The idiots guide to electronica

Jun 25, 2012 | Tech News

UPDATE: Dennis Cheung sent us a great and amusing interactive site that’s another great way to get acquainted with the beeps and bops. Visit


The sound of dubstep originated in England with its earliest releases as far back as 1998. Its more mainstream presence began slowly around 2007 and the rest is history.

To really break it down and get super technical Bassnectar explains it pretty well. You start at 130-140 beats-per-minute at the sixteenth note and create a “grid” of drums that purposely sound as if made by a computer. Then you add halftime breakbeat for a deeper, heavier sound. The resulting effect is something that is abnormally slow and fast at the same time.

For the rest of us you can say that dubstep combines funky machine-like, fast-paced rhythm with irregular beats. It’s amplified by the heavy bass “drop” and layering of different tempos and sounds. It resonates and becomes more than the sum of its parts.


This distinction reflects people’s interaction with technology today. We are increasingly intertwined with it, becoming inseparable. We add chaos and irregularity to the arguably very straightforward technology we use daily. We become more than ourselves through the digital medium, extending our reach.

Check out a dubstep tutorial by the UKF Youtube Station.


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