SMOG is one of the founding brands in the North American dubstep and bass music movement. Originally an event production company based in Los Angeles, SMOG has expanded into a record label, artist development hub, and lifestyle brand. With MTV calling the crew a “pioneering incubator of bass music in America,” SMOG is widely credited for bringing the British movement stateside, and continue to be a crucial force in the evolution of electronic music. SMOG also continues to produce top quality events in Los Angeles and beyond, always pushing forward as an internationally recognized leader in U.S. bass music.



Around 2003 the UK Garage or 2-Step community was beginning to feel the failures of it’s music moving to a pop music format. With cheesy vocals about bling and champagne it quickly faded out from popularity. It took a younger generation from the south neighborhoods of London to embrace these sounds and give it a little more edge. They changed the format of the beats around a bit and put an emphasis on heavy and intense bass. The music was also spiced up with the echo and effects similar to a form of reggae music known as Dub. This marriage of UK Garage and Jamacain Dub could only be given a name like Dubstep.Dubstep was limited to a small following for it’s first few years. You would could hear it being played at clubs like FWD in the Shoreditch neighborhood of London. You could buy it on vinyl at shops like Big Apple in Croydon or Black Market in Soho.

Everything changed though in January of 2006 when BBC Radio 1 DJ Mary Anne Hobbs created a 2 hour program titled “Dubstep Warz”. The program featured every key play involved in the sound and they described what Dubstep meant to them. The broadcast went viral and soon Dubstep started to sprout up all over the world.



In the summer of 2006 SMOG started out with one event.  At that time you couldn’t go to any events or clubs in LA that were playng Dubstep. So we decided to organize an event that we called “an experiement in Dubstep” set to take place in downtown LA. The result was and incredible success and a seed was planted for what would soon be one the most thriving underground dance movements in LA’s history. Before you knew it dj’s, producers, promoters, sound-systems, and party goers alike were claiming Dubstep in LA and thus a community was born.The SMOG events took place in venues like Casey’s Bar & Grille in Downtown LA, or Tokio Bar and Vanguard in Hollywood. They then found a new home at  The Echo in Echo Park were they ran solid for 3 years. In the mean time SMOG events started to pop up in warehouses inside the cities abandoned and desolate core. Helping to create the Pure Filth parties at the Higgins Gallery, the shape of Dubstep to come spawned from these underground gatherings. In 2007, SMOG re-launched itself as a record label. With 12th Planet leading the charge and already starting to make waves internationally, releases form the crew and outside artists making a significant contribution to the music’s development were signed and released. 12th Planet along with Drew Smog, Danny United and TeaLong launched the popular Dubtroit club night in Orange County that has become a staple in OC. SMOG then put out the “Scion Sampler CD v.30 – SMOG” which saw over 100,000 copies printed and distributed through-out North America. Red Bull took notice of SMOG and extended an invitation to compete in the Red Bull Culture Clash against LA’s best like Dim Mak, Dub Club, and Stones Throw.By 2010, SMOG had gone on to successfully produce events in Miami, Austin, Chicago, Las Vegas, San Francisco, and Detroit. SMOG has been featured on Mary Anne Hobbs BBC Radio 1 show, arguably the most influential broadcast show in bass music. SMOG has features and articles in major publications such as Mixmag, Rolling Stone, The Sun (UK), Spin Magazine, and The Guardian (UK). Today SMOG continues to push itself as an internationally recognized and respected brand through it’s music, artists, and events. Only until you have experienced the bass weight in the live setting will you truly understand the true impact being made. You have to feel it as much as you have to hear it.

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  1. […] the U.S. dubstep sound is very different from its U.K. origins. Drew Best cofounder of LA based Smog explains, “The stuff that’s popular in America is different than the London dubstep […]

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