Monday, February 18, 2013

Cyberpunk music - UK Garage, Dubstep & Co.

"A tightly coiled productions with overwhelming bass lines and reverberant drum patterns, clipped samples, and occasional vocals" -- Allmusic website.

If you ask any writers about their writing inspiration, they'll name music as being one of their primary fuels, right along with coffee and snacks. Dubstep (and the other genres in this post), to me, is one the music best fitting to the Cyberpunk genre. Most of you have already been exposed to Dubstep without necessarily knowing it:

--IE9 Commercial--


--Weetabix (UK)-- (that kid can dance and so can the bears!)
Unless you're a die-hard music expert, you probably won't know or care to know the rhythm, beat, drum pattern... differences between all the precursors and offsprings of Dubstep. Just know this, one of the main difference is their beats per minute.  


UK garage:

UK Garage first started to be produced in the late 1990's in the UK. Descendant of House music, it is considered the ancestor of all other dance music subgenres. It gave rise to 2-step, bassline, grime and yes, Dubstep. Pitch and timing distortions were at the core of the genre, but were then traded for bass distortions, one of the biggest characteristic of Dubstep music.

Todd Edwards, originator of the genre, became famous for introducing vocal sampling instead of instrumental sampling to his tracks. Edwards co-produced and performed vocals on the Daft Punk song "Face to Face" from the album Discovery.



The "old-school" genre that rose from the ashes of UK garage. Current 2-step artists have been driving their music away for the famous wobble bass and back to an uptempo pacing and syncopated breakbeats. If you think of electronic music, you will probably think about the booming bass drumming in the background -- well, 2-step tries to stay away from that.

William Bevan (Burial), with this debut album Burial, is considered by many as a major player in the 2-step field.




It differentiates itself within the electronic music field by the distortions of the wobble bass, the "wub"; the dissonance and harmonies contributing to the dark feel of its tonalities; the bass drops common to the drum & bass genre, all tropes I could imagine any cyberpunk character blaring in their eardrum implants.

Dubstep originated from "dark garage music" and the actual term Dubstep was not used until 2002 when labels started adopting the genre as a producible venture. The tracks began with elements of breakbeat (syncopation and polyrhythm often used in hiphop) and the non-linear use of drums and bass. Later on, some tracks started experiencing by adding vocals but did not start becoming mainstream until 2005. The popularity spread as more people starting experiencing with the genre created more subgenres.



Post-Dubstep artists have incorporated ambient and R&B elements to the original genres. Mount Kimbie (Crooks & Lovers) & James Blake (Stop What You Doing remix) have been recognized for birthing the genre. It seems this genre is a free for all, with mix and matching elements based on each artist's style creating a myriad of variants and precluding "this pseudo-genre" from being clearly identified.




Starting in 2011 and influenced by electro house and heavy metal, Brostep spread the UK popularity of Dubstep music to the US. Skrillex remains the main player and precursor of the genre with its "robotic fluctuations and metal-esque aggression' (Wikipedia) - Doesn't that sound perfect for Cyberpunk????



Now, some Favorites!

Oh My I love Blackmill!!!
The Glitch Mob has so many awesome tracks!

 So what do you think of this type of Music? What is your fuel?


  1. I know I listen to a lot of Celldweller when I write my stuff. Helps me out a lot.

    1. Celldweller definitely sounds neat! Thanks for sharing.

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  3. lately i been listening to Neon shudder when I write.