60 thoughts on “Maybe Dubstep Isn’t So Edgy Anymore – What’s Next?

    1. I personally believe that what is now known to be “dubstep” will soon go out, while a whole new outlook on the genre will arise. There will involve much more theory and melody will be a much bigger aspect of it. While some artists are imposing this style in some of their work now, I believe that it will be much more widely used in the future as the simple idea of all electronic music becomes a lot more excepted. People in general are just simply driven towards expanding what they already know and I think that this wave of “dubstep” as people know it is simply a good introduction for the masses to an infinite array of possibilities that will ultimately change music as we know it, incorporating theory and a true understanding of music with the intense euphoric feeling that intense drops and bass lines that are so popular in music today. Make that and I think its safe to say you will do ok. A good example is an up-and-coming artist by the name of StarChild. You can only hear his stuff on soundcloud but you can get somewhat of a feel for what I mean in his tracks. Here is the link for anyone who wants to hear it.


  1. You think Skrillex style dubstep (complextro) doesn’t involve music theory? Also, he was in a successful guitar band before switching to electronic music so he obviously has “musicianship”. I’m not even in a Skrillex fan but to hate on him like that is wack. Hate on him for letting his music be used in a cereal commercial, sure, but his music obviously takes skill.

    1. 1 – Whether he exhibited “musicianship” or not in another band doesn’t carry over into this piece of music. I find it to be the musical equivalent to camera shake in a movie, which means you are out of ideas.
      2 – I’m not “hating on” anyone. I simply don’t find much in dub step to like.
      3 – Yeah, it involves theory. At a very base level. Like 2 months of piano lessons maybe. I’m implying that if you took someone with the obviously impressive technical skills as the composer of this piece, and had them apply that through tools like harmony, melody, counterpoint, etc, think of how impressive this style of music could actually be. As it is, it would be fairly easy to write a script that randomly generated dub step that would pass for most of what I hear.

      1. rofl,
        “it would be fairly easy to write a script that randomly generated dub step that would pass for most of what I hear”
        from this i can see that some people are retarded and know nothing, but they act like they do! (this guy!)

        1. But could you write a script for the crispness of the drum samples or the feeling that a well timed pause can evoke? Or the hours of work that go into designing a great bass patch for your synth? No dubstep does not require any music background which is the beauty of electronic music (or any progressive music in general). Anybody can make ‘dubstep’ but not everybody can make a great track. You have to judge music artist by artist, not by genre.

  2. hate to be the genre police here but being a site for music professionals and serious hobbyists I thought you’d know your glitchhouse/complextro from dubstep. Come on!

  3. Mord Fustang has barely been around a year and he’s already managed to sell out. Shame, he was awesome when I saw him last week, he puts on a great show. Sad to see 🙁 Atleast the label he’s on is still cool.

    Regarding the video, I think Skream or Benga would probably put a bullet in their heads if they saw this video. Quite amusing to see how fast dubstep goes in and out of favor, I first heard of Skream some 4 odd years ago and now it’s come to this. Sad, really.

  4. This is no different than metal, new wave, or anything else, if the music style becomes popular in any way, the marketing people will find it and use it to be cool.
    That being said, Country line dancehall dubstep swing is the next big thing.

  5. It won’t be a trend because it takes more woodshedding than the neo-ADD populace can muster, but I’d LIKE to see it be a higher level of real-time playing. You can cobble together many great things in a DAW, no question, but that doesn’t come across with the same kind of juice as a guitarist really shredding well as you watch/listen. This ad was GREAT and big props to the girl for ringing the bell like a champion, but you will never be able to whistle the tune. IMO, “We” need less RAM and more whistling. If you can balance those two things well, you are already a genteel hero.

  6. Ok, first off… why are you eating cereal in your room. Secondly you’re going to clean up every single one of those feathers and you will be buying a replacement pillow with your allowance… and who are these three children in your bedroom at 8:00am?

  7. Meh, people make too big a deal out of “selling out”. It’s just a commercial, and it’s not like anyone making this music is pretending that they don’t want loads of money for it. How can you sell out when you’ve never been against it in the first place?

    Besides, this is way better than most of the ridiculous “complextro” videos out there. Teddy Bears would have made the Skrillex vid for “First of the Year” far more enjoyable.

  8. I never really “got” dubstep… It always seemed to me like a druggy hipster scene. To me, it’s like drum and bass, but without the variety of unique styles… Too many dub step songs sound exactly the same, and the wub wub bass thing gets annoying after a while. I’m not saying it doesn’t involve musicianship… It’s just not my scene.

    Hopefully the next big thing will be an electronic revival of the German “art song” period. I want prog. Lots of prog. insane counterpoint, ecolving melodies that modulate through the keys, things that are fun and challenging to both play and understand.

    My position is that if a 15 year old kid with no musical background can make a track that resembles yours with little effort in a DAW, it isn’t the “next big thing”

    1. “My position is that if a 15 year old kid with no musical background can make a track that resembles yours with little effort in a DAW, it isn’t the ‘next big thing'”

      I disagree as I think music should focus on aesthetics rather than calisthenics. Reserving judgment based on an artist’s technical ability is an untenable position to take if you think about it. Soon, we’ll be able to hook up devices to our brain and be able to make a perfect copy of the music we here in our mind. Then it’s 100% a matter of taste. If a 15 year old kid thinks baroque, than that’s what he/she will leave us with. How we judge music shouldn’t be dependent on the times we live in, in my opinion.

  9. I endorse the monocle-bear.

    Personally I’de like the Glitch Mob style of big, score-like glitchy house, to come a bit more into favor. i suck at making it, but it’s a fun style of music to listen to.

    1. I hadn’t heard of The Glitch Mob and decided to check them out since your description of them sounded pretty cool. Didn’t really like the first song I tried. Picked a second one, Between Two Points. Ho-leee shiiieeeeeeet! That one’s amazing!

      Thanks for the recommendation.

    2. Just herd some of that music you call glitch house, and I say I like it a lot only because I am into moby that is right moby because he did some number of years ago when it was called chill out or two-step.

      Bay the way if you know history of the goner it all started with them to styles so think again guys, bring back the trance thing, because every style of dance music now days sounds like or steels from trance, just hear the urban electro thing that suck bulls because it is just camisole trance in its short form, just listen to something form the 90s!!!!. P.S YOU ARE ALL SALE OUTS.

  10. well said goku – mirrors my thoughts on modern ‘edm’. Agression can be great and powerful in the right context, but I feel like most dub/brostep and electro house has just turned into a pissing contest about who can make the most ridiculous music.

    The past few years i’ve attended lots of festivals, the main thing i’ve noticed (apart from the mad drinks prices!) is how the compositional/performance quality of electronic music has gone downhill in favour of a ‘live for the drop’ mentality. Regardless of subgenres – all popular dance music now seems to follow this rule, there’s less soul and groove, more darkness, aggression and a reliance on nothing other than build+drop.

  11. Hahaha! The talk about musicians selling out is ridiculous. In real musical circles, being able to live off of the proceeds of your musical talent, (or lack there of), is often called success.

    As for skrillex, the music is decent, but for the most part, it’s music for chipmunks. I mean, must every track have pitched up vocals? It makes the shit unlistenable. I’m always waiting for him to sing about getting a hula hoop for christmas.

  12. This thread is my introduction to the term “complextro”. I’m not sure how feel about that word. I’m not a huge fan of getting super specific about categorizing things and fussing over ‘sub-genres’ and such. A half-tempo-ish groove at 70BPM and a blasticon wubbery bass is just that. I don’t see how making the bass sound bit more ‘complex’ or throwing some stutter-y cuts in warrants a whole new term.

    IDK – there are good ‘dubstep’ type artists out there, but the in-your-face-bass stuff that is so popular now is tiresome. The audience for a dude like Skrillex just seems like a bunch of frat guys on molly.

  13. I’m hearing lo-fi progressive electropop these days, mostly. But maybe I’m still in 2010.

    The rest of 2011 is going to see more analog synth/dancepop and disco, but 2012 is full of 80s-inspired digital pop with drum machines and sounds from the DX-7, D-50 and CZ-101, recreated on iPads.

    Here on Synthtopia, modular analog and 1970s-inspired jams (mixed in with some “Berlin School” and Jarre parodies) will continue to rule the blogwaves.

    1. Hopefully, 2012 will also bring us 80s style sounds made on real 80s instruments. There’s just something about those interfaces of the early digital synths and samplers that makes you work differently. And then you have the often crappy DA converters and aliasing. Digital has become too clean, time to go back to some of those old school instruments.

  14. “Soon, we’ll be able to hook up devices to our brain and be able to make a perfect copy of the music we here in our mind. Then it’s 100% a matter of taste. If a 15 year old kid thinks baroque, than that’s what he/she will leave us with.”

    That’s dumb. Nobody “thinks” a musical genre and then just “has” a song, thereafter taking hours to get out through the fingers and mouth! If the same person with that brain interface thought “house” would a building magically appear? Or if he thought “lunch” would a sandwich manifest itself? No! All music creation is a process. Even when an interface like that is available, it will still only be at best a freaky midi controller for moving knobs and buttons somewhere else. It’s this lack of respect for the process it takes to create anything of value in life that leads people to think music like this is somehow amazing.

    1. I agree completely. The creative process is being replaced with “play what sounds good.” It is a juvenile and uneducated way to experience music. That “brain wave” kid is missing out a huge part of music-making.

  15. If this is dubsteo then Amon Tobins ISAM would fall into the same category as he uses similar bass sounds but I would never call it dubstep

  16. I don´t mean to offend anyone, but honestly, Dubstep is the worst thing ever to happen to electronic music.

    Any kid willing to download an illegal copy of Massive and watch some tutorials on WUB will be able to write stuff like Skrillex does.

    True dubstep, though, is very musical and its melancholy is far from the wobble-frenzy in most dubstep productions nowadays.

    Just my 2 cents.

    Send hate mail

    1. “Any kid willing to download an illegal copy of Massive and watch some tutorials on WUB will be able to write stuff like Skrillex does..”

      Actually, no. You can hate on him all you want, but he’s very good at what he does. If “any kid willing to download an illegal copy of Massive” can make Skrillex quality stuff, then they would be. And they aren’t. because it’s considerably more difficult then you think. You sound like pretty much every other Skrillex hater there, you bash his skills but can’t reproduce his results.

  17. Wait… dubstep is edgy?? When was this? Seriously. The last radical development in electronica was *maybe* jungle… Production techniques do not a genre make. Or should we start retrofitting a genre tag for 80’s gated drum sounds? Let’s call “Philth.”

  18. oh please. dubstep was never edgy. It was “big” and commercial faster than anything before. It took a while for electroclash before it, and before it, was what, Digital hardcore?

    EVERYONE you meet likes dubstep. Ive said it before and Ill say it again, Industrial/EBM is the only genre that never got whored out* And never will. I honestly think its the fact that its A. hard to define, and B. Sorta suspiciously “german” and the recording industry is very very Jewish.

    *There was a slight push in the mid 80’s with front 242, front line assembly and the like on early MTV and on big labels, but not really, and certanly not on the massive scale we see today, and there was the mid -90’s push for Industrila Rock, to cash in on NIN, but that was mostly rock bands adding keyboards. My point still stands i think.

  19. Please, listen to “Yes : Gates of Delirium” . They combine amazing sonic textures, and brilliant musicianship. What we need today is for this sort of thing to happen, using today’s technology.

  20. Anyone who shits on dubstep for not using advanced music theory: the last time I checked, for instance diminished chords wasn’t counted as basic. Sure, not super-advanced, but not basic. I ponder if you were featured in one of skrillex’s songs: “you’ve got technicians here, making noise. No one is a musicoan. They’re not artists, because nobody can play the guitar!”

  21. Just because someone doesn’t know music theory doesn’t mean he/she can’t make music that moves people. A lot of “real musicians” are hating that some talented artists out there can do so much with so little. Oh and if you don’t like it, you can turn it off.

  22. guys, seriously?
    Music theory is called theory for a reason,
    There’s no Iron clad barriers that cant be overstepped,
    If everybody realized this and just made Music freely without a sense of urgency to compete with the latest trend, then the whole music scene would be a lot more original and versatile.
    That being said, Dub-step uses theory as much as any other EDM Genre,
    Don’t hate on dub-step, hate on the simple minded producers.
    Skrillex is obviously a very talented musician, hes just wierd and his music all sounds the same because that’s what sells.
    Stop worrying about ‘Genres’ guys, nothing new will ever come out of it.

  23. It’s funny how the actual music doesn’t change, it’s the perception that makes it “underground” or “mainstream.” I remember when my punk friends were telling me about Green Day. Two years later and they sold out apparently – same chord progressions, same music. The reality is “Dubstep” or whatever you want to call it is weird, hard music. The fact it’s been co-opted by marketers to increase share holder profits doesn’t mean anything. It’s a commentary on capitalism not music. I for one am at least sort of happy people are listening to something with wobbles, distorted nasty basslines and cybernetic sounds. It’s better than kids listening to Bieber.

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