Dubstep has come a long way since 2006, the year Drew Best and producer 12th Planet founded the landmark record label SMOG, which is widely hailed for introducing dubstep to the masses.
"Six years ago electronic music in L.A. was segregated into small niches," said Best, who recently added West Coast producers SPL, Noah D and Antiserum to the label roster.
"We reached out to each genre and were able to get people into dubstep. Each event felt like a milestone for us, and along the way we gradually grew. Before you knew it, dubstep became a major force in L.A."
The event will mimic a traditional Jamaican sound clash. Each collective will bring their own sound system and will set up shop to perform on one of four individual stages, battling round after round.
We caught up with Best to talk about the present and future of dubstep (with some input from SMOG artist, producer/DJ Antiserum).
What do you like in dubstep at this moment?
DB: I'm enjoying the current return to the roots of dubstep. The more minimal, sub-bass focused sound that I fell in love with to begin with. People like J:Kenzo, Kryptic Minds, Proxima, and Killawatt. It's currently experiencing a healthy revival.
There's also the house and techno music being produced by dubstep artists that has my attention. Addison Groove, Untold, Martyn, Joy Orbison, or 2562. You can hear the influence that dubstep has had on house and techno.
I also have a guilty pleasure for trap music. It's the 808 bass that does it for me, but I'm excited of the potential crossover this music has with rap and hip-hop.
Antiserum: I'm really into all the trap stuff right now. Baauer, Flastradamus, UZ, Mayhem, Heroes and Villains. Those are obvious ones, but I'm also into some of the L.A. guys that are coming up like Luminox and LoudPack.
What are some things in the works?
DB: We've definitely expanded our scope into multiple sub genres of dubstep. A lot of our remixes lately have come from house, techno, drum 'n' bass, and trap artists. We will always have dubstep as the backbone of our label, but in the future we will be exploring and pioneering other genres as well.
"I'm seeing EDM combining with the rap world through trap music. It seems like the Atlanta artists have really taken an interest in EDM. If those worlds combine, it's going to really big for everyone." -- Drew Best
What do you think that dubstep has caught on the way it has?
DB: I believe dubstep has a little something that everyone can enjoy. The tempo itself makes you want to dance, and with all the different ways people have injected their influences into this music it can appeal to a large group of people.
Where do you see EDM music going? What's after dubstep?
DB: The different genres of EDM are starting to come together. Artists like Knife Party and Kill The Noise are great examples of people taking electro house, drum 'n' bass, dubstep and more and combining it into one big party.
Antiserum: More and more people are accepting electronic music and it's hitting the mainstream now. Right now I'm seeing EDM combining with the rap world through trap music. It seems like the Atlanta artists have really taken an interest in EDM. If those worlds combine, it's going to really big for everyone. As far as dubstep goes, I think people want more space in the music. They're less into the balls to the wall aggressive stuff. Dubstep is coming back to the roots.
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