Nothing moves faster and in more complicated ways than genres of electronic music. Depending on who you talk to, a track can be UK-Funky, or 2-Step, Jungle or DnB. What is stable and easy to track, however, is the incessant stream of awesome music coming from the UK underground. Perhaps the epicenter of cutting edge electronic music, the mature club scene of London serves as a breeding ground for some of the most influential and important steps forward in electronic music to date.
So, where does that leave us? We all know (or think we know) dubstep and its arena rock American counterpart, aptly referred to as "brostep." Started in London by the likes of Skream and Digital Myztiks, dubstep played heavily on themes originating in Jamaican dub, i.e. heavy bass lines and a kind of electronic dissonance. What will be surprising for some American listeners, is that this stuff has been around for more than ten years now! While it has only hit the US in recent years, the English have been mulling over this stuff for a long time at this point. Henceforth, we have entered into post-dubstep, a genre after a genre, the next step after 'step, if you will.
The cool thing about the bass music coming out these days is the eclectic nature of many of its artists. Dubstep has a pretty singular aesthetic goal: serious bass, a few heavy drops, and worshiping Jah. Post dubstep uses these as a groundwork upon which to build. Like any good "post" genre, it casts a wide net into the electronic scene, grabbing elements found in a huge range of electronic genres, from skippy garage shuffles, to the quick snare hits of jungle drums. This makes for some mighty interestin' listenin' folks, some of the best seen below for your enjoyment.
So there's this weird thing where post-dubstep producers like to be mysterious. They all seem to wear masks or hoods or something. Zomby is guilty of this, and after careful analysis, this fascination with hiding one's persona seems relevant to the music and vibe these fella's wade through. Anyway, Zomby is kind of the wonder-kid of this scene: appearing recently and with a slew of awesome tracks, he is, perhaps, unstoppable.
Objekt first came onto the scene last year and as a disclaimer, he's not from London. Hailing from the streets of Berlin, Objekt has taken the electronic music scene by storm. A software engineer by trade at Natural Instruments, his tracks are super technical and robotic, sometimes seeming like exercises in theory more than songs. Either way, definitely one of the more interesting of the bunch.
With only a handful of pictures of him in circulation, Burial is definitely the most enigmatic and mysterious of the bunch. One of the first artists to break from from making pure dubstep, Burial has released two stellar albums, both of which are super dark and claustrophobic. With his most recent e.p. Kindred, Burial has outdone himself once again. A true epic, this track runs the gamut of where the genre has been and where it is going.
I've already written pretty extensively about SBTRKT in the past week or so, so I won't dwell on him much. His self titled debut album is a stunning testament to the depth of the UK scene.
Actress is definitely the most experimental of the producers listed here. Working in a kind of hazy, low-fi aesthetic, Actress produces some very interesting dub-influenced soundscapes. While not a big name yet, it seems almost inevitable that this one will blow up fast.