Dubstep pioneers drop into Rialto
Wobble bass and heavy drops will shake the foundations of the Rialto Theatre on Friday. John Dadzie, better known as DJ/producer 12th Planet, comes to the Rialto on Feb. 21, headlining the bass music- oriented Smog City North American Tour 2014. 12th Planet will be accompanied by supporting artists, including Protohype and Antiserum, from SMOG Records.
12th Planet and SMOG Records, the label he founded, were largely responsible for popularizing the electronic dance music subgenre known as dubstep in the U.S.
EDM really started to gain steam around 2007 and 2008. Out of the myriad of different subgenres, progressive house and trance were the most popular at the start of this new wave of electronic music.
Then, in 2010, a lesser-known style here in the States crossed the pond from its birthplace in the UK: Enter dubstep. It outright exploded in 2010, with Blow Your Head – Diplo Presents: Dubstep, which actually had a remix from 12th Planet, and a little-known producer named Skrillex released the album Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites.
That concludes the brief history lesson — but where does dubstep stand now?
Photo Illustration by Alex Guyton DJ, electronic producer, and dubstep pioneer 12th Plant comes to the Rialto Theatre on Friday, February 21st.
“I think that it’s become more popular at music festivals and stuff like that, but it’s become a mix of different genres,” said Alexa Rosenblum, a sophomore studying molecular and cellular biology who is also the RPM music director for KAMP.
Subgenres for electronic music are notorious for somehow evading exact definition. Rolling Stone magazine labeled 12th Planet as the “Los Angeles dubstep god,” yet Rosenblum characterizes 12th Planets’ tracks as “definitely electro house” with some “dubstep thrown in.”
UA alumnus Jason Sikorsky, a 2013 graduate in Film and Video Production, serves as an events coordinator for Tucson-based Specto Entertainment. Specto was the company responsible for bringing popular trance producer Paul Oakenfold to the Rialto in November 2013, as well.
Sikorsky also spoke to the variety that will be seen come Friday night.
“It’s just going to be a lot of bass music, and trap, and D’n’B [drums and bass], so it should be a lot of fun,” Sikorsky said. However, it doesn’t seem to have mattered what category 12th Planets’ tracks fall under, as Rosenblum feels the artist has continued to make a name for himself.
“I think that he’s making it bigger,” Rosenblum said. “I’ve kind of seen him blow up over the past couple of years.”
Speaking of blowing up, the whole of electronic dance music has blown up over the past few years. You’d be hard-pressed to find a mainstream pop song that doesn’t have a little electronic DNA in it. Heck, Daft Punk, one of the most recognizable acts in electronic, claimed Album of the Year at the Grammys a couple of weeks ago.
This new popularity, however, has led to saturation in the scene. What was once niche has become mainstream.
“I expect to see a lot of electronic music lovers at the show, but I think that also it’s a lot of people who just want to go and party,” Rosenblum said.
Come Friday, one of the pioneers of dubstep will be here in Tucson. This may be a chance to convince more luminaries of the dance world to stop over in the “Dirty T” and play a set.
“It’s fun to bring in music into Tucson and try to stimulate the EDM culture here and hopefully keep it going for years to come,” Sikorsky said.