Trip Hop, Dub Step, Bro Step – It’s All Noise To Our Parents

I love trip hop, dubstep, IDM and yes, brostep. Love it. Love. It.

Trip Hop

But how do you define it? Wikipedia, if you would please:

Musically, trip hop contains a slow tempo and a hypnotic sound created by an electronic background and prominent string instrumentation. It is usually characterised by beat-driven music which, despite being instrumentally similar to hip hop, varies much in style. Trip hop is characterised by a generally deep, atmospheric sound, and its influences vary, ranging from R&B and urban, to rock and jazz-styled recordings. Nonetheless, trip hop music is often characterised by low-key productions. Vocals are at times absent or sparse,[1] even though this is not the case for all trip hop music.

And we’ve got Andy Pemberton, music journalist, to thank for coining the phrase when he reviewed DJ Shadow’s “In/Flux” for MixMag“:  “with its mixed up bpms (beats per minute), spoken word samples, strings, melodies, bizarre noises, prominent bass, and slow beats, [In/Flux] gave the listener the impression they were on a musical trip.”

IDM – Intelligent Dance Music 

Heyoka. Aphex Twin. Kid606. These are some of the artists that I love that fall under this category because they “rely upon individualistic experimentation rather than on a particular set of musical characteristics” however the artists who fall under this category quite dislike the name and it’s connotations. “It’s basically saying ‘this is intelligent and everything else is stupid.’ It’s really nasty to everyone else’s music,” said Aphex Twin in an interview.

I was first introduced to IDM from a co-worker several years ago. Heyoka’s Sonidas De la Cabaza. This song right here started it all:

Dub Step

Dub is defined as making a copy of one recording to another. The process of using previously recorded material, modifying the material, and subsequently recording it to a new master mix, in effect transferring or “dubbing” the material … the name “dubstep” originated from the common use of dub elements in the genre, and because both traditional dub and dubstep are often played at a similar tempo.

When remixing — and to be categorized as dubstep — the music needs some defining characteristics like wobble bass, tremolos and syncopated and shuffled rhythms.

Before we go any further you should know that dubstep was a UK movement. Here are some artists who paved the way for this genre of music: Skream, Coki, Mala, Benga.

My favorite part of dub-step is that delicious, chewy wub-wub, you know, when the bass wobbles. Noms.

Dubstep vs Brostep

There’s a lotta hate out there. Me? I love it all.

Skream’s Remix of La Roux’s “In For The Kill”

Skrillex Remix of La Roux’s “In For The Kill”


Are you struggling to fight off the image of a Jersey Shore character pouding the floor, in his wife beater, tan and gelled hair, when you think of “brostep”? Yea, me too. It sounds derogatory. Like we’re trying too hard.

“Unlike traditional dubstep production styles, that emphasize sub-bass content, brostep accentuates the middle register and features robotic fluctuations and metal-esque aggression.” And Skrillex has become the figurehead for brostep. But he looks very anti-Jersey Shore.

Isn’t this look what the kids are calling emo or gothic? Or maybe there’s another term I’m not familiar with.

The artist’s looks notwithstanding, brostep is called thusly because of what we, Americans did to the UK’s dubstep.

Rusko himself has claimed in an interview on BBC’s 1Xtra radio show that “brostep is sort of my fault, but now I’ve started to hate it in a way…It’s like someone screaming in your face for an hour…you don’t want that.”

Parents would likely agree.


If you took the survey (thank you!), but if you answered that you don’t like trip hop, dubstep or brostep but like popular Pop hits like Rhianna’s “We Found Love” then actually you do like this awesomesauce genre of music. And by association you are awesomesauce. And if you liked this genre of music already, well, you already knew that you were awesomesauce.


Dub (music)


2 thoughts on “Trip Hop, Dub Step, Bro Step – It’s All Noise To Our Parents

  1. Brilliant post. Actually, the other day my mom asked me to wash the car, I proceeded to do it in style: listening to the hardest brostep I could find. You can imagine her face.

    But… I digress. I enjoy all the listed genres very much, though I still have that elitist feeling when it comes to dubstep/brostep. I started listening to it right before brostep became the tour-de-force (much like commercial hip-hop). I don’t hate it, but it’s particularly hard to find good brostep. I would also suggest listening to: Benga, The Bug (especially London Zoo), Burial, and Liquid Stranger.

    I’ll be following your blog :)

    • Thanks so much for visiting, chunkee2na! And I’m glad you enjoyed this post. But I’m especially appreciate your sharing The Bug, Burial and Liquid Stranger with me. I’ve not checked them out. But I will.

      Hope to hear from you soon!

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