Dubstep has been the whipping boy of popular culture for some time now. It’s not undeserved; there are plenty of genuinely terrible songs in the genre (Nero – Crush On You and Benny Benassi – Cinema (Skrillex Remix) are good examples of the lazy, paint-by-numbers songwriting that warrants the hate), but a lot of the invective thrown at the genre feels like “get off my lawn” complaining about something new. Skrillex, as one of the poster boys of that genre has taken the brunt of the lot of the hate.
I’m not interested in mounting a comprehensive defense of dubstep as a whole, but I do think that Skrillex has a bit more to offer than the twiddle-some-knobs bro-step stereotype. The below image is pretty convincing evidence that his reputation stems largely from his ignorant fans:
Fresh off a Wreck-It Ralph cameo, Skrillex has shown his interest in IDM and the classier, early brand of dubstep isn’t just posturing with his new track, “Leaving.” It’s clearly inspired by atmospheric dubstep artists like Burial, and while it may not quite live up to that pedigree, it’s still an engaging, diaphanous track that – surprise! – doesn’t have anything that could be described as a “drop.”