Dubstep Dossier #2

Dubstep and drum-and-bass are kissing cousins, so it’s no surprise to see DnB producers slow down their breakbeats and get in on the subsonic fun. Both lend themselves to massive, enveloping tracks where bass, drums, and synths build and crash like the soundtrack for the Apocalypse, just at different tempos.

Mt Eden, a producer out of New Zealand, has successfully made the transition from DnB to dubstep by remixing and reworking a wide range of tracks. The key for Mt Eden (real name Jesse Cooper) is finding songs with a solid sense of atmosphere and melodrama, qualities that are accentuated by the addition of some wobble: Bat for Lashes’ “Daniel” and Imogen Heap’s “Let Go,” for example.

His track “Sierra Leone” relies on a sample from Freshlyground’s “I’d Like,” adding the original’s trademark ohhs and ahhs to an oscillating bassline and a jumpy backbeat:

Back in the UK, DJ Fresh (of DnB collective Bad Company) also seems to be moving in a dubstep direction. “Fight,” off his upcoming record Kryptonite, features cinematic strings and somber female vox until the chirps and squeals of a tortured synth enter the picture:

Dubstep pioneer Skream‘s nods to DnB are more apparent. His remix of La Roux’s “In for the Kill” (already a dubstep classic) descended into ravey madness with a huge breakbeat. His remix of Zomby’s “Float” is an even more overt DnB revival. The track (with its hilariously cumbersome title “Skream’s I was in infants school where were you in 92 mix”) is monumental: when the bass drops, you just may float off the dance floor:

With the emergence of dubstep and the re-emergence of drum-and-bass, songs that borrow from both genres are sure to be a staple for bass fanatics everywhere. And remember, don’t fear the wobble.

Bonus! Crossover Alert: Caspa – dubstep legend and frequent Rusko collaborator – lends his remix skills to Ludacris’ dance floor sensation “How Low” with fantastic results. Caspa replaces the original’s electro accents with a more bass-heavy feel, and gives the chorus a grinding beat that sounds just like the club-tech of Nadastrom’s remix of “A Milli.” Apparently, you can get even lower with dubstep.

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