Do we really know dubstep? Until VP Records distributed Greensleeves Dubstep: Chapter 1, the genre’s identity has been tough to pin down. Ask anyone with some inkling about what dubstep is, and each person will probably define it differently as heavy-aggressive electronica, a hybrid of London 2-step, a dollop of trance, run through a filter of industrial techno, channeling the angst of grime. What?! Being an import to the American nightlife scene by way of the United Kingdom, it’s easy for dubstep’s identity to get lost in translation like playing a game of Telephone, on Molly. You follow?
With VP and Greensleeves in the mix, their interpretation of dubstep makes a lot more sense—you can clearly hear the heavy drum composition influenced by Jamaican dub. But to make the sound more contemporary, it moves to a faster tempo, which makes it more derivative of 2-step. Without getting even more technical, just examine the term “dubstep,” and break it apart into two syllables (phonetics kids), the Greensleeves spin on the genre is right there in your face.
Greensleeves, which is based in the UK has a solid track record of making remix compilations that do their sampled records justice. In 2007, the label released Ragga Jungle Dubs, one of my all-time favorite albums. Every record on the ’07 mix is a staple for anyone (DJs) getting their first exposure to the drum and bass scene. The same goes for Greensleeves Dubstep: Chapter 1. Maybe I’m a little biased to a Jamaican spin on d&b or dubstep. After all, deejaying was originated in Jamaica, so why not take these sounds back to the essence. Peep the Yellowman remix by Horsepower Productions after the jump and a note from VP’s press release.
Greensleeves Dubstep: Chapter 1 has an awe-inspiring list of the genre’s finest producers with the likes of The Bug, Coki & Mala of Digital Mystikz, Goth-Trad, Horsepower Productions and Terror Danjah. They mix up some of dancehall’s most popular anthems from leading contemporaries Vybz Kartel, Mavado, Busy Signal & Gyptian as well as icons Yellowman, Barrington Levy & Admiral Bailey for the ultimate culture clash.
[Ed. Note: First time I heard of Horsepower Productions, they graced Volume 4 of the Suite903 mixtape series with “Pimp Flavors.” One of their more dancehall-inspired remixes was a wicked flip of Elephant Man’s “Log On.” Bump those! They’re back again on Greensleeves Dubstep: Chapter 1, and kill it as they always do.]