Music

Robots Having Sex

Here’s my denotation of Dubstep: picture a Transformers robot playing a guitar, while fighting another robot flying at 138 miles per hour…

Wellington Adames - Wellington.adames@nyu.edu Illustration by Luigi Scarcella

Illustration by Luigi Scarcella

A few weekends ago a few of my friends and I decided to attend a Dubstep concert headlined by Skrillex. For the many people who do not know Dubstep, it is a sub-genre of electronic music, which, for this article, I will categorize as World Music, but many would argue its true identity. The concert took place at Terminal 5 in Manhattan. Terminal 5 is a huge space on the West Side that usually caters to large concerts and raves; this was a great setting for the amount of jumping around that was about to transpire. The concert itself was a magical experience that I will never forget. It provided me with different levels of excitement, not only through sound, but visuals as well. Many music enthusiasts are not familiar with the genre and its artists; some do not even classify it as music. Why should people care? I think of Dubstep as a huge auditory blender with a white noise element attached to it. Dubstep to me is a mixture of many different genres in a hardcore electronic symphony. Artists have the ability to play with different inspirations and sounds and make it something unique every time. This is why I feel Dubstep is something special and forthcoming.

But what is Dubstep really? Some would say a simple mixture of different genres and electronic sounds, but if you are just reading about it, it might be hard to grasp. Here’s my denotation of Dubstep: picture a Transformers robot playing a guitar, while fighting another robot flying at 138 miles per hour, then adding elements of music, like rhythm, harmony, and melodies. You start to bop our heads to get a feel of progression and tempo. Most Dubstep songs have this type of formula: The rhythm flows progressively until it reaches a climax, at this point all the sounds are merged together and raised in volume. The climax suddenly ends and then the beat drops! The beat drop is usually similar to the chorus of a regular song; the repeating, anchor-like element.

Dubstep inspired art photo©Drifter Media

The individual notes of the track are often distorted or reconfigured; this is usually a long process that producers endure in order to make the classic “Dubstep wobble sound”. The tempo is always around 138-148 beats per minute incorporating syncopated and shuffled rhythms. Dubstep originated in the United Kingdom and Skrillex is like the Mozart of the genre. He is not the originator, but is one of the pioneers in domesticating and commercializing the genre in America. As for me, I love to listen to anything; my music playlist is very broad. You can find all types of genres in my iPod. I initially did not enjoy Dubstep because I thought sounded like a construction site; however, I was always curious about it. When I attended my first dub-step concert at Webster Hall, I fell in love with the genre and its “dirty beats”…

Three in the morning is generally the time when even a big party begins to wind down. At this particular event, three AM felt more like four PM at a huge music festival. People were jumping around as though the drums were commanding their every trance-like movement. Some people were even “crowd surfing”, confetti was flying in the air, and CO2 was spraying the whole crowd; it was true madhouse. Screams, sweat, and tears were the norm in every time direction. When Skrillex finally came on, he began mixing sounds from reggae, drum and bass, disco, and classical. I was dancing for hours. The LED lights were another element to the whole experience; huge screens were projecting abstract images and flashing colorful lights simultaneously with the music. It was as though a Vincent Van Gogh piece was in sync with the beat, truly magical. When the event was over, I was gasping for air like I’d been punched in the stomach! I didn’t realize much energy I had burned. My mind, body, and soul were blown away with the whole experience.

2 Responses to “Robots Having Sex”

  1. dopeman says:

    dope

  2. Melisa says:

    I have only recently heard of skeirllx. This type of music genre is pretty appealing to me. The first song I heard from Skrillex was his remix of Rob Zombie’s sick bubblegum , and instantly was hooked. Awesome Dj!