Saturday, December 11, 2004
This thread from Baltimore's GourmetBeats forum looks at dubstep's relationship to grime, and some of the strengths and weaknesses and intersections of both sounds. A pretty interesting discussion, for all music geek massive!...

Light Touch: I know dubstep, and generally, I like it. My problems with dubstep are that it's generally a very "hands off" sound - it doesn't engage the crowd.  (There are certainly some heads that get into it -- I'm talking about the average person in the club.)  It has a way of being there but not really being there; it's almost masturbatory in its self-obsession.

Grime is clearly the flipside of dubstep - it fully engages the crowd, it's all up in your face, and brings everyone into the experience. The music gold, to me, would be a merging of dubstep complexities with grime assertiveness.  In the meantime, I'll play the handful of decent grime MC tracks and the handful of engaging dubstep tracks.

daveq: PLASTICMAN - the best of both worlds, nahmeen? Very upfront like grime but deep like dubstep.

Light Touch: I like a lot of Chris' (Plasticman's) stuff, but some of it still meanders a bit.  He's clearly ahead of the pack on accessibility, tho.  SLT Mob is up there, too.  And Mark One, tho I'm not feeling his 3xLP.

I think a lot of those in-between guys are splitting the difference, but not really pushing the limits and building dancefloor tracks.  A good start, but I'm itching for more.

joenice: I have this discussion with anyone that's been willing to listen....Plasticman's beats are neither grime nor dubstep. He's more "techy" sounding than all the rest. He's different from SLT Mob and Mark One because those guys are closer to one sound/genre than another.

- MarkOne, more grime than dubstep.
- SLT Mob, more dubstep than grime.

Additionally, there's a part of be that believes Plastiq is moving away from his music being referred to as dubstep for marketing reasons. More people know the word "grime"; many less know the word "dubstep". Rephlex knows the deal - they couldnt call Grime 2 (a 3 LP pack with the best dubstep has to offer) "dubstep" because they're not sure if the people that bought Grime I would have been receptive. You know how closed-minded people can be. It's not right, but that's the way it is.  People found Grime II wasnt "grime" per se, and either loved it or hated it, not much of an in-between.  If it was called "dubstep", i'm not sure the same number of people would have jumped on board and made the buy.

daveq: that thread on the rinse fm forum w/ plastic wonderin why people classify him as dubstep was interestin, but it also struck me as slightly suspect (eg more marketing than substance) considering that dubstep is a much broader thing than just the mystikz sound. the 'croydon sound' if there is such a thing always seemed to me to pull from both dubstep and grime and plastiq definitely falls into that category for me. but i'd have to say dubstep is more an approach than a particular sound - sorta like how dub was the instrumental/abstracted alter-ego of reggae, i see dubstep as the same thing for grime.

Light Touch: Grime, to me, is shit like Wiley, Oddz, Eastwood, ALIAS, Target, and that vibe.  Chris and Mark are rarely anywhere near that vibe, and their tunes tend to have a deliberate feel that reminds me more of dubstep, even tho the sounds don't.  Grime is about upfront beats, and I'm not sure that Chris and Mark work with upfront beats.

Finally, calling dubsteppy stuff "grime" is just stupid.  It may sell records, but it's really confusing one subgenre with another.  That Rephlex jumped on it will just make them look stupid in the music industry, IMHO.

joenice: I agree, but if you had to say which one was closer to "grime", clearly the answer would be Grime I.

Hmmmm....Granted - Wiley, Oddz, Eastwood, ALIAS and Target are grime in the purest sense of the word. Plastiq & Mark1's tunes are closer to grime than dubstep. I think Plastic's earlier tunes (Hard Graft, Shockwave, Venom, Life on A String) were definitely more 8-bar than grime, but Plastic's sound has evolved into something that you really cant pigeonhole.

I agree. Call it what it is. It is what it is and that's what it's gonna be. No more no less. It's tough enough figuring out what "dubstep" is, let alone calling dubstep, "grime"
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