With tech-house, disco-house, and moombahton already legitimate EDM sub-subgenres, it’s time for a fusion of house and dubstep. Although the rising profile of Cazzette is starting to draw attention to dub-house, this fusion has actually been kicked around and experimented with for roughly four years, depending upon whom you ask and what you’re listening to.
But, dub-house lacks the unification and cohesiveness of other sub-subgenres. ResidentAdvisor.net, addressing this emerging house faction in February, identified it as dubstep experimentation: genre DJs tired of dropping the bass over and over dabbling with house melodies. ResidentAdvisor.net emphasizes that dubstep never existed alone – its relationship is always symbiotic and occasionally parasitic, feeding off garage or grime and in close quarters with drum and bass. House has turned into the next subgenre for dubstep to latch onto.
As this genre can potentially become huge – house for those who want more bass, dubstep for those that find its purest and Skrillex-y forms too abrasive – who should you watch out for?
Cazzette is, perhaps, at the forefront. This Swedish duo is the latest group being pushed by At Night Management, the manager of Avicii, and recently put out a dub-house bootleg remix of the Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “Ni**as in Paris.” Although Cazzette does the hip-hop-dubstep merger better than the rapper’s own “Who Gon Stop Me”, their fusion of house and dubstep – on this and other remixes like Swedish House Mafia’s “Save The World” – is too heavy-handed at times and alternates between the two without finding an acceptable midpoint.
A dub-house fusion has been part of Martyn’s sound since 2008. Originally a drum and bass producer, Martyn found, four years ago, that his track “Broken” was an inadvertent dubstep hit. Through 2009’s Great Lengths, his Fabric Mix DJ series, and 2011’s Ghost People, Martyn turned into a crossover producer, incorporating house melodies with dubstep and drum and bass.
DJ Pinch, Ben UFO, Jackmaster, and Oneman fall within the same continuum as Martyn, albeit as DJs alone. The Bristol, U.K.-based dubstep producer recently began including house into his sets, as seen by “Oh No Not Another Dubstep DJ Playing House Music” and his Fabricline mix CD. Specifically, Pinch explained to ResidentAdvisor.net, house or techno builds up into dubstep and, “Often the wait and anticipation for dubstep meant that when I did start playing 140, people went a bit more nuts, so it actually helped the atmosphere by starting out differently.”
Ben UFO, on the other hand, pushes the fusion through Hessle Audio, a label devoted toward this house-bass crossover, and its corresponding radio show on Rinse.fm.
Other producers, like Midland, go in the opposite direction, beginning with house and then trying out the newer dubstep sounds. But, unlike the overblown productions of Cazzette’s, Midland’s, like track “Bring Joy”, are stripped down, almost minimal with a tribal beat feel.
George FitzGerald, on the other hand, bounced between the two extremes, starting with house and techno, diverging away into dubstep, and then bringing the two together. FitzGerald has now reached what could be considered the perfect midpoint between the two: house melodies supported by an undercurrent of dubstep rhythms. “With bass music there’s a constant pressure to be cutting-edge and innovative in a formal and sonic sense, and that all too often detracts from the focus on simply making good music,” he previously told ResidentAdvisor.net. “As long as people can draw a line between dubstep and house and find me somewhere in the middle, I’m okay with that.”
Now as dubstep is turning into a mainstream force, rather than an electronic oddity of scrapes and wobbly beats that’s neither dance-floor nor listening friendly, nearly on par with house, techno, and electro, newer artists don’t think twice about including it. Till von Sein, producing and DJing since 2003, Jeff Bennett, a Swedish producer with 130 singles under his belt, and up-and-coming Russian DJ Grin Danilov all experiment with both genres in tracks and remixes.