Liner Notes: Scary monsters, nice sprites

Anna Taylor
Features Editor

I’m always interested in discovering music I’ve never heard before. It doesn’t really matter which genre the tracks are classified as either, as long as the music doesn’t scream at me.

This past summer I learned what dubstep was by riding in a car. I’m not sure how to describe the genre other than by saying it’s scary and maybe even possessed. At least, that was my first impression because I was unfamiliar with the genre.

The genre was created in the United Kingdom and is described as “electronic dance music” that has “tightly coiled productions with overwhelming bass lines and reverberant drum patterns, clipped samples and occasional vocals.” That’s it in a nutshell.

Before too long, I realized that it’s not techno (since at first, that’s what it sounded like to me), and it’s not possessed.

The sound bites and beats are all meshed into an electronic work of art that I would never be capable of producing, no matter how good my equipment is. But, I’m OK with that, considering I don’t know the first thing about making electronic dance music.

While I still don’t listen to dubstep for pleasure, I can now tolerate it.

A couple of months ago when the Grammy nominations were announced, I was surprised and strangely excited to see that dubstep producer, Skrillex, receive a nod for Best New Artist, along with four other award nods. The young musician is up against Nicki Minaj, J. Cole, Bon Iver, and The Band Perry for Best New Artist.

Even though the music he creates is completely different from some of his fellow nominees, he still stays true to who he is an enjoys making music. That’s not really something that is common anymore.

In an interview with MTV, Skrillex (Sonny Moore) said, “I almost don’t even know what it means, in terms of the big picture. This whole year has been insane, and these are surprises and things beyond my wildest fantasies … and I’m just so thankful to have a great team and people that support me, man.”

Unlike that of some other Grammy nominated artists such as Bruno Mars, who claims not to perform music for fun but for awards instead, the electronic music producer isn’t in the business for the fame or money, but the music.

Skrillex has even teamed up with or remixed some current favorites such as Ellie Goulding, an English singer-songwriter.

Skrillex also released an EP this week titled “Voltage.”

While this new genre known as dubstep has gotten a lot of criticism from mainstream music fans everywhere, and myself once included, it’s becoming something that is beginning to fill clubs nationwide. Maybe it’s the new dance music.

Some young aspiring music producers other than Skrillex use their own programs and equipment to create dubstep remixes from mainstream songs. YouTube is full of aspiring young beat-makers who would kill to be where Skrillex is today.

I never imagined I would dedicate an entire column to something I once classified as noise.

See what happens when someone makes me listen to their music? Often times, I end up liking it.

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