No Dubstep!



Chris lives in Austin, TX, where he once shook Willie Nelson's hand.

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33 Responses

  1. Avatar Chris says:

    p.s. If you like Skrillex, that’s cool. My son and his friends all do as well. I don’t get it, but I’m being harsh here strictly to remain in character. And I actually have some Flux Pavilion and Diplo (though admittedly always with other DJs) in my rotation, though not much, and I have to be in the right mood for it. For the most part, it’s just not my thing, and I won’t even pretend to be the arbiter of what is and what is not good in popular music.

    For example, if this doesn’t keep you awake, nothing will (NparticularlySFW):

    • Avatar Glyph in reply to Chris says:

      Nooooo, you fooooool! Don’t you remember the Gret Dubstep Warz of 2013?

      NVR 4GT

      Dude, this is awesome. I particularly liked ‘bass over sub-bass over aneurysm’.

      I will be listening to the rest of these as soon as I am back at my computer. Distance was something I had liked and put in my eMusic queue, but I never got to download before I cancelled my subscription (which I am starting to regret). Joker I’ve heard, but not this track. And this is maybe the second time I have ever (knowingly) heard Skrillex? I know it’s totally shallow, but the name and haircut are a bit off-putting. FWIW, I wasn’t a huge Prodigy fan either, though “Smack” remains pretty relentlessly irresistible (see what I did there?)

      I read an interview with Skrillex a while back on P4k where he gushed about Aphex Twin, and specifically name-checked “Come to Daddy”.

      After watching the above video…well, yeah.

      • Avatar Russell Saunders in reply to Glyph says:

        I have seen that video once before.

        I did not enjoy it.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Glyph says:

        The first time I ever heard the brostep-style dubstep, my first thought was, “This is like Prodigy on meth.” And yeah, that Aphex Twins song is… it’s something.Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to Glyph says:

        Now I just want to have Millicent over for an Aphex Twin videothon.

        NSFW (language, and uh…more), but a hilarious parody of bling videos (that dance routine!):

        Definitely NSFS:CM-UT (Not Safe For Sanity: Contains Messed-Up Teletubbies):

      • Avatar Russell Saunders in reply to Glyph says:

        Oh, the irony. Of all the songs I’ve listened to from the main post and in comments, that’s the only one I’ve actually enjoyed outright. [Edited to reflect that I also liked the video featuring Anna Wise below.]

        I do not know what “bling” videos are, so perhaps I missed the amusing elements of the parody. I found the video, unsurprisingly… not enjoyable.

        Millicent loathed it. I can hear her muttering something along the lines of “pointlessly disturbing and disturbingly pointless” somewhere near my amygdala.Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to Glyph says:

        Tell me Millicent at least liked the Aphex-branded umbrella. She could get some good whappin’ in with that thing.

        By “bling” I just mean that “party/conspicuous consumption” video thing, especially common to rap videos, where the protagonist rolls around in some luxurious auto, with beautiful scantily-clad women and champagne everywhere, possibly with cash and gold falling like manna from heaven, often in slow-mo (and sometimes fish-eye lens).

        In the second Aphex video, it’s the repeated emphatic hip thrusts that get me. It’s just so WRONG.Report

    • Avatar Russell Saunders in reply to Chris says:

      Millicent has a very low tolerance for children used as props in entertainment for disturbing effect. She finds it both hackneyed and vaguely exploitative.Report

  2. Thank you for this. I have found myself wondering from time to time “What is this thing called ‘dubstep’?” And now I know! It is a thing of which, at best, I am not especially fond. And clearly I am Ancient Beyond Description, because those first three selections (particularly the third) were… unpleasant to me.

    Your description of the dubstep show, however, was a thing of beauty.Report

    • Avatar Chris in reply to Russell Saunders says:

      Russell, I picked the first 3 specifically because they’re jarring. If you are a fan of electronic music, I recommend checking out some of the later ones. Distance and Blackmill, in particular, are really mellow. They sound nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, like Skrillex.Report

      • Avatar Russell Saunders in reply to Chris says:

        I listened to both Distance songs, and while I found them pleasant enough, they’re not my thing. I prefer a stronger melodic line generally speaking.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Chris says:

        Ah, maybe I’ll get you next week. In fact, that will be my goal. In order to facilitate this, let me ask you really quickly, what do you think of this (this is related to the direction I was thinking of going next week):

      • Avatar Russell Saunders in reply to Chris says:

        Well, it’s unambiguously (at least in my opinion) beautiful. Her voice is gorgeous. It’s a bit melodically amorphous for my preference and a little down-tempo than I usually pick, but I would happily listen to it again.

        I fear my tastes are too pedestrian for this lot.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Chris says:

        Ah, I think I have you. Next week! Mwahahahaha… cough.

        Wise’s voice is so mesmerizing that I have to not listen to it or I will fall down a rabbit hole and listen to it all day. I cannot figure out why her band (that song is her working with a DJ; her band sounds rather different) is not listened to by more people.

        Then I play it with my girlfriend in the room and she says something like, “This is what you’re going to write about? Are you sure? This may just be a Chris thing. I’m not sure anyone else will like it.” Then I tell her to go listen to some Drake or something, and pout.Report

      • Avatar Russell Saunders in reply to Chris says:

        Poo. I cannot find anything by Ms. Wise on Spotify. Now I must see if I can find something she’s done with her band.Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to Chris says:

        Sidenote, but if anyone else was having an issue with Spotify crashing constantly, they seem to have rectified that with their most recent updates. I put Spotify on the iPad finally last night, which was cool because I can easily throw it from there to my AppleTV (which means I can listen to it on big-ass speakers). I got occasional dropouts, not sure if that was due to my WiFi or what.

        I THINK if I upgrade my OS, I can throw Spotify audio directly from my desktop to the AppleTV, which could mitigate dropouts; but not sure how I could remotely control the app itself then.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Chris says:


        Just kidding. Though I admit, as fans of both the rappers and the singer, I enjoyed that immensely. She also did a song with Kendrick Lamar.

        Anyway, if you can’t find anything by her band, just wait. Next week post may be entirely about Sonnymoon, because I’m quite serious, once I start listening to her voice I cannot stop.Report

      • Avatar Russell Saunders in reply to Chris says:

        Sonnymoon! Yes! I thought I had heard her voice before. You posted one of their videos before in comments somewhere, didn’t you?

        My recollection is that it was truly lovely.

        [Edited to add: Yes! They DO have Sonnymoon on Spotify, and I think the song was “Just Before Dawn.” I’ve got it playing now, and it. is. gorgeous.]Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Chris says:

        Russell, that was the song! The video is beautiful as well.

        Now I definitely know what I’m writing about next week. At the very least, I can tell my girlfriend, “Hey, Russell likes it too. It’s not just a Chris thing.” Though “Just Before Dawn” is still pretty different from much of their stuff, which is more jazzy/soul-ly.Report

      • Avatar Russell Saunders in reply to Chris says:

        I’m squeezing in songs during breaks in studying, and I am loving it so far. “Greatness” is glorious.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Chris says:

        Dude, by listening to this music you are ruining next week’s post! Ruining it!

        (I’m kidding, of course. I’m actually very glad you’re enjoying it.)Report

      • Avatar Russell Saunders in reply to Chris says:

        Crap! I can stop! I have actually only gotten to “Greatness” so far, having been sidetracked by other tasks and pastimes since.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Chris says:

        Russell, no no, listen away. I was just being silly. My parents in town this weekend, so I may not be able to do Ms. Wise and my crush on her voice justice next week, so it may have to wait another week anyway.

        I recommen ‘Kali,” “Goddess,” and if Spotify has it, “Elizabeth” after “Greatness.” “Near Me” is also pretty awesome.Report

  3. Avatar Glyph says:

    That Trifonic vocalist has a very pretty (and very, very familiar – it’s driving me crazy) voice. Not sure what makes it dubstep though, it just sounds like dance/pop/club musi….oh wait, THERE’S the wub.

    Yeah, I def. like Distance; of all these tracks, it’s got the most dub in its step (well, it and that Nyabingi, which I see is on Scuba’s label).Report

    • Avatar Chris in reply to Glyph says:

      Amelia June is the name of the vocalist on the Trifonic song. I don’t really know much about her other than that she’s featured on songs by a few other artists I have in one form or another.

      Also, the Trifonic song is specifically a dubstep remix. Trifonic does do some explicitly dubstep stuff pre-remix, but I include them mostly as dubstep-related rather than as dubstep proper. I definitely discovered them through dubstep.

      Here’s the original “Lies”:

  4. Avatar Katie says:

    Your teenage mentors forgot this one.

    • Avatar Chris in reply to Katie says:

      I know my son listens to Datsik, and I thought about using the Datsik remix of the Diplo song, but man, 3 is enough of the “basics.”

      That particular track is incredibly disorienting. I’m imagining it live, and I can almost feel the lining of my stomach peeling off with the vibration. Talk about “sub-bass.” That takes you down to near liminal frequencies.Report

  5. Avatar dhex says:

    i think brostep is best understood as when trance went back to junior high, rather than a dumb u.s. version of the children of grime.Report

    • Avatar Glyph in reply to dhex says:

      I remain unconvinced that trap isn’t basically a US take on grime.

      And I kind of alluded to this the other day, but I’m not sure there’s really that much conceptual difference between, say “Stigmata”, and Prodigy, and Skrillex.

      At heart, it’s all music for teenage boys who wanna break stuff. That I like “Stigmata” and not those two others quite as much is probably primarily a function of age.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Glyph says:

        A lot of the DJs who do trap and dubstep (sans brostep) also do grime anyway. In my ear, they end up bleeding together a lot of the time. If I here the wub wub, I just say dubstep. Everything else, I just guess.Report

  6. Avatar Maribou says:

    Despite how utterly charming it is, I am looking at your old man getting off the lawn pose in this post with a really big o.O because dude. This is the music I started listening to right after I got out of college. (Alienation that makes you want to dance is REALLY good for late nights when your new husband is at work in your new town where you don’t know anyone, everything closes at 9 pm, and you’re not even from this country.) I listened to dubstep more back then than ever since, and Jaybird and I are *thisclose* to our 15th wedding anniversary, so this post does not compute.

    Age- wise that is.

    Musically it computes just fine. Will be working my way through all of this tomorrow (though I expect to turn off the Skrillex about 5 seconds in. Maybe it’s one of those things like the cell phones that only teenagers can hear, where if we could pick up those higher frquencies, it’d be tasty??).

    Also, other people who think of dubstep as “the music of my twenties” might enjoy this hour-long mix by Pinch – no track newer than 2007.Report