Gig Reviews

Dubstep AU With: Garage Pressure, Spherix, Twitch, Kamo, Ac23, Westernsynthetics, Flippo, Victim, Mark Pritchard – The Phoenix Bar 4th July 2008

If you’re lucky, from time to time you’ll encounter, a song or a band that makes you feel something. Wading through tracks that seem to become more and more derived, you might find an antidote to overproduced, inane and soulless music that dominates the mass market.

But how many times will our generation witness not just the emergence of song or band, but a whole new genre, a crossover of styles that shatters the barriers of perception that lie between what we hear, think and feel.

A new movement in music production has exploded onto the underground scene, with an unprecedented ability to rattle people’s internals.  Dubstep is a unique crossover of styles: dub, reggae, drum & bass, garage, grime, jungle, hip hop and more. It’s an experimental and progressive recipe for success, and has resonated intensely worldwide, from its UK roots to the US, Europe, Asia and right here at home.

While still in its infancy, there are a few kickin nights dedicated to this swelling underground scene. Among the best of the best are the Void nights, where Rastas, hip hoppers, stoners, trippers, music nerds and wobbly bass junkies come to be annihilated by the vibrating air particles of the Hijack sound system.

On any one of its Friday nights, the ever growing Void crowd can enjoy pulsating dance tracks, chilled smoky reggae or haunting minimalist beats. The one thing that brings it all together – and keeps the Void crowd returning and hungry – is the chunky bass lines. Come for the wall of subs, stay for the best showcase of local and overseas talent.

Last Friday saw the likes of local artist Spherix alongside Flippo, Kamo AC23, Western Synthetics, Luke Snarl, Twitch and Victim, playing at frequencies that shatter the barrier between body and mind; for the first time both are experienced simultaneously.

The dark, heady and dungeon like quality of Phoenix Bar is the perfect backdrop for the launch of Australia’s sub continental Dub Records. The Void nights blend the two essential elements of Dubstep: innovative sound and organ throbbing sub-bass.

Fridays gig, an Australian Dubstep showcase, was no exception, with producers and artists mixing up beats that were intense to the point of eeriness. Mark Pritchard, Victim, Twitch delivered beats influenced by UK grime, a more intense and vocal based form of dubstep. Other Fridays can see US producers such as Matty G and Babylon System, spinning tunes more influenced by American hip hop styles.

The defining factor of dubstep is the previously unheard of sound, wobbly-bass, which happens when sound waves are layered on top of each other. The intention is to create a thicker, full on auditory experience.

And that’s what it’s all about, the full body heightened sensoround sensation. How often do you discover a new genre? And if you can answer that quickly, how often do you discover a genre that makes you rattle?

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