AUGUST 18, 2013
Many younger newcomers to Dubstep/Electronic music can credit Skrillex for their introduction to the world of synth. However, he has begun to be viewed as the Dane Cook of electronic music. This comparison is not meant as an insult to either party, more as a statement on their public perception. Skrillex kicked down the door for many other great electronic artists to reach the masses and still maintains a large following. However, it’s become fashionable to take shots at him, just like Dane Cook. Dane Cook created a large following of high school and college aged followers, but upon reaching a level of fame that perhaps eclipsed his skill/value was an easy target of ridicule. Music and popular art have a way of preventing teenage girls from being the ones who define the best of the best. Once they are on to someone, they start to lose their credibility a bit. Not their fault, just how it is.
Skrillex did a lot for electronic music, but is he the most important (not necessarily best) DUBSTEP artist of all time? The answer depends on how we value who laid the groundwork vs those who have taken the genre to its best place. I’ll give a top 5 with my reasoning, but feel free to give me your picks.
What he and his collaborators have done falls into my category of importance via laying groundwork. Midnight Request Line can’t be ignored, but neither can what’s happened since.
4. SEVEN LIONS
I feel that anyone who makes this list should border on inventing their own genre. What Seven Lions does has been referred to as Trancestep, combining (you guessed it) Trance and Dubstep. Trance has a very airy feel, which doesn’t lend itself to the 2013 ADD listener who needs the sound to switch frequently in a glitch manner. He takes trance’s lasting strength, an airy emotional buildup and marries it to a skillful dubstep drop. He is the definition of Dubstep as lasting, classic type of music as opposed to an angry rebellious sound that teenagers like and eventually regret listening to.
He’s gotta be on here somewhere. No stage for the innovation that has increased relevancy of the genre exists without him, more of a groundwork-layer but certainly took it up a notch. I tend to like his remixes better than his original songs. I wonder how many people have done what I just did….right the red underlined word “Dubstep” in Microsoft Word and then clicked “Add to Dictionary” because of this person?
A genius on both the musical side and his social media/fan interaction side (I love the family photo), Bassnectar is keeping Dubstep dirty and not allowing it to get too Microsoft-commercially. His remixes always take the song somewhere it belongs, and will continue to grow as both a presence in the Dubstep genre, along with the modern musical landscape.
1. FLUX PAVILLION
His ranking is a personal preference. I prefer the type of Dubstep he does rather than what Bassnectar, Skrillex and other glitchier producers offer. Flux pioneered a sound that allows for beautiful compositions that happen to be Dubstep. He sounds unique, but his songs would not be mistaken or confused for anything but Dubstep. He possesses several classics already, and I would love to hear where he goes next.