Dubstep is a genre of electronic dance music that originated in South London, England. It emerged in the late 1990s as a development within a lineage of related styles such as 2-step garage, broken beat, drum and bass, jungle, dub and reggae. In the UK, the origins of the genre can be traced back to the growth of the Jamaican sound system party scene in the early 1980s The music generally features syncopated drum and percussion patterns with bass lines that contain prominent sub bass frequencies, as well as shuffled or incorporating tuplets. The tempo is nearly always in the range of 140–150 beats per minute (however, there can be exceptions, such as Forever by Reach [130 bpm] , The Vale by Trivecta featuring Miyoki, in the last drop [100 bpm] ), with a clap or snare usually inserted every third beat in a bar, providing the characteristic half-time "feel", essentially halving the tempo of the drums only, inducing the sentiment that the songs are slower than they actually are.
One characteristic of certain strands of dubstep is the wobble bass, often referred to as the "wub", where an extended bass note is manipulated rhythmically. This style of bass is typically produced by using a low-frequency oscillator to manipulate certain parameters of a synthesiser such as volume, distortion or filter cutoff. The resulting sound is a timbre that is punctuated by rhythmic variations in volume, filter cutoff, or distortion. This style of bass is a driving factor in some variations of dubstep, particularly at the more club-friendly end of the spectrum.
Dubstep is associated with a purple/violet color on Monstercat. It is important to note that for labeling purposes, Monstercat also includes the following subgenres under the 'Dubstep' umbrella:
Commonly Referenced Subgenres:
- Brostep: A subgenre of Dubstep commonly associated with “Noiseless Music”, using no real melody, screeches, growls, and "wubs" are commonly used in this subgenre, as well as short, hard kicks and a booming, heavy snare, heavy use of sub-bass is used as well, with a consistent bassline.
- Chillstep: (Not to be confused with Liquid Dubstep & Melodic Dubstep) A subgenre that uses very minimal sound design in its main lead and generally the whole song, it has become less popular in recent years, due to the Brostep and Riddim revolution, this subgenre is commonly identified by heavy basswork and a minimal snare sound.
- Dubstyle / Carnival: A subgenre of Dubstep that uses a full-time 4/4 beat pattern, heavy kicks, and usually a fast hat pattern, it is usually combined with heavy Brostep as well.
- Liquid Dubstep: (Not to be confused with Chillstep & Melodic Dubstep)
- Melodic Dubstep: (Not to be confused with Chillstep & Liquid Dubstep)