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Silkie Smooth

While dubstep dominates the electronic music scene, most U.S. fans associate the genre only with certain popular strains — mostly the superhard, stomach-churning varieties with requisite wobbly bass. Still, the genre at its outset was about so much more. Dubstep at its most creative is really just a slow-bpm, low-end-centric framework for experimentation. And though the womp-wompers get all the shine, there are plenty of producers underground still exploring the genre’s outer limits. Among those boundary-pushers back in dubstep’s UK birthplace is Silkie, a West London producer who’s one of the leading names of the city’s Anti Social Entertainment crew. As a self-taught teen beatmaker, his first forays were into dance-friendly genres such as UK garage and grime. He took those styles’ rolling musicality into his version of dubstep, which has always skirted the kinds of heavy-metal-style crushing now favored by many of his peers. Instead, Silkie’s sound is as smooth — though not soft — as his pseudonym. Yes, Silkie gets deep, but he’s not afraid to do so by first swimming through rivers of dub, jazz, and world-beat sounds. Catch the current this Thursday at the Vagabond, where he will headline the latest edition of the monthly party Get Low. It boasts a tradition of putting on influential headliners long before the rest of the American scene catches on, so don’t sleep on Silkie.
Thu., Aug. 25, 10 p.m., 2011

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