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Posted by buzz_clik (6921 posts) -

WARNING: I'm probably about to come across as a total dubstep hipster, and in all likelihood one not as informed as he likes to think. Also, to be fair, I don't mind laughing at the world of dubstep, and I don't mind laughing off the people who laugh at dubstep. Man, that was rambling bollocks. Let's all just forget it and kick this off with some Dubstep Hipster Cat, shall we?

It's been interesting/weird/a bit of a bummer to watch dubstep fall into the clutches of popular media. I'm not saying this because I think it's a sacred art form that the masses shouldn't have access to because they don't get it. Nope, I just fret that the crazy oversaturation of the genre will leave me bored and sick of the sound of something I once enjoyed so much.

I've loved dubstep for years now (there, I've ripped that hipster band-aid right off) and, while I don't think I'm as immersed in the culture as some others, I'm pretty sure I'm well-versed enough to launch into this rant. Sure, I'm not really into things like Burial, which is what many alleged purists will swear is the only form of dubstep that matters (and bless them for making sure I'm not the biggest wanker on this topic). I'm more into the bombast that the trappings of the so-called "ravestep" style has to offer, such as the songs of Nero and Metrik.

Speaking of Nero, it's one of their songs that lit the fire under my motherblogging arse on this occasion. You've probably seen the trailer for Borderlands 2 by now, and you may or may not know that the song used is "Doomsday" by the aforementioned dubstep duo. The thing is, we'd already heard that song being used mere days before for another game's trailer, namely Armored Core V.

Pretty sure this guy would say the definition of insanity is listening to the same dubstep tunes over and over again.

Herein lies a problem for me. While I certainly don't begrudge Nero the success they're experiencing with their Welcome Reality album – hell, I bought a copy and love it – the worry is that this success is going to lead to their stuff being used every-fucking-where. And when that happens, it's obvious that the impact is diminished. Same thing goes for 16Bit's awesome remix of Noisia's "Machine Gun" which was used in the Far Cry 3 trailer and... oh, somewhere else, I forget now. Side note: GUYS, I CAN'T WAIT TO PLAY FAR CRY 3

So high profile acts are (deservedly) taking their place in the spotlight, meaning they've caught the ear of game companies wanting to pimp their own product. How is this a bad thing? Well, apart from crushing us all under the weight of a relentless barrage of fat drops, to me it just seems lazy and pandering, especially now that the same songs are starting to appear in separate trailers. For my money it just makes the software companies look a bit "me too" and less clued-in than they want to appear. I'd have less of a problem with this whole dubstep-is-in-every-trailer phenomenon if they were picking dubstep tunes that people didn't know about and hadn't heard before.

Dubstep's recent rise within gaming and wider culture has also led to people labelling anything with big, fuck-off industrial beats and wibble-wobble bass (including Nero's "Doomsday") as "dubstep" so I'll just give you a quick rundown. Dubstep is not the name of the sound, although the different subgenres do have their distinct traits. Dubstep is not electro house, breakbeat or drum 'n' bass that uses the same instruments. It's also not the easy-to-confuse-with-dubstep style of drumstep. Dubstep is usually around 140bpm, with the main snare hit typically coming on the third beat of each bar, and a bar in this case usually being groups of four beats... but now I'm probably coming across as really fucking patronising, so it's probably time to wrap things up.

This blog was a lot more "vomit onto page" than the blogs I usually like to post, so sorry if it comes across a bit long-winded and disjointed. To conclude, I'm going to put forth some dubstep tunes that I think would make cracking alternatives for game companies, should a dubstep soundtrack be completely unavoidable for the trailer you're making:

"Raise Your Weapon (Noisia Remix)" by Deadmau5 - Yes, I know I've just railed against well-known acts stealing all the glory, but I don't think this tune is as well known as other songs written by either party involved. A beautiful-yet-sinister slice of greatness, I always imagine this in the trailer for some scorched-earth-space-marine kinda game.

"Armored Core" by Reso - Wouldn't this be a no-brainer for... oooh, I don't know, AN ARMORED CORE TITLE?

"Dirty Disco" by Zomboy - This one's pretty Skrillex-y, but I still love it to bits. Fun tune.

"Chutney Grip" by Schema - A hard hitting, tightly-wound little gem. I always imagine imagine mechs fucking shit up when I hear this song.

Moderator
#1 Edited by buzz_clik (6921 posts) -

WARNING: I'm probably about to come across as a total dubstep hipster, and in all likelihood one not as informed as he likes to think. Also, to be fair, I don't mind laughing at the world of dubstep, and I don't mind laughing off the people who laugh at dubstep. Man, that was rambling bollocks. Let's all just forget it and kick this off with some Dubstep Hipster Cat, shall we?

It's been interesting/weird/a bit of a bummer to watch dubstep fall into the clutches of popular media. I'm not saying this because I think it's a sacred art form that the masses shouldn't have access to because they don't get it. Nope, I just fret that the crazy oversaturation of the genre will leave me bored and sick of the sound of something I once enjoyed so much.

I've loved dubstep for years now (there, I've ripped that hipster band-aid right off) and, while I don't think I'm as immersed in the culture as some others, I'm pretty sure I'm well-versed enough to launch into this rant. Sure, I'm not really into things like Burial, which is what many alleged purists will swear is the only form of dubstep that matters (and bless them for making sure I'm not the biggest wanker on this topic). I'm more into the bombast that the trappings of the so-called "ravestep" style has to offer, such as the songs of Nero and Metrik.

Speaking of Nero, it's one of their songs that lit the fire under my motherblogging arse on this occasion. You've probably seen the trailer for Borderlands 2 by now, and you may or may not know that the song used is "Doomsday" by the aforementioned dubstep duo. The thing is, we'd already heard that song being used mere days before for another game's trailer, namely Armored Core V.

Pretty sure this guy would say the definition of insanity is listening to the same dubstep tunes over and over again.

Herein lies a problem for me. While I certainly don't begrudge Nero the success they're experiencing with their Welcome Reality album – hell, I bought a copy and love it – the worry is that this success is going to lead to their stuff being used every-fucking-where. And when that happens, it's obvious that the impact is diminished. Same thing goes for 16Bit's awesome remix of Noisia's "Machine Gun" which was used in the Far Cry 3 trailer and... oh, somewhere else, I forget now. Side note: GUYS, I CAN'T WAIT TO PLAY FAR CRY 3

So high profile acts are (deservedly) taking their place in the spotlight, meaning they've caught the ear of game companies wanting to pimp their own product. How is this a bad thing? Well, apart from crushing us all under the weight of a relentless barrage of fat drops, to me it just seems lazy and pandering, especially now that the same songs are starting to appear in separate trailers. For my money it just makes the software companies look a bit "me too" and less clued-in than they want to appear. I'd have less of a problem with this whole dubstep-is-in-every-trailer phenomenon if they were picking dubstep tunes that people didn't know about and hadn't heard before.

Dubstep's recent rise within gaming and wider culture has also led to people labelling anything with big, fuck-off industrial beats and wibble-wobble bass (including Nero's "Doomsday") as "dubstep" so I'll just give you a quick rundown. Dubstep is not the name of the sound, although the different subgenres do have their distinct traits. Dubstep is not electro house, breakbeat or drum 'n' bass that uses the same instruments. It's also not the easy-to-confuse-with-dubstep style of drumstep. Dubstep is usually around 140bpm, with the main snare hit typically coming on the third beat of each bar, and a bar in this case usually being groups of four beats... but now I'm probably coming across as really fucking patronising, so it's probably time to wrap things up.

This blog was a lot more "vomit onto page" than the blogs I usually like to post, so sorry if it comes across a bit long-winded and disjointed. To conclude, I'm going to put forth some dubstep tunes that I think would make cracking alternatives for game companies, should a dubstep soundtrack be completely unavoidable for the trailer you're making:

"Raise Your Weapon (Noisia Remix)" by Deadmau5 - Yes, I know I've just railed against well-known acts stealing all the glory, but I don't think this tune is as well known as other songs written by either party involved. A beautiful-yet-sinister slice of greatness, I always imagine this in the trailer for some scorched-earth-space-marine kinda game.

"Armored Core" by Reso - Wouldn't this be a no-brainer for... oooh, I don't know, AN ARMORED CORE TITLE?

"Dirty Disco" by Zomboy - This one's pretty Skrillex-y, but I still love it to bits. Fun tune.

"Chutney Grip" by Schema - A hard hitting, tightly-wound little gem. I always imagine imagine mechs fucking shit up when I hear this song.

Moderator
#2 Posted by MasturbatingestBear (1188 posts) -

I just always thought dubstep was dumb and don't see why it's enjoyable. The only reason I could see someone enjoying it for is to hear crazy remix's of old tv show intro songs or something.

#3 Posted by Willin (1279 posts) -

My retort: 
 
  

#4 Posted by buzz_clik (6921 posts) -

@MasturbatingestBear: I like all types of music, with the possible exception of C&W. In my teenage years I was listening to metal and industrial music a lot. Then when I started getting into electronic music it was drum 'n' bass (among other things such as straight progressive/house and later breakbeat) which I thought was a pretty good parallel. While I think D&B is the thrash metal of the electronic/dance scene, dubstep is more the industrial side of things, and that's why I dig it so much.

Moderator
#5 Posted by MasturbatingestBear (1188 posts) -

@buzz_clik: See I think my problem with it is just that, the bass. I love bass, I have an obsession with bass in music. But I mean that in the more traditional sense of a bass guitar. I'm not a fan of dubstep because it relies so heavily on this bass that just doesn't sound right to me.

#6 Posted by buzz_clik (6921 posts) -

@Willin: Well, I'm confused. Who's that a retort for? @MasturbatingestBear?

Moderator
#7 Posted by Absolute_Zero (242 posts) -

Hopefully this trend will simply cycle out and we'll have another genre of music be run into the ground. :P Also, that Bionic Commando remix link is down.

@Willin: I don't get it. What exactly are you retorting to? Are you saying you disagree with his assessment of the oversaturation? Or that the tunes he suggested are bad and that the remix you linked to is good? Or some other third thing.

#8 Posted by EarlessShrimp (1631 posts) -

@buzz_clik: you forgot to add the part when the LFO comes and the producer could utilize sine waves to create those clean wobbly bass-lines of dubstep's olde tyme days! I will say, I'm unsure as to how this whole dubstep culture will end up, but I don't mind this mid-range synth stuff around, I guess it's all in where you look?

#9 Posted by buzz_clik (6921 posts) -

@Absolute_Zero: Ha! Fixed. Thanks, mate.

Moderator
#10 Posted by Ragnarok512 (160 posts) -

I really enjoy dubstep, but one thing really bugs me. There is far too much remixing going on. Hearing four different versions of a single song (Raise your Weapon is a good example) is tiresome, regardless of how good those remixes are. A dubstep remix of a dubstep song starts getting real weird.

#11 Posted by buzz_clik (6921 posts) -

@Ragnarok512: For me a good remix turns one song into a completely different one - I'm talking tonally and not genre-wise, although great remixes will bend even that aspect. That's why I love that Noisia one; I actually don't like the Deadmau5 original that much, to be honest, because it seems kinda chintzy by comparison.

But yeah, I understand where you're coming from. It doesn't help that a lot of dubstep-remixes-of-dubstep don't bring anything new to the sound and it all seems a bit perfunctory.

Moderator
#12 Posted by Sweep (8822 posts) -

Lovestep.

Moderator
#13 Edited by CookieMonster (2416 posts) -

The mentioning of Burial anywhere always leads to me putting Untrue on. Thanks for reminding me how good he is.

#14 Edited by Animasta (14648 posts) -

fuck dubstep, we need more triphop trailers. that metro last light one with portishead was amazing.

#15 Posted by Pezen (1562 posts) -

Yeah, the dubstep saturation in trailers (even outside of video games) is becoming rather strange and often times (as you note) repetitive choices. And I can certainly see what you're talking about with your metal comparison. As someone who always liked metal and especially the ompf of great double bass drums and such, going into some "brostep" or whatever elitists like to call it is very similar in it's essence of power and energy, something often lost on me in general electronic music. Sure, some electronic music can display power in the machinery sense, but not that kinetic blast kind of way.

And as a side note; I quite like Skrillex but that dude looks like someone I would enjoy punching for looking obnoxious.

#16 Edited by ZeForgotten (10397 posts) -

Only dubstep I can listen to for more than 2 seconds is Ephixas Zelda stuff. (aside from the crappy "rap" remixes) that stuff is so happy 
 
This one is especially awesome: 
  

Online
#17 Posted by buzz_clik (6921 posts) -

@Pezen said:

And as a side note; I quite like Skrillex but that dude looks like someone I would enjoy punching for looking obnoxious.

Heh, I forget which funny bugger it was on Twitter that said they Googled Skrillex to see what all the fuss was about and all they found were pictures of some chick who looks like Corey Feldman with an undercut.

Moderator
#18 Posted by CrimsonNoir (399 posts) -

Dubstep just works for a lot trailers because it's aggressive, catchy, and energetic. Before that it was the different types of mainstream rock and metal.

#19 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

@Animasta said:

fuck dubstep, we need more triphop trailers. that metro last light one with portishead was amazing.

We need more trip-hop in everything

Well, everything except dubstep.

#20 Posted by crusader8463 (14412 posts) -

I just hit play on all of the videos on this page at the same time and I couldn't tell that there was more then one going. Guess that's the power of dub step.

#21 Posted by Animasta (14648 posts) -

@Ravenlight said:

@Animasta said:

fuck dubstep, we need more triphop trailers. that metro last light one with portishead was amazing.

We need more trip-hop in everything

Well, everything except dubstep.

I would listen to a dubstep remix of machine gun

#22 Posted by TheUnsavedHero (1255 posts) -

@Animasta said:

fuck dubstep, we need more triphop trailers. that metro last light one with portishead was amazing.

Hell Yeah! I'm all for that.

My thoughts on dubstep is that I can live with it.

#23 Posted by buzz_clik (6921 posts) -

@Animasta said:

@Ravenlight said:

@Animasta said:

fuck dubstep, we need more triphop trailers. that metro last light one with portishead was amazing.

We need more trip-hop in everything

Well, everything except dubstep.

I would listen to a dubstep remix of machine gun

You mean the Portishead track "Machine Gun" and not the Noisia track "Machine Gun" right? ;)

See also: Machine Gun (Zip It Up) by F.O.O.L

Moderator
#24 Posted by Animasta (14648 posts) -

@buzz_clik said:

@Animasta said:

@Ravenlight said:

@Animasta said:

fuck dubstep, we need more triphop trailers. that metro last light one with portishead was amazing.

We need more trip-hop in everything

Well, everything except dubstep.

I would listen to a dubstep remix of machine gun

You mean the Portishead track "Machine Gun" and not the Noisia track "Machine Gun" right? ;)

See also: Machine Gun (Zip It Up) by F.O.O.L

I like the noisia track too but noisia is obviously DnB and not triphop

#25 Posted by Godlyawesomeguy (6386 posts) -

Pornstep, you guys. Pornstep.

#26 Posted by buzz_clik (6921 posts) -

@Animasta said:

I like the noisia track too but noisia is obviously DnB and not triphop

S'okay, I was kidding. But I totally agree with you that trip hop is a very good source of moody music for the right situations.

Moderator
#27 Posted by buzz_clik (6921 posts) -

@Godlyawesomeguy said:

Pornstep, you guys. Pornstep.

Moderator
#28 Posted by SirOptimusPrime (1950 posts) -

Dubstep is good music, brostep is good music. It depends on the mood I'm in, and right now that Skrillex Reptile theme is perfect. In fact, Skrillex takes enough of a dose of progressive house in his usual tunes (i dunno, like Long Drive or All I Ask of You) that I really like that kind of "brostep". Fuck it, musics is musics dawg, and the heaviest of drops are sometimes just right. 

#29 Posted by Branthog (7342 posts) -

I'm getting old, because even for music I might otherwise kind of like, I mostly find myself saying "I just want to listen to something quiet and soothing".

Oh god... I'm elderly. Fuck.

#30 Posted by CharlesAlanRatliff (5380 posts) -

Dubstep Hipster Cat scared me. :(

But I love it.

#31 Posted by pantzing_nome (583 posts) -

@Sweep said:

Lovestep.

Make lovestep, not warstep.

#32 Posted by onimonkii (2429 posts) -

you guys, i like music. just wanted to get that out there.

#33 Posted by Zoltar007 (25 posts) -
#34 Posted by EnchantedEcho (738 posts) -

@buzz_clik: I just don't get all of the Skrillex hate among the dubstep community. I mean sure, sometimes he kind of overuses the 'monster growl' sample but, I really like how he mixes the higher pitch, more 'cheerful' parts with heavy bass drops. I also agree with your thoughts on Deadmau5, he does sound really tinny in comparrison to everyone else out there.

Since some people are sharing music, here is something I've been into lately:

#35 Posted by Aetheldod (3511 posts) -

I on the contrery abhor the usage of dubstep , because it is an awfull assault on my poor ears , it is hideous to my tastes and wish they would stop using it , if people like it cool and all but please no more of it forced into our throats!!!! D´:

#36 Posted by SharkMan (632 posts) -

can you clarify the differences between other so-called side "genres," eg. halfstep, dumbstep, filthstep, and brostep. i honestly don't get it.

#37 Posted by DespoticDave (114 posts) -

@EnchantedEcho said:

@buzz_clik: I just don't get all of the Skrillex hate among the dubstep community. I mean sure, sometimes he kind of overuses the 'monster growl' sample but, I really like how he mixes the higher pitch, more 'cheerful' parts with heavy bass drops. I also agree with your thoughts on Deadmau5, he does sound really tinny in comparrison to everyone else out there.

Since some people are sharing music, here is something I've been into lately:

The way I look at dubstep is the same way I look at all electronic music in general; a bunch of electronic sounds that sound cool. I'm not a fan of electronic music, but it's not like I hate it either. It's the kind of music that you jump around to in a club while dropping ecstacy and spinning glow sticks. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with that; it just doesn't illicit the same emotions for me as traditional instrumental does (or standard music in general). That Spitfire song does sound cool though.

Ahhhh...love it.

#38 Posted by dudeglove (7688 posts) -

I don't have a problem with the music or people enjoying it, but like someone else here said: Skrillex looks and acts like a complete tool. He's like some awful offspring of a greasy goth and Kotaku's Tim Rogers (don't google the later, otherwise you'll want to punch yourself in the face). Deadmau5 is a colossal knobend as well.

#39 Edited by Keyboardwarrior (12 posts) -

@dudeglove said:

I don't have a problem with the music or people enjoying it, but like someone else here said: Skrillex looks and acts like a complete tool. He's like some awful offspring of a greasy goth and Kotaku's Tim Rogers (don't google the later, otherwise you'll want to punch yourself in the face). Deadmau5 is a colossal knobend as well.

Why? WHY!? Did you have to mention the uber tool that is Tim Rogers....

Ah well, that's six months of intensive hypnotherapy down the drain.

#40 Posted by Tarsier (1057 posts) -

dubstep is the worst thing to happen to music

spit

burial is great though

#41 Posted by isomeri (1225 posts) -

I agree with almost all of what you said, but I still swear by burial. I admit that one of the reasons why I first got into DnB and dubstep was that I was totally sick of the shit MTV and the radio stations were stuffing down my throat, and I wanted to immerse myself into something totally different. When acts like Pendulum and Nero started to bring the bass-filled sound to the masses, I became really confused. I'm still not used to hearing Nero at a local bar, or in an advert.

It makes me sick what passes as "dubstep" these days. I've only recently realized that when I meet a girl at a party and she says she listens to a lot of dubstep, she's not talking about Benga or Mala. That said I'm kind of glad that dubstep is the genre being molested, not DnB. I have a much stronger connection with DnB, and while a lot of drum & bass these days is labeled as dubstep the genre has still managed to stay a lot fresher than dubstep.

But dubstep as a genre is so young in any case, that it's natural for it to start branching off into several sub-genres. I don't mind the fact that Skrillex makes music or even that people like the stuff he puts out. I just wish that it wouldn't be labeled under the same flag as some of my favorite artists. On the other hand people like Nickelback technically produce rock music, but that doesn't mean that they should be compared with the likes of Pink Floyd.

#42 Posted by TobbRobb (4581 posts) -

@isomeri: I was gonna make a joke about how it all sounds the same, but your Nickleback vs Floyd argument shut me up. :(

#43 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -

Oh yeah?
 
  

  
and
 
  
  and
 
  
  
 
Seriously, fuck Skrillex.
#44 Edited by Brodehouse (9593 posts) -

All music that is hooky gets used in trailers.
 
How many cars have exploded to Saliva's Click Click Boom?
 
 
Like last year or the year before that I got into Massive Attack.  Now I've played that out, and Portishead.  Looking for the next direction.

#45 Posted by selbie (1844 posts) -

Jeff summed it up perfectly when he was talking about his love of Trackmania. Dubstep is as crazy as Heavy Metal was to earlier rock music. Publishers love to exploit the latest trends (especially if it makes their games look Epic™), and dubstep is that latest trend. Purists can bitch and whine all they like, but dubstep is thoroughly mainstream now.

#46 Posted by Mageman (351 posts) -

Most of you don't know what dubstep is. Skrillex is not dubstep in the least.

#47 Posted by Freqtal (93 posts) -

@DespoticDave said:

The way I look at dubstep is the same way I look at all electronic music in general; a bunch of electronic sounds that sound cool. I'm not a fan of electronic music, but it's not like I hate it either. It's the kind of music that you jump around to in a club while dropping ecstacy and spinning glow sticks. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with that; it just doesn't illicit the same emotions for me as traditional instrumental does (or standard music in general).

I take it, and hope, you haven't heard trance, or much else of any electronic genre outside of clubs or what is served by mainstream media/radio. Yes, I agree that one of the reasons I love electronic music is because of all the awesome sounds it can produce, but there is so much more to it than that. Especially in trance, but also in most other electronic genres, there are a ton of songs with emotion, with awesome melodies and progressions, and fantastic lyrics. This applies to all genres of music really, but people seem to jump to conclusions way faster when it comes to electronic music. It seems to me that people generally tend to not even listen to a song if the first thing they hear is a 4x4 beat, or if there isn't anyone singing within the first 30 seconds, then that's just noise to them apparently (not aimed at you of course). It's great that you don't hate it at least, but please don't think all electronic music is the same :)

I just wanted to get that of my chest. Finally, a track I think is really great.

#48 Posted by DJJoeJoe (1317 posts) -

The same thing has been the case for the majority of deserving action packed film trailers, or even more thanks to films like Requiem for a Dream being the basis for seemingly all movie scores and trailers since it's release, though Inception has taken that place pretty quickly with even some dubstep gaming trailers ALSO having very inception inspired trailer scores to the point of them kinda being just slight tweaks to the inception bwaaaam and using the same structure etc.

The idea that trailers for media use very similar sounds goes way back, is not related to gaming, and only feels crazy when you actually have the history with paying attention to these things.

BWAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH, WUB-WUB.

#49 Posted by InsidiousTuna (377 posts) -

@Animasta: God, remember the Assassin's Creed 1 trailer with UNKLE's 'Lonely Soul'? That shit was incredible.

#50 Posted by InsidiousTuna (377 posts) -

@EnchantedEcho: Fun fact- Porter Robinson is WhiskeyMedia intern Nick's little brother.