Dubstep originates from London as an organic merging of Drum n Bass, Garage and Dub. Originally as experimental B-sides of 2-step garage, but gained commercial momentum when the sound was championed by John Peel on BBC Radio 1 from 2003-2004. Artists such as Photek, Wordsound Germany, Plasticman and Loefah were early pioneers of the genre, exploring how Dubstep can be presented.
Dubsteps format is syncopated with a large use of tuplets and shuffled rhythms, averaging to about 140BPM. The signature of Dub – that being the hard and strong snare/clap is ever present in Dubstep, but with far less reverb usually. Dubstep has a very dark and minor vibe, usually with minimal vocals, and if there are, usually spoken or rapped.
The most famous part of Dubstep is the bassline. Due to the slow bass and snare hits, there is a lot of room in between for creativity in the bassline dubbed the “Wobble” This is a bassline, usually a saw or sine being put through an oscillator and various other filters to give it a grimy and dark timbre.
Towards the end of the 2000s Dubstep was receiving worldwide play, and becoming endemic in pop songs. With artists like Britney Spears, Rihanna and Snoop Dogg releasing singles and albums with a heavy Dubstep influence. The height of Dubstep in its original form would be at the end of the 2000s with artists such as Magnetic Man, Nero and Skrillex. The latter artists have sinced redevloped its sound and their signature productions are no longer considered Dubstep – in a severe pigeon holing context and is explored in Post-dubstep, Brostep and other sub genres.