Dubstep originated in South London at the beginning of the millennia. The club night Forward at Soho’s The Velvet Rooms was very important to the development of dubstep as it hosted music that was less mainstream than what was being played at bigger raves. The Big Apple record shop in Croydon was also very significant. Arthur Smith (known as Artwork) had a studio above the shop and established a record label that would be sold in the shop. The Big Apple became a hub for electronic music enthusiasts; Mala and Coki of Digital Mystikz, EI-B and Zed Bias were all regulars. By 2003, the event Filthy Dub was giving a voice to artists such as Skream, Benga and Loefah who are all notable early dubstep pioneers. 

The dubstep scene started to gain prominence following a BBC radio 1 show entitled Dubstep Warz (2006) which took the genre out of the underground and gave the music a much wider audience. Burial’s self-titled album that year was also highly successful. By this point, dubstep was now appearing around the world with regular dubstep club nights and features at festivals. Dubstep can be characterised by syncopated rhythms and a snare or clap on the third beat of the bar. The music is typically around 130-140 bpm and you can often recognise the wobble or ‘wub’ bass. You might also hear a bass drop where the music momentarily cuts off or subdues before returning with renewed intensity. 

Notable artists:


Digital Mystikz





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