With the dawn of Miami's own late '80s and early '90s booty music contingent, hip-hop was evolving to the point of becoming an entirely new sonic construct. Explicated most famously (and crudely) by 2 Live Crew -- and integral to Miami's skimpily clothed beach-and-barbecue culture -- the new guard had undertaken a conceptual break more significant than simple genre variances like old school, Afrocentric, and gangsta.
By cranking the low-end and keeping the BPMs high, bass music's first wave set the template. And over the past two decades, post-rap electronica has ended up in some curious corners -- most recently in the mainstream via aggro dubstep distillations.
When the face of bass belongs to Skrillex, one can't help but wonder -- with a tug of the collar and a mighty gulp -- what is possibly in store for the future.
Dubporn Records -- a Miami imprint rooted in dubstep but increasingly embracing the genre's spinoffs, responses, and unintended consequences -- is deeply invested in the bass culture wars, and it's slowly cultivating a Miami-centric post-dubstep scene that's free from the lunkhead belligerence of the genre's more commercial representatives.
The label's upcoming roster showcase at The Hangar (a party doubling as a "How are you still awake?" post-WMC bash on Sunday night) reflects that mission so loud and clear you can feel it rumbling the guts between your ribs. Alongside contemporary dubstep formalists such as Somejerk, acts like Adames and Chalk swap macho-metallic flamboyance for subtlety.
Both producers subtly manipulate dubstep conventions -- like the signature wobble-wobble drop, which they love to soften or cleverly disguise -- while also opening the floodgates of influence to embrace the pumping rhythm of house, the deliberate pop of electro, or even the Baltimore club sound (which, of course, is a Miami Bass derivative in the first place).
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The moral of this story? If Dubporn Records has its way, your faith in bass shall be renewed.
Dubporn Records Showcase with Chalk, Sahar Berlin, Adames, LZRKMMNDR, Gray Ghost, Gooddroid, El Topo, and Somejerk. Sunday, March 25. The Hangar, 2235 NW Second Ave., Miami. The show starts at 10 p.m. and there's no cover, plus free drinks. Ages 21 and up. Visit dubpornrecords.com.