The 10 most important dubstep records?


8. Jun. 2011, 23:05

I listened to the BBC radio 1xtra history programme today - some good memories but a bit of a narrow selection - although there was only 60 minutes, so whatyougonnado... anyway, back in a dubstep frame of mind and hankering for some 2006/7 tunes - or at least from when I started buying... Pinch, El-B, Skream, Ramadanman, Horsepower Productions... you know the drill.

Got me thinking too... what are the 10 most important dubstep records? Not sure I have got to 10 yet but here goes;

Skream - Midnight Request Line
For many, this is where it all started - not the music, but the introduction to the music. Actually the flip, I is arguable the better track but it's not as important... First Skream tunes out as a 12" on Tempa back in 2006. The sound of Red stripe, Skunk, and PlayStation. Utterly brilliant.

Benga - Crunked Up
...and where Ollie goes, Benny goes... first series of iDeal on BBC3 was soundtracked by this as far as I remember, dubstep was crawling virus like into the concious of late night TV watching ne'er-do-wells - and the soundtrack was good.

TRG - Broken Heart (Martyn's DCM remix)
This tune just blew up in 2008 and signposted a way that dubstep could evolve, swallowing tech influences and proving that the reach of dubstep was both expanding sonically and geographically.

Pinch - Get Up or Get Up ft. Yolanda

Should dubstep have vocals? I wasn't at all sure. Pinch set me straight. The instrumental version of this is good. The vocal version makes this and brings a softer sounding step which made dubstep that little bit less a boys thing. Phew.

Shackleton - Blood on my Hands (Ricardo Villalobos Apocalypso Now Mix Part 1) / Blood on my Hands (Ricardo Villalobos Apocalypso Now Mix Part 2)

I mean, it's just amazing. And it might not even be dubstep. Villalobos brings the minimal and creates space for the dread to fester.

Burial - Distant Lights
Burial's not bad is he? Hyperdub isn't a terrible label either. OK this is amazing. I could have picked one of many many tracks from either album or anything he's ever done, but we're sticking to 12"s here. It's a record that sounds like someone listening to club music from the rain soaked alleyway outside the club, trains going by overhead, night buses running, hood up. South London in November. Desolate, haunted, organic, awesome.

Benny Ill & DJ Hatcha - Highland Spring
Hatcha is still a name out there in the minds of many dub steppers, Benny still putting out tunes with Horsepower Productions and in solo guise he popped up in 2010 on Mala's Deep Medi imprint. Hatcha's just always been all over dubstep everywhere important Big Apple, FWD>>, Rinse, etc...don't know how many tunes he has his name on but this is one of the best and it forms part of the blueprints from which dubstep was built, and re-built.

Benga & Coki - Night
Dubstep isn't always about the base. Except sometimes it, er, is. How many dubstep tunes take the baseline and treat it as a riff? I mean this could be a smoke on the water style riff in 20 years time with air-dj's playing along... OK maybe not.
Anyway this tune felt like it should break from the underground and run riot, it didn't quite manage it but most of the damage done to the door marked mainstream was done right here, other just finished the job (with less style)...
Oh - and Zinc totally rinsed this with a D&B remix 12" too!

OK - that's 8 - 2 more to go... I am thinking, I am thinking...


  • PorscheFanatica

    Nice list! I'm interested in hearing the other 4...

    21. Jun. 2011, 2:24
  • PorscheFanatica

    How about Rusko - Cockney Thug? It's a bit too aggro for the dubstep purist, but it arguably started the brostep genre. While I'm not a fan of that direction, its huge influence is still notable.

    21. Jul. 2011, 17:31
  • thisisall1word

    Yeah - I was thinking of Cockney Thug - although it's not any good imo it was a tune that bears a lot of responsibility for a lot of unoriginality! Was also thinking about the Skream remix of La Roux... not even a dubstep tune but got Skream into NME/mainstream attention... hmmm... more to think about!

    22. Jul. 2011, 9:14
  • Pseudomancer

    Great list! Thanks.

    12. Aug. 2011, 2:43
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