Thursday, April 2, 2009

Dubstep Allstars Vol.05: Mixed By N-Type (2007)

Dubstep is a relatively new genre of music with roots that can be traced back to the early 2K Garage Scene in the United Kingdom. Stylistically, it borrows elements from garage, grime, dub/reggae, and drum and bass to create a musical product that is often dark, sparse in rhythm, and bassy. Dubstep is still somewhat of an underground movement, but it has slowly been gaining popularity over the past few years thanks to moderate media attention. I was first introduced to dubstep a little over a year ago with the release of Burial's second album, Untrue. The album received so much critical praise and attention that I had to check it out. I didn't really know what to expect going in, but I wasn't too impressed, and the album remained on my computer untouched for many months to come. Several months ago however, something piqued my interest in dubstep again, and I gave Untrue another shot. I have since fallen in love with the album, and have been exploring this unfamiliar genre of music ever since (Burial's Untrue is probably one of the biggest gateways for new dubstep listeners).

Now when it comes to electronic music, usually the best way to get aquatinted with an unfamiliar genre is to listen to compilation albums. This allows you to get a general feel and explore different artists within the genre without having to acquire a bunch of different albums. This rings true especially for dubstep (any many other styles of electronic music), which revolves more around songs and tunes than full-length albums. The Dubstep Allstars series is one of the more popular (and respected) compilations in the genre, with new volumes being released on what is seemingly a regular basis. Many dubstep purists would probably want you to start with Volumes 1-3 of the series, or even The Roots of Dubstep compilation, but I'm going to tell you otherwise. And while I'm still new to the genre as a whole, Volume 5 is (to me) the most enjoyable of the series and probably the best place for a beginner to start. You can then start to identify particular artists/styles that you enjoy and move on from there. Even if you're already a dubstep listener (you haven't heard this yet?), it's still worth checking out.

Another few things I forgot to mention earlier: One of the cool things about these compilations is that they're mixed by producers from the dubstep scene (in this case, N-Type mixed Vol 5). So not only do you get to see what some of the more popular dubstep producers are digging, but all the tracks blend and transition seamlessly into one another. Perfect for extended listening. Also, to get the best listening experience for dubstep, a good soundsystem or a really nice pair of headphones is highly recommended. There's a lot of really low-end bass in there that might get lost or just cause distortion if your setup isn't up to par. Just something to think about.

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4 comments:

roces9 said...

I've been meaning to get into something like this lately...

Skyler said...

let me know how it goes, i'm interested to see how other people like this

Blake said...

I think Untrue is one of the best albums of all time. In all seriousness. It's one of those things that takes me over, immerses me so fully into a world and an atmosphere that I almost can't even listen to individual songs. Pinch is another cool dubstep artist... check out "Lazarus" or "Brighter Day". http://hypem.com/artist/pinch

Anonymous said...

everyone listen to 16 Bit. the song Chainsaw Calligraphy is the hardest hitting motherfucker of a dubstep song in existence