18 dubstep tracks you must hear

13th Jul 2010 | 14:59

18 dubstep tracks you must hear
Skream - Midnight Request Line
(Tempa)

Over the last couple of years, dubstep has had a massive surge in popularity, with at least one dedicated night taking place in the vast majority of the UK’s urban centres every month. In some cities, such as London, Bristol and Birmingham, it’s hard to avoid dark and heavy basslines if you’re out at the weekend.

This is most definitely dubstep’s time, then, but for those who are still unfamiliar with the genre’s sound (if not its name), we’ve put together this essential playlist of must-listen tracks. Once you’re heard this lot, you’ll have a much better idea of what dubstep is all about, and you might just be inspired to fire up your DAW and contribute to the genre yourself.

Let’s start with Skream’s Midnight Request Line: widely recognised as the first major crossover dubstep hit, this track helped launch the scarily young and prolific producer who’s also known as Olly Jones.

Midnight Request Line on YouTube

18 dubstep tracks you must hear
Benga & Coki - Night
(Tempa)

One of dubstep’s most defining cuts, this crossover track from Benga and Digital Mystikz’ Coki has been played out by DJs across many genres.

Night on YouTube

18 dubstep tracks you must hear
Rusko - Cockney Thug
(Dub Police)

Huge track from the Leeds-born producer and DJ, featuring heavily shuffled beats, a colossal wobble bassline and amusing samples from Guy Ritchie films. What’s not to like?

Cockney Thug on YouTube

18 dubstep tracks you must hear
Caspa feat Beezy - Disco Jaws
(Fabric)

Dub Police head honcho Caspa employs the hilarious rapping of Beezy on this somewhat tongue-in-cheek tune.

Disco Jaws on YouTube

18 dubstep tracks you must hear
La Roux - In For The Kill (Skream's Let's Get Ravey Mix)
(White Label)

With a number of daytime plays from Radio 1, this has to be considered the best-known dubstep track ever.

In For The Kill (Skream’s Let’s Get Ravey Mix) on YouTube

18 dubstep tracks you must hear
La Roux - I'm Not Your Toy (Nero Remix)
(White Label)

La Roux’s Elly Jackson is almost the standard choice for vocal dubstep remixes, and this one is top notch.

I’m Not Your Toy (Nero Remix) on YouTube

18 dubstep tracks you must hear
Chase & Status - Eastern Jam
(Ram Records)

Never mind Snoop Dogg’s Millionaire remix of this classic tune - check out the Indian-style vocals, chubby beats and massive bass drops of the original.

Eastern Jam on YouTube

18 dubstep tracks you must hear
Skream - Metal Mouth
(White Label)

Listen to this Skream track over a massive PA and you’ll be begging for mercy - it’s an absolutely savage monster of a tune that’ll bring out your bass face every time.

Metal Mouth on YouTube

18 dubstep tracks you must hear
Mistabishi - Printer Jam (Barbarix Remix)
(Hospital Records)

There are plenty of memorable dubstep remixes out there, but this one is particularly noteworthy, with the huge bassline effortlessly switching into Mistabishi’s crazy cut-up printer samples.

Printer Jam (Barbarix Remix) on YouTube

18 dubstep tracks you must hear
Bar9 - Midnight
(Audio Freaks)

One of the hardest-hitting dubstep crews operating today, Bar9’s dark, jump-up style is constantly being dropped by dubstep DJs across the country.

Midnight on YouTube

18 dubstep tracks you must hear
16Bit - Chainsaw Calligraphy
(Boka Records)

About as mental as a dubstep track can possibly be – this 16Bit number takes the genre’s reputation for chainsaw-like basslines to its logical conclusion.

Chainsaw Calligraphy on YouTube

18 dubstep tracks you must hear
Benga - 26 Basslines
(Tempa)

This stormer from Croydon-based producer Benga contains some great modulations - it’s a great example of how much impact a good b-line (or 26 of ’em) can have.

26 Basslines on YouTube

18 dubstep tracks you must hear
Pangaea - Memories
(White Label)

There have been a few artists trying out lighter but more intricate dubstep tunes recently, and Pangaea is certainly a rising producer worth watching.

Memories on YouTube

18 dubstep tracks you must hear
Burial - Untrue
(Hyperdub)

Taken from his 2007 Mercury Prize-nominated album of the same name, Burial’s take on dubstep is full of shuffled beats, deep sub-bass and emotionally charged samples.

Untrue on YouTube

18 dubstep tracks you must hear
Pinch - Cave Dream
(Planet Mu)

Planet Mu has been releasing some fine dubstep tracks over the last five years or so, and this one from Pinch demonstrates the label’s very high standards.

Cave Dream on YouTube

18 dubstep tracks you must hear
Jakes - 3kout
(H.E.N.C.H.)

Representing Bristol’s vibrant yet dark dubstep scene, this wobblefest of a track comes from one of the H.E.N.C.H. crew’s finest producers.

3kout on YouTube

18 dubstep tracks you must hear
Darkstar - Need You
(Hyperdub)

This rather cheeky tune features a very addictive bassline proudly emerging over shuffled beats. A good example of the fine work currently being put out by the Hyperdub label.

Need You on YouTube

18 dubstep tracks you must hear
Zomby - Gloop
(Hyperdub)

Another Hyperdub artist, Zomby harks back to the videogame soundtracks of the ‘80s with his use of arpeggiated synth sounds in this subtly layered dubstep tune.

Gloop on YouTube

For a step-by-step guide to producing dubstep, check out the latest Computer Music Special, Make Dance Music (CMS42), which is on sale now.


Liked this? Now read:A-Z of dubstep

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