Off of the grime streets of London, here are 5 albums you must add to your dubstep collection. Even if you're only just starting out, these 5 albums will give you a solid foundation for exploring the world of dubstep.
1. Skream - Skream!
Oliver Jones, also known as Skream, is one of the most prolific music producers in dubstep. He's one of the main artists involved in spreading the genre's popularity to crowds beyond just those native to London. In 2006, he released Skream! one of the most important dubstep releases to date. The album maintains very strong roots in the drum'n'bass movement of the 90s, while gently introducing listeners to catchy 2step beats and manipulated strings sounds and awesome sampled vocals. One song in particular, "Midnight Request Line," quickly became a dubstep anthem, and served as a means of giving an identity to dubstep through exemplifying those traits most consistent with the genre.
2. Mimosa - Silver Lining
In this album, dubstep artist Mimosa maintained some of the drum patterns consistent with the genre, while breaking away from heavy down-tempo bass-lines, to create a more dreamy sound through using incredibly seductive synth lines. This album conveys the more vibrant side of dubstep, and shows and American attempt to make the genre into something more than just a moody album about London - and Mimosa succeeds without question.
3. Benga - Diary of an Afro Warrior
Another dubstep producer from London, Benga, has made a huge contribution to the genres progression through the release of his second album, Diary of an Afro Warrior. One of Benga's notable characteristics is his ability to work outside of the rigid framework which has been set in place by previous producers who made their drum loops using computer software that made set everything in perfect time. Instead, Benga prefers to keep his drum sounds dynamic and enticing. He employs a diverse array of different sounds throughout the album from lasers, to incredible delay effects on drums. One notable song, "Night," contains very catchy drum rhythms and synth sounds that will keep you dancing for hours.
4. Burial - Burial
In 2006, an album appeared by Burial, entitled Burial. It skyrocketed into the charts, and reached critical acclaim very soon after its release. Although not many people know anything about the artist, the fact that he is shrouded in mystery does nothing but add to the general emotive effects of the album. It is dark, moody, full of sub-bass, and conjures images of London at night . Burial makes use of 2step rhythms, synonymous with late underground drum'n'bass, and he uses these beats to his greatest advantage to convey feels of loneliness and introspective thought. Some notable songs include "Broken Home," "Forgive," and "Southern Comfort."
5. Rusko - O.M.G.!
Rusko's album, O.M.G.! introduced dubstep to the world of pop. Every single tune on the album utilizes incredibly heavy wobble bass, (predominant in the song "Woo Boost,") and drum loops which are very much consistent with the genre. However, his beats are incredibly energetic, and sound more like tunes you'd hear at a rave or at a club, as opposed to in grimy London. Rusko was a fresh taste of what's to come in dubstep, and a promise that the genre has no desire to stagnate and become boring. Instead, Rusko's album is proof that dubstep will continue to diversify its sound bank beyond just mere 2step anthems, and reverberating wobble bass.