Has anyone who’s into “dubstep” today even heard of, say, Kode9 or Peverelist? Do people who listen to Magnetic Man or upload “Skrillex” or “Excision” AMVs to Youtube even know about Skull Disco or Hyperdub? It’s like a whole generation of chavs (and their cousins on this side of the pond) somehow missed everything that happened over the past decade and just dug straight into Caspa and Roska’s macho choons instead. What began as a deeply underground, mysterious music now constitutes the soundtrack to a night out of high-fiving and roofie-slipping with the boys. Massive, perverse wobby basslines, glossy R&B vocals and polished production now define the genre, which bears no resemblance to what it was even three or four years ago. What happened?
None of this should matter to me as long as I still enjoy the sounds of “vintage” dubstep (Untrue still sounds like a masterpiece, Hyperdub’s singles output is still unfuckwithable), or as long as the creative pioneers of the genre keep putting out great music (see the most recent efforts from Mount Kimbie or Shackleton). But it annoys the hell out of me how the new audience for dubstep has redefined the genre (nu-dubstep?) and ruined the culture around it, turning it all into a complete joke, an internet meme that’s gone out of control and retroactively rendered a decade’s worth of cool music into something that people are now embarrassed to admit they listened to.
It was fun while it lasted.