its global influence, encompassing a wide range of sounds and styles.

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