For all the hype still surrounding it, dubstep won't be popular forever.
From collaborations with Korn to Christmas carol remixes, signs of its imminent demise are springing up all over the place. But will 2012 be the year that dubstep finally dies? Or will it desperately cling to life and linger like a zombie for another whole year?
Well, we here at Crossfade think that the Dubpocalypse is almost upon us. See the cut for five signs the end is near.
5. Nobody Even Knows What Dubstep Is Anymore
Talk to any "real dubstep fan" and they'll probably tell you that 2011 dubstep is not like true dubstep. They'll name-drop a few producers, mention something about the old days, and bemoan the evolution of Skrillex and brostep.
This friction between the "real dubstep fan" and angst-ridden teenagers over what actually constitutes dubstep sparked the genre's mid-life crisis. Plus, the average person's idea of dubstep retains neither the "dub" nor the "step" attributes for which the genre was named. The dub-style sub-bass was replaced by distorted mids and lots of wobble, while the two-step was basically abandoned in favor of someone screaming in your face for 40 minutes.
4. Nearly Every Possible Dubstep Track Has Already Been Made
At some point in 2012, it will become impossible for producers to create a new, original dubstep track. It won't be for lack of creativity or trying. But there are only so many ways to arrange female vocals, a wobbly bass, and a huge drop. And we as a society are fast approaching these limits.
Thanks to the proliferation of music software in recent years and the deluge of newly minted musicians that followed, it became a race to see who could churn out the gnarliest wubs on their copy of Native Instruments' Massive synthesizer without straying too far from a particular structure. Rather than evolve organically, dubstep became homogenized, which meant many more musicians would have to cover the same ground.
Because of this, every possible variation on dubstep will soon be exhausted, every last temporal avenue explored, every possible combination of filter and LFO discovered. Very soon, there just won't be any more dubstep left to make.
3. Post-Dubstep Is the New Real Dubstep
Despite the mid-life crisis, artists like SBTRKT, Egyptrixx, and The Weeknd have been moving dubstep back towards its roots in the UK garage scene. Following their lead, many "real dubstep fans" finally accepted that the name dubstep had been co-opted. Together, they decided to move forward with post-dubstep.
It's too early to determine whether this is just a desperate attempt to save the genre's legacy. Or whether the post-dubstep movement will flourish with this newfound independence from brostep.
2. It's Been Tainted by the Mainstream
It was only a matter of time before mainstream music hijacked dubstep. But it would take more than a forgettable tracks by Britney Spears and Rihanna to subvert the genre. In 2011, word of a collaboration between Skrillex, Kill The Noise, and Korn hit the interwebs.
On the surface, collaborations between hot new artists and MTV relics may seem like harmless profiteering. And yeah, between getting bored, being broke, and running out of ideas, dubstep producers have every reason to sell out. But cashing in has its own consequences ... Would you listen to a Downlink/Nickelback track? What about Datsik/Creed?
Oh, and don't forget that Downlink and Datsik joined Korn on tour, further strengthening the newly christened union between dubstep and radio rock. Now the only place dubstep has left to go is the commercial rock 'n' roll airwaves, where music goes to die.
1. Dubstep Christmas Music Exists
Don't look now ... But YouTube is chock full of shitty dubstep remixes of shitty Christmas songs. Scientifically speaking, when Christmas music invades another genre of music, the rate at which people start to hate that genre over time skyrockets!
To make matters worse, people are actually listening to these yuletide brostep abominations, presumably to piss off their parents, without regard for the sanctity of dubstep itself. And unfortunately, it's much too late to act. The first dubstep Christmas music appeared online in December 2010. By December 2011, the number of searches for "Christmas Dubstep" was up a staggering 1500 percent.
The statistics speak for themselves, and the diagnosis couldn't be clearer ... Acute Christmas music poisoning. All we can do now is try to make dubstep's last days comfortable.
-- Aleh Lopeh
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