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22 March 2013

Friday Music: Skrillex and Dubstep

I give you Skrillex's "Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites":

and Skrillex's "First of the Year (Equinox)":

I am currently obsessed with this stuff. I think that I like it for the same reasons that I like metal music, because it is challenging. As I posted before:
A good analogy would be Thomas Kinkade. One can find his art for sale in most any suburban shopping mall and on the walls of many a middle-class home. His realistic style and idyllic and idealized subject matter make the work easily accessible. It is unchallenging and, I would argue, boring. But, that’s the point: the requirements for inspiring awe vary by individual experience. For the typical (self-respecting) musician, a happy little Jack Johnson ditty (a tonal Thomas Kinkade painting if you will) just isn’t going to cut it, but for the average lay person, it’s likely more than enough.
1999 Thomas Kinkade is to most popular music today as 1949 Jackson Pollock is to dubstep. Dubstep sounds industrial (not to be confused with the 1990s Industrial genre). It is how I imagine servo motors sounding in an assembly line of robots or how I imagine ones and zeros traveling through the series of tubes sounding.

I originally got tipped off to dubstep by Katherine Chen over at Orgtheory, and then recently, Mike Rugnetta posted an intriguing analysis of dubstep at the PBS Idea Channel:

I think the songs above and the genre as a whole offer a lot to talk about in terms of defining art, defining music, and the effects of the means of production on art and music.

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