Dubstep: Love or hate?

Artists like Skrillex have enjoyed great success through dubstep

Chris Young

Unless you have been living under a rock you must now be aware of the musical movement known simply as dubstep.

The Oxford Dictionary definition of dubstep is: a form of dance music, typically instrumental, characterised by a sparse, syncopated rhythm and a strong bass line.

Dubstep has been labelled the marmite of music – you either love it or hate it – and it has sparked a number of debates online and among students.

Dubstep can be traced back to the 90s and it is seen as an offshoot of garage or grime music.

It first gained substantial attention in 2009 when artists such as Skream and Skrillex broke into the mainstream.

It has since spread like wildfire, with dubstep acts springing up everywhere, such as Nero, Katy B and Chase & Status.

Conor Mathieson, 19, a bartender and long-time fan of dubstep, defends the genre by saying: “It’s fantastic, how can you not like it? The bass is amazing and most of the songs are just tunes. The people who say it’s a racket have no idea what they’re talking about.  Its music you can just get absolutely lost in and throw yourself about to. What’s not to like?”

If you have not been put off by some of the opinions, here is an example of dubstep by Skrillex.

Many students feel the same as Conor, including Martin Craig, 19, who says: “I’m a big fan – you can’t beat a heavy bass.”

Jason Stott, 18, also agrees, saying: “It’s pretty good once you get into it, especially the whole interlude bit.”

Voicing a very different opinion is Steven Munro, 19, who says: “To me it’s just a bunch of noise – there’s not even a coherent beat to it. It’s just a random array of different beats and bloody synthesisers.”

There are plenty of others who agree with Steven.

Rebekah Rooney, 19, says: “Dubstep is just hundreds of different bass lines.”  While Jamie Martin, 19, says: “Dubstep is basically two songs being played at once.”

So it seems that dubstep is one of the most controversial genres of music in recent times and many are still debating as to whether it is a legitimate style of music or just a lot of loud noise.


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