If you are a fan of underground music, then this is not new to you at all – dubstep and ‘beatacism’ is taking over the club scene. What started off as young producers and DJ’s making music that they (as opposed to the rest of the crowd) liked and playing it among themselves, quickly escalated into a musical movement that’s sweeping the globe. Embraced by the few that keep their ears to the ground, it is now slowly filtering into the mainstream. And these new genres of music have grown in popularity thanks to the one tool that the music industry has been fighting to curb for years – the internet.
The impact music has on our culture is undeniable – just think of Bob Dylan, John Lennon, et al and the effect their songs had on the peace/anti-war movement of the 60′s/70′s. Music is a contagious symptom of beliefs that can spread quicker than the flu. A musical movement is not just a bunch of catchy chords and melodies sung and danced to by a few people – it’s also a map by which they live their life by. And it’s those that latch-on to what is perceived to be the “new sound” that usually have the social power to influence those around them. And not just musically, but also in what to wear, eat, watch, read, follow, believe, how to act, and how to behave. Smart marketers/creatives/strategists know this very well, and tapping into the trend-setter can be a very lucrative proposition. It can also back-fire tremendously if done in a “distasteful to the cool peeps” way.
Here are two short documentaries that talk about the evolution of dubstep; how it started, what are its beliefs, and where it is heading. There is a an interesting talk about how the internet has helped the genre and its artists to spread their sound beyond their small city borders, and into the wider world. It also talks about the old adage of “underground vs mainstream” – they listen to this music to differentiate themselves from the crowd, but the further they push their sound, the more people pick it up, which then the mainstream latches on to it, and then the movement dies and evolves into something else; a never-ending musical life-cycle.
So, have a look and see what the ‘cool kids’ are into these days. It’s just a matter of time before every brand and medium picks these genres up, and milk them for their “cool”.
Future Sound – An Underground Electronic Music Documentary
Dubbed Out In Bristol – Dubstep Documentary
Unfortunately I am not aware of any docos about the hip-hop ‘LA’ beat scene, but have a read of the link in the first paragraph (it discusses how this genre started in the parking lot and a boom-box, and moved on to every part of the world within a matter of a few years), and this one here. And while you’re at it, make sure you listen to the music too – it really is something new.