Dubstep evolves from underground genre

Pulse Editor and Pulse Editor

Buildups, drops, repetition, heavy beats – these are all aspects of dubstep.

Dubstep is a type of music that can be heard on the radio, in bars and in dance clubs and has recently gained popularity, said Brian Scavo, the founder of Konkrete Jungle Bowling Green and a DJ.

“Dubstep in general is very edgy; it has a high energy formula to it,” Scavo said. “It’s perfect to dance to.”

Several popular songs have been remixed into the dubstep style, increasing the genre’s popularity even more, Scavo said. But the genre did not originate on the radio.

“It was small DJs online who built up a fan base, and it moved to mainstream when people realized [it was interesting],” Scavo said. “It started out as underground music; there is no other genre that has gained such popularity in so little time.”

Donahue believes the music has deep roots in reggae and electronic music.

“To me the music really originates with many of the great reggae artists who were incorporating reggae and developing the mix of reggae and using the mixing board as an instrument,” Donahue said. “They used a mixing technique that was known as ‘dub.'”

This technique brought an electronic type of sound to the music that was created, and it provided a heavy echo effect on different tracks, Donahue said.

“It has become more popular recently due to a new generation getting turned on to reggae, electronic music, trip hop,” Donahue said. “And all of that is incorporated in so-called ‘dubstep.'”

Donahue also attributes the music’s recent popularity to clubs, the internet and the fact that creating the music is done with ease.

“It’s really unclear [why dubstep is popular],” Scavo said.

However, there are elements you can pick out that indicate why the genre has become popular, Scavo said.

One of the elements is what Scavo calls the ‘crossover value,’ or the fact that many dubstep songs are remixes of pop and hip-hop songs.

“In the last five years, dubstep has had a profound effect on awareness of electronic music,” said Scavo. “Dubstep is making so many more people aware of an enormous music culture.”

Cla-Zel Theatre plays dubstep music during their club nights, which are Friday and Saturday night, from 10 p.m. to 2:30 a.m.

“Everyone who comes in enjoys it,” said Banan Alkilani, Cla-Zel director of marketing.

Konkrete Jungle, a bass culture and electronic dance music event, also performs at Cla-Zel. They perform the last Thursday of every month, and the next time they’ll be performing is Feb. 23 from 9 p.m. to 2:30 a.m., Alkilani said.

“On a monthly basis we’re bringing through national and international DJ acts,” Scavo said. “We’ve had over 50 different DJs over the last year and a half.”

Scavo said they try to keep the Konkrete Jungle events diverse and always changing.

“It’s an experience that caters to the different senses,” Scavo said. “DJs do visuals; there’s hula-hoopers, jugglers, art on stage, dance, glo-sticks. It’s a full range experience.”