Dubstep gigs are becoming rarer in the city, but you can catch one tonight
Categorising different genres of music can sometimes be a headache, because the lines that divide them dissolve like aspirin added to water. This holds true even more so for laptop-generated 21st-century sounds, which can literally be produced at the click of a mouse, than for older forms like rock and punk.
Dubstep, for instance, was first categorised in the UK in 2006. It caught the fancy of the headbanging nightclub audience for a while. But then other genres with a similarly high BPM came into prominence and dubstep soon found itself crowded into a sonic school that can be generalised - for the sake of simplicity - as 'bass'.
This was not just a foreign phenomenon, though. Audiences in India, too, took to the genre in the late noughties, only to shift interest later to other bass-heavy sounds. "See, this generation likes aggressive music," says Mayur Narvekar of Bandish Projekt, one of the country's first purveyors of electronic music. "If they can dance to it, if they can express themselves with it, they will adapt to it. It doesn't have to be dubstep, it can be anything. Nowadays, it's become trap and glitch, and I have no idea of what other sub-genres of bass music we will have in the future," he adds.
But dubstep itself hasn't yet faded into oblivion altogether. Artistes like DJ Sa, Mojojojo and Sound Avtar are keeping the flame alive. Tonight, for example, a Khar venue will host a gig that will have elements of the genre, according to its poster. It features a DJ from the UK, V.I.V.E.K, and Delhi Sultanate, a dub pioneer from the Capital.
Nonetheless, Vivek Dudlani, who programmes gigs at the venue, feels that dubstep's heydays are over. "It has definitely fallen down the pecking order. The same audience that used to listen to it has evolved more towards grime and footwork. So when we are curating our lists, we simply label these genres as 'bass' and try to have at least three such gigs a month," he adds.
On: Tonight, 9 pm onwards
At: AntiSocial, Khar West