The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Dubstep, the new trend in music

Whether it’s a remix of popular music or its own original song, a new genre has made its way across the Atlantic.


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“I think dubstep, and electronic music in general, is going to change the entire music scene,” said Beau Brown, a 21-year-old City College student.


Originating in the London underground scene, dubstep, a genre of electronic music, has quickly caught attention and taken root in the very above-ground setting of Isla Vista.


Some of the genre’s most popular songs are samplings from hit singles, including Rihanna’s “Rude Boy” and Damian Marley’s “It Was Written.”


Jess Sustarich, a UCSB student, first heard dubstep while at Burning Man music festival.


“I instantly connected with [dubstep],” Sustarich said. “It has a very organic yet contrastingly industrial sound to it.”


Dubstep has now settled into regular DJ sets and iTunes playlists. Relatively unknown artists and London natives such as Rusko, Skream and Benga populate the formerly unknown genre, which features a heavy, wobbly bassline.


“There are so many different combinations of beats, trebles, rhythms and tones that can be made,” said Brown. “I don’t see how it can do anything but grow in popularity.”


Santa Barbara disc jockey Kyle Zekanis has watched musical trends change over his ten years of working in the downtown music scene.


“It’s created a following,” Zekanis said. “It’s something new that people find inspiring and can relate to.


“It fits a lot of people’s tastes…it’s an open-ended and fluid art form that everyone can enjoy.”


With the increasing popularity of the genre, websites such as and have made the music more accessible for listeners.


“I love playing dubstep music,” said Taylor Lane, a former City College student and current downtown DJ.


“The music takes everything to a whole new level of energy. It’s grimy, it’s fun, and it’s the bass that gets you.”


But will this trend continue? Or will it give way to a different sound in the months to come?


UCSB student and amateur DJ Kevin Massanari remembers when dubstep was not as favorable as it is currently.


“I tried to play a dubstep song three years ago,” he said. “People hated it. They looked at me with disbelief.”


Within the past year, dubstep has quickly gained traction in Isla Vista. With its ranged reverberations, Massanari was originally skeptical of dubstep’s ability to appeal to local nightlife.


“We were listening to hip-hop when all of a sudden someone put on a dubstep song,” he said.


“I looked around expecting negative reactions. Everyone’s faces lit up, they were in love with this new genre.”


But Massanari is critical of dubstep’s musical content.


“It’s strange, and it’s something different than the top-40 auto-tuned crap,” said Massanari. “However, I think it’s just a trend. People probably won’t be listening to dubstep for too long. They all have the same formula, off beat drums and an overwhelming bassline. It’s cheaply produced. Anyone can do it from the privacy of their home.”


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