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The Year In Music: Dubstep's Identity Crisis
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The Year In Music: Dubstep's Identity Crisis

Music Articles


We've also been looking this week at some of the trends in music. In 2010, electronic music drew record crowds at shows all over the country.

Sami Yenigun was among them, paying attention to one style in particular.

SAMI YENIGUN: Dubstep is a type of music that started in London around the turn of the century.

(Soundbite of music)

YENIGUN: Known for down tempo, shuffled rhythms, and derived from such styles as drum and bass, garage and dub, the sound has come a long way from its early days in the U.K. Though a strict definition of the music continues to elude taxonomists, it seems to break down into two broad categories: dark, melancholy, low energy beats on one side...

(Soundbite of music)

YENIGUN: ...and aggressive, bass heavy, dance music on the other. The latter of the two is bombarding college campuses around America.

(Soundbite of music)

YENIGUN: Many electronic music purists are labeling this sound bro-step, for the fraternity brothers drawn to it.

(Soundbite of music from Rusko)

YENIGUN: Rusko is a British producer who's been championing the dance heavy end of the genre. He released his first album this year on the label run by Diplo. Now, Diplo rose to fame after producing M.I.A.'s hit single "Paper Planes." And he also put out a dubstep compilation this year, with the stated mission of sharing the rising genre with a larger audience.

(Soundbite of music from Diplo)

YENIGUN: If the crowds at electronic music festivals are any indication, the sound is already being passed around. It was reported that the Electric Daisy Carnival brought in over 100,000 people in a single day, something that both Coachella and Bonaroo couldn't do. And at just about every Electronic Music Festival, the DJs with the youngest and most energetic audiences were playing dubstep.

For NPR News, I'm Sami Yenigun.

(Soundbite of a song)

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