Evolve or stagnate

What is it with the industrial community hating on Dubstep?

Some people in the scene have really driven me away from them with how vigorously they display their dislike for the genre. I’ve stopped following certain bloggers, reviewers and feeds because the hate seems unjustifiably endless. Its fine to ‘just not enjoy’ certain genres, we all do this, but it seems to me the way things are going, that the scene is going to campaign to have any Dubstep influence punishable by an unnecessarily large firing squad. Now this just isn’t fair. For those of us that don’t like Metal: we’re just happy to sit back and stay out of that scene for the most part, and if it crosses over into our scene, we gladly accept whatever parts we do like. We pick out the more industrial-influenced stuff to enjoy, because there’s some good industrial vibes going on there or whatever. We don’t yell at the top of our lungs how much these two genres shouldn’t be mixed.

And I see modern dark Dubstep as being closer to metal (more specifically Metalcore if you want to get technical) than HipHop. All those slamming halftime grooves, chugging low mids, big fills and even double kicks. In my opinion that sounds like it would work really well with industrial- and hence the next Sirus album will have quite a bit of this going on. Even if its ‘uncool’ to do this or a ‘bad move’ or whatever else I can imagine people saying about it, if I were to ask them- but I don’t ask for people’s opinions, I just write what I want to write. I’m not a generic crowd pleaser: I don’t write about getting fucked up, getting laid or hating my ex-girlfriend. And I’m not sticking to the over-used sound of Aggrotech (as much as I still love it!)

And then there’s the other angle I have seen mentioned often: ‘They’re just jumping on the Dubstep bandwagon, because that’s what is popular right now’ etc. Well let me tell you first of all, listening to Dubstep has really taught me about how effective half-time grooves can be in dark music. That’s why they exist in Metal and have worked well for many years in that genre. I’ve written tracks with Dubstep in them because its new territory for me and its always exciting to seek out new territory. That’s why other producers are doing it too; serious producers are always attracted to music that’s complex to make- and *good* Dubstep is no walk in the park.

Now here’s the sad part. There are also a lot of producers out there that have made a name for themselves producing industrial/electro-industrial/EBM and now they’re trying their hand at Dubstep and failing miserably. Its not an easy genre to master. The issue is that people who think Dubstep influence is crap for our scene can point to these acts and say ‘see I told you so’. But they need to understand that this isn’t a problem with Dubstep, its a problem with people fucking it up. And there are a lot of people fucking it up. Using generic plugin settings and samples, and making wobbles for wobbles sake, not crafting their songwriting around them.

And then bands come along that mention Dubstep influence, put their own unique twist on it, it turns out to be innovative and awesome, and people refuse to give it a chance. The scene really needs to drop some of its preconceived ideas or it will never move forward. We added electro to industrial, and electro-industrial is now a staple; we added pop to EBM, and Synthpop is now a staple. Can you see how adding Dubstep to industrial isn’t all that sacrilegious? If your answer is still ‘NO’ then I’m sure its because you think Dubstep is ‘less musical’ or something ridiculous like that…we listen to industrial music for fuck’s sake. Don’t tell me its less musical.

A well-known individual within the scene posted a facebook status along the lines of “Disappointed to hear Dubstep influence on Front Line Assembly’s new album” – in reference to their AirMech soundtrack for Carbon Games. See what’s wrong with this? They didn’t say “badly made” / “generic” / “unneeded” Dubstep. They just said Dubstep. Like its existence carries with it a prerequisite for shit. [for the record, I really liked AirMech, but not for the Dubstep] A recent release by another well known artist did a terrible job of integrating Metal into their music. But I’m not blaming Metal. I’m blaming the artist for not *using* it properly. The same should be said for Dubstep.

This scene could really benefit from some fresh sounds, and Dubstep is one of many suitable genres to draw influence from; and I haven’t seen one justifiable argument as to why the scene shouldn’t be doing this.