Future dubstep — Where the Genre is Going in 2012.

It’s official — dubstep has officially received the American music industry stamp of approval, in the form of Skrillex’s three Grammy wins tonight. Regardless of how you gauge the legitimacy of that recognition (which seemingly counts for very little in regards to today’s EDM fans), it’s a definite sign that dubstep, or what many recognize has dubstep, has made a profound, indelible mark on mainstream music.

As dubstep increases in popularity, however, so do the stereotypes surrounding it. Where many associate dubstep with being a primarily loud, screechy, wobbly, or “filthy” sound, it’s true roots lie in a two-step rhythm, run at 140 beats per minute, with influences from reggae and garage music incorporated within. This opens the genre to a far greater range of moods as well — the notion that dubstep has to be an angry or dark music has been shown to be wholly misguided.

Collected below are some of the best examples of how the genre is changing in 2012. Like any emerging style of music, dubstep is taking on a life of its own, branching and developing in a variety of facets.

Clone – Dismantle

Featuring a bouncy lead synth and a beat pattern that fluctuates frequently, Dismantle is clearly distinguishing himself as one of the new pioneers out of the UK dubstep scene. His productions combine elements of the dark-sounding minimalism associated with early dubstep and hype rhythms more reminiscent of dancehall and dutch house. Dismantle is a name to watch in 2012 — very possibly the next Skream.

Forever (16 Bit Remix) – Wolfgang Gartner

16 Bit are no stranger to dubstep aficionados, but perhaps that success lies in the fact that their sound is so unfamiliar — you will never find stranger dubstep tracks than those touched by the hands of Eddie Jefferys and Jason Morrison. Expect glitched-out drops, machine gun samples, and ‘how the hell did they make that sound’ basslines as common fair amongst their productions. If they aren’t prophets of where dubstep is going, they’re mad scientists at the very least.

Flying Into Tokyo (Azedia Remix) – Magnetic Man

Production duo Azedia is full-on proof that dubstep can be as relaxing and uplifting as any other style of music, even if they are in a slim minority in examining such sounds. Their remix of the introduction track from Magnetic Man’s revered debut album is a track oozing with soul and character — truly a tune to close your eyes and fly away with (no pun intended).

Somebody To Love – Rusko

Rusko, love him or hate him, has an impressive track record when it comes to shaking up his own formula. Somebody To Love draws upon old school influences, a popular trend of late, but repurposes them in a way that truly reworks the sound into something brand new. Get used to it — I get the feeling this will be a big tune for many a dubstep DJ for the whole year. Midwest bonus: the official music video features footage from Rusko’s New Year’s Eve show at Congress Theater in Chicago!

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