Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow, Fri 21 Mar
Gradually emerging from the soundsystems of London and Bristol and combining elements of dub, UK garage, jungle and rave, dubstep is sinuous and slow, juxtaposing intricate, syncopated hi-hat and woodblock rhythms with snarling, juggernaut basslines. Championed by figures such as Radio 1’s Mary Anne Hobbs and Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, dubstep is exerting a thrilling influence over electronic music at the start of the 21st century. While Glasgow has traditionally eschewed breakbeat-based electronica in favour of the four-to-the-floor thump of house and techno, there have been signs over recent years that the city’s clubbing fraternity might be warming to dubstep in a way that it never really has to breaks or drum & bass.
Since last autumn, Glasgow’s Electric Eliminators have hosted some of dubstep’s most prominent DJs and producers, including Benga, Hatcha and Skream at Fortified Sessions and have been attracting a knowledgeable and appreciative audience. Appearing this month to mark the release of new 12in ‘The Dark is Rising’ on Glasgow’s Stuff Records, The Village Orchestra will be supported by Production Unit, a fellow member of the Marcia Blaine School for Girls collective, and 2562, who released the highly acclaimed ‘Channel 2’ and ‘Kameleon’ singles on Tectonic last year.
Dubstep is rapidly proving itself to be a varied, versatile and adaptable genre, which unashamedly acknowledges a diverse range of influences. Spacious enough to accommodate the intricate detailing of minimal techno while echoing the guttural roar of early jungle and primitive hardcore, dubstep successfully reconciles the visceral and cerebral qualities of electronica, challenging the head while stimulating the feet. Don’t miss out: the revolution will not be televised.