Published: 10 Aug 2010
WHILE our mainstream acts face a constant battle to break America, our underground dance culture has been making strong inroads into the United States for some time now.
Over the years our dance pioneers have achieved the kind of success that many of our chart acts can only dream of.
The latest success story is fledgling dance genre Dubstep, which has been steadily growing in stature over the last three years.
In parallel to the burgeoning scene here in the UK, America’s Dubstep scene has been flourishing.
Two of the biggest labels pushing out US Dubstep are Smog Recordings and Argon Records.
Both labels have a high output of quality Dubstep, produced by talented producers such as NOAH D, BABYLON SYSTEM/ROOMMATE, 12TH PLANET, KEMST, DLX and MATTY G.
Not forgetting STARKEY, out of Philadelphia.
All of the above artists have been championed by Dubstep pioneers here in the UK, with Noah D and Babylon System’s Examination Of Time track going down as one of the most popular Dubstep tracks to come out of the US so far.
And, like drum and bass 10 years ago, the genre is now being represented at Miami’s hugely popular Winter Music Conference (WMC).
This year Smog Records held one of the biggest Dubstep parties at the WMC, which saw PLASTICIAN, SKREAM and ex Radio 1 DJ MARY ANNE HOBBS on the line up amongst many others.
Skream and BENGA, two of Dubstep’s biggest stars also played at the Ultra Festival during WMC – an event which also plays host to some of dance’s biggest names including ERICK MORILLO, SWEDISH HOUSE MAFIA, CARL COX and DEADMAU5.
And Smog’s regular Los Angeles parties often feature British stars as their headline acts. DJs such as CHEFAL, N-TYPE and RUSKO and many others have been travelling to the States to perform at club nights there for the last few years.
CASPA, another hugely popular British Dubstep producer and DJ, has also made his mark in the States – hired to play at the Lollapalooza Festival last weekend. (Where LADY GAGA famously stage dived in a fishnet bodysuit).
Proving just how popular Dubstep is in America, Smog celebrates its 4th birthday this month, with a suitably impressive line up fronted exclusively by DJs from its own label.
As with Grime, it seems the growing popularity and unique sounds being created by Dubstep artists on both sides of the Atlantic (as well as the rest of the globe) is catching the attention of some of America’s better known musicians.
SNOPP DOGG has already tried his hand at a Dubstep-esque record, Snoopdogg Millionaire. Although this was not well received by fans of the genre.
However, towards the end of last year news was leaked of a collaboration between Dubstep supremos Skream and Benga and N*E*R*D star PHARRELL WILLIAMS.
Pharrell is said to be a big fan of dance music, having recently seen his track with the Swedish House Mafia enter the UK chart at number 7.
Though the track has still yet to materialise, music have been awash with discussions about the prospect of a collaboration between three producers who are arguably well-respected within their own genres. It’s a meeting of minds that has left many music fans salivating in anticipation.
Skream, Benga and ARTWORK, collectively known as MAGNETIC MAN, have already worked with US artists on their new LP.
Empire State Of Mind writer ANGELA HUNTE provides the vocals on their top ten hit I Need Air, while JOHN LEGEND also features on their Getting Nowhere track.
With so many names attaching themselves to Dubstep producers, there’s no doubt that US industry execs will soon sit up and take notice of the genre.