It's loud, it's crazy, and it has been known to destroy sound systems from N.Y. to L.A., but Colorado is its third-largest market in the US. It may be scary, but it's growing an army of fans here...it's DUBSTEP, and it's packing every venue in the state with its bass embrace!
Forged in South London in early 2001, dance producers started taking the tempo of 2-step and merging it with the dark bass of Jungle/Drum & Bass music to form a new genre that record label Tempa called "Dubstep" in 2002. Championed by U.K. Radio 1 DJs John Peel and Mary Ann Hobbs as early as 2003, the sound went from the reggae-tinged essence of Kode 9 & Benga to the minimal club thump of artists like Skream & Plasticman. In 2006, the sound was delivered to the world's ears in the soundtrack for the sci-fi film Children Of Men, which included Digital Mystikz, Random Trio, Kode 9 and DJ Pinch. In that same year, DJ Joe Nice out of Baltimore started a club night, opening the floodgates to the sound in America. Pretty soon cities from N.Y. to L.A. were maxing out the bass bins in clubs to feed the need for massive basslines.
In 2007, Nicole Cacciavillano started throwing Dubstep nights at a small venue called Kazmo's in Denver, and within a year she had moved the Sub.Mission party to Cervantes' Other Side and shortly thereafter was bringing in the hottest UK Dubstep artists, as well as a growing American artist pool to pack the massive Cervantes Ballroom and fill Beta every Friday night to the brim with bass fiends. With its foot in the door of the Rockies, Dubstep could be heard pounding out of venues from The Gothic to The Fillmore, as well as the massive sold-out events at Red Rocks by Bassnectar and the international Global Dub Festival. Denver even has its own rolling sound system called Whomp-Truck that, if savvy and following the right blogs, you can catch at a First Friday Art event or local venue parking lot near you, handing out bass lines like ice cream cones from a speaker-laden rattling truck.
As soon as the Denver Public Library heard the "bass" buzz we broke out our glow sticks, downed a couple of Red Bulls and hit up our vendors to make sure that our patrons would have plenty of speaker-shattering sounds to get them through the summer season. We have the two EPs from Skrillex, an artist who needs little introduction after winning a grammy in 2012 for Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites. His sound is razor-sharp with a touch of metal that you can hear on Scary Monsters as well as Bangarang, and if you want to see him live he will be selling out Red Rocks on July 15th, 2012. Also representing the U.S. and a veteran of packing every seat at Red Rocks is Bassnectar, who has also changed the name of the First Bank Center in Broomfield to "Bass Center" when packing it on one of his many stops in Denver, when he is not selling out huge festivals throughout the world. Originally from San Francisco, Bassnectar not only spends his time making sure every aspect of his live shows is completely on point, but is also a huge advocate for the non-profit organizations Conscious Alliance, Alternet, Free Press Organization, and Reach Out, often giving a dollar off every ticket sold at his shows to these causes. If you want to check out some of his organic bass thunder, we have his new VaVa Voom album on the way, as well as his last few releases: Divergent Spectrum and Cozza Frenzy. But if you really want to experience the Bassnectar sound he will be playing at Red Rocks on June 1st, 2012, as the June 2nd show sold out within a day! If you want to taste a bit of the way the British are pushing the sound these days, we have the two latest releases by their current poster child, Rusko. Know for his bouncy, fun, party-rocking sound this Leeds native is often seen dancing harder on stage than many of his fans in front of him. Check out his O.M.G.! album that showcases his early production and then step up to his newest release simply-titled Songs to hear the progression of his sound. For more of a serious tinge on the sound from across the pond you can take out the over-the-top production of NERO, with his Welcome Reality album that is layered with string sections, sci-fi samples and walls of bass to the point that you think you are watching a movie with your eyes closed. We also have your cloudy, rainy days covered with the subliminal Burial, a dubstep artist who stands on his own with a signature sound that sneaks up on you in the dark, plodding like ghost footsteps with unearthly bass lines soaked in spider webs, and is strangely perfect for any rainy day you spend staring out the window sipping on coffee. Make the steam of your warm beverage dance to the sub-bass of his self-titled album, Burial.
Your library card is the only ticket you need this summer to fill your stereo and iPod with the sound that is taking Colorado by storm and putting us on the world map for BASS!!
What a great introduction. Thanks for the list (and the links!).
GREAT intro! Love that our library has something for EVERONE! Much appreciated, wooOO!
Loved this posting! :)
Thanks Erin, Brenda & Anonymous,
Make sure to also check the late arrival of the Magnetic Man self-titled album, a supergroup that includes both Benga & Skream and features the singles, "Fire" (feat. MS Dynamite) and "I need air" (feat. Angela Hunte).
Plus if you didn't make it to Red Rocks for Bassnectar be sure to peep the photos of the night at the Westword website...
Shhh! This is a library.