When John Keane browsed the schedule for this summer’s music festivals he was less than excited. Dubstep artists had made their way onto the big-stage at rock concerts. While the summer is normally his favorite time because many great artists come to Chicago to play in the big festivals, the 19-year-old hates what dubstep has done to pop culture.
The online music website Last.fm describes dubstep as being part of the family of electronic dance music. Its overall sound has been described as “tightly coiled productions with overwhelming bass lines and reverberant drum patterns, clipped samples, and occasional vocals.”
Keane said he laments the addition of dub step artists to the summer concert lineup.
“They used to have more rock bands, but now they just want to make money. It’s not about the music anymore,” Keane said. “Dubstep artists don’t deserve a spot at venues like Lollapalooza. Real musicians practice for hours and hours. These so-called DJs mix a few beats and-boom!-instant hit.”
But not everyone shares Keane’s dislike of the electronic music.
“If you’re good and know how to do dubstep properly with the bass drops, the music feels nice and you can dance to it,” Vega said.
Producer and songwriter Jim Wilson has been making music around 10 years. He believes the trend is normal.
“What’s popular now is always what artists end up doing,” Wilson said. “It’s only natural.”
Wilson said when artists recognized the success of dubstep, it was easy for them to copy it and do it better. He has produced some dubstep songs, including one called Jazz Master.
“When I make dub step songs, I try to combine elements that no one else is doing, like jazz or something else. I want to make something that you can appreciate or something that you should appreciate because it’s dying. When you combine it with something popular, kids will listen,” Wilson said.
Thomas Brauer, a student at the Art Institute, agrees. He said he believes adapting to a new style or integrating trends into one’s art isn’t what solely defines singers, producers or artists.
“You can’t knock a painter for picking up a charcoal pencil and working with it. What’s the difference with a certain type of music?” Brauer said. He said he doesn’t understand why people are complaining that pop artists are turning to dubstep.
Wilson, the producer, said what’s happening now with dubstep also happened with other music styles.
“Auto tune has been around for a long time, but it took the last 10 years or so for it to explode. Those who weren’t doing it caught on and the craze just spread,” said Wilson. “Dubstep is just growing, just wait. The next 10 years will be unbearable.”
Wilson said he wants to change people’s view on dubstep or what they think dubstep should be.
“I want to expand it and make it something completely different and be apart of changing it for the better,” he said.
In the meantime, Keane said he’s waiting out the dubstep trend, wondering what the next big thing in music will be. But for now, said Keane, “Death to dubstep.”
- Year in Review 2011; Dubstep. (chaos878.wordpress.com)