Has Skrillex RUINED Dubstep?
I remember the first time I heard the anthemic remix of “In For the Kill” by Skream. Combined with the sensationally catchy “Wheres My Money” remix by Caspa, clubs would […]
I remember the first time I heard the anthemic remix of “In For the Kill” by Skream. Combined with the sensationally catchy “Wheres My Money” remix by Caspa, clubs would drop these tracks on a regular basis to get the crowds going. Such sounds began giving new mainstream ground to dubstep, or at least, far more ground than it had ever experienced before.
It didn’t take long for a dubstep explosion to occur, where practically every track or sound was remixed with a phat bassline (I’m sure you’ve all heard the Cragga remix of Mr. Postman…). In the process of this explosion however, dubstep got a bit carried away with itself. Fast track a few years on, and all of a sudden you have Skrillex.
That deep bassline of the Skream remix was traded in for a crush of electro and wob sounds with no real pattern to it. Happy go lucky build ups like that of “Ruffneck” led to drops that had one aim only – To make as much noise as possible within the shortest space of time. And with Skrillex selling out stadium-esque venues across the US, it didn’t take long for an almighty Skrillex-hating backlash to occur.
This wasn’t just from dubstep fans. You had people coming from all genres to join the latest Skrillex hating craze. Thrashing away furiously at their keyboards, they went into epic cyber warfare. So is the hate justified?
I can’t help but feel all this hate is nearly as overhyped as Skrillex himself. Of course I can understand where the hate comes from. He’s taken the sound of a genre and transformed it into something far different from its routes. But dubstep was never pop music, and it never had a huge following in history. To lambast Skrillex for “ruining” dubstep is to imply everyone used to listen to the genre in the first place. But this was never the case. Skrillex hasn’t stole fans from other dubstep artists, he’s simply generated fans that never existed. Are you honestly telling me that he generated 10 million views for “Rock N Roll” on youtube by appealing to already existing dubstep fans? Of course I don’t argue that some of these fans are morons, as highlighted by this Vice interview. But so what? There are morons in the world.
Skrillex also brings dubstep to new listeners who can search out other aspects of the sound. It’s like when you first get into a new genre of music – You tend to listen to the big acts that you hear on the radio, and then after a while you start exploring the niche groups. Without the recognition that dubstep has today (pioneered by the likes of Skrillex) I don’t think quite as many of the listening public would be navigating their way through the genre.
There are of course those who hate the sound not because it’s hijacked dubstep, but simply because they hate it. Quite frankly, the argument “don’t listen to it if you don’t like it” couldn’t apply any better here. No music genre has the right to dictate to others what sound is “bad”. If your life is really so damaged by the occasional Skrillex track in a club or on Radio 1, I suggest taking up a few hobbies to take your mind off it. If you’re so easily angered, I suggest boxing.
Sure, Skrillex certainly isn’t perfect. But hell, I’ll take a few of his tracks over Jessie J any day.