It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that Dubstep has become a movement of global significance over the past decade. So rapid has it’s rise been that it has started to make pop look like an underground project forged in Croydon at the turn of the millennium. Dubstep’s upward trajectory has been sharp since it’s humble beginnings at Big Apple records up to Skream’s recent award winning remix with La Roux’s “In For the Kill”.
Early proponents of the sound included Hatcha and Benga along with Skream himself, who’s arrest at Plastician’s first Filthy Dub night formed part of Dubstep’s early musical mythology. The London based FDW}} nights previously held at smaller venues such as Velvet Rooms and Corsica Studios moved seamlessly up to larger nights such as Ministry of Sound and Matter, at the time the biggest club in the UK.
John Peel’s early interest in the scene followed by Annie Mac’s prime slot on Radio 1 on a Friday night further helped to gain a mainstream foothold. Sometimes described as Drum n Bass’ less frantic, more melodic cousin, Dubstep has been hailed as reviving dance music. Now with big pirate radio station Rinse fm being granted officially legality in June of this year, the mainstream interest can only grow.
Brighton based trio Millions Like Us are an example of a group who are making Dubstep more accessible to a wider audience. They all hail from indie backgrounds, appropriately enough given the crossing over of styles amongst former underground movements in recent years. Singer Chris Mitchell and bassist Tom Griffiths were members of the now defunct indie group Riot Lights. Tom and his sibling Ian are graduates of ACM college in Guildford, with Ian perhaps understandably falling out of love with the guitar the minute he started teaching it.
The Griffiths brothers decided to swap their axes for writing tunes on a piano roll and producing, with the song “Put Your Shoes On” making BBC 1xtra’s ‘unsigned track of the week’ on Target’s Sunday evening 100% Homegrown show. Impressive given that they have only been putting songs out in the last month or so, following six months of production. With big record label interest Millions Like Us could well be the next direction in the constantly evolving form of Dubstep.
Words by James Martin