Dubstep is a genre of electronic dance music that originated in South London, England. It emerged in the late 1990s as a development within a lineage of related styles such as 2-step garage, broken beat, drum and bass, jungle, dub and reggae. In the UK, the origins of the genre can be traced back to the growth of the Jamaican sound system party scene in the early 1980s The music generally features syncopated drum and percussion patterns with bass lines that contain prominent sub bass frequencies, as well as shuffled or incorporating tuplets. The tempo is nearly always in the range of 138–142 beats per minute, with a clap or snare usually inserted every third beat in a bar.
One characteristic of certain strands of dubstep is the wobble bass, often referred to as the "wub", where an extended bass note is manipulated rhythmically. This style of bass is typically produced by using a low-frequency oscillator to manipulate certain parameters of a synthesiser such as volume, distortion or filter cutoff. The resulting sound is a timbre that is punctuated by rhythmic variations in volume, filter cutoff, or distortion. This style of bass is a driving factor in some variations of dubstep, particularly at the more club-friendly end of the spectrum.
Dubstep is associated with a purple/violet color on Monstercat. It is important to note that for labeling purposes, Monstercat also includes the following sub genres under the 'Dubstep' umbrella:
- Liquid Dubstep
- Melodic Dubstep