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Jus' step to the rhythm

Soul Jazz's definitive dubstep dossier

As the murky underground excavations of dubstep gain in popularity, morphing and warping into myriad new forms, the genre is in ruder health than ever.
In recognition of it entering a new phase, impassioned dubstep commentator Emma Warren has compiled 'Steppa's Delight' for Soul Jazz, a comprehensive compendium that no 'steppa should be without.

Out now, the compilation plots a course through the many different permutations of the sound - past, present and future - over two CDs (and two vinyl sets), including everything from Kode 9's ominous, ghostly Abyssinian horn lick '9 Samurai' to Martyn's mid-tempo, Detroit informed bruk-beat anthem 'Broken', via the spectral grime of Plastician and Skepta's 'Intensive Snare'. Warren's mission was to break down preconceptions of the genre and offer an overview of how rich and varied it's become.
"I found that a lot of people had huge misconceptions about dubstep," Warren revealed. "They thought it was just about huge wobble basslines. I wanted to do something that people who knew about it would like, but to also give a snapshot for people who didn't know so they would see what a broad, exciting, experimental and interesting scene we've got going here."

One of Warren's primary considerations when putting 'Steppa's Delight' together was to represent how much the music had grown, becoming a global concern with artists from Finland to Japan and Romania to the States all producing and DJing dubstep.
"It's gone through a period of evolution and now it can be almost any type of music made by anyone in the world, as long as it falls broadly under the remit," said Emma.
She points to the unique global visions of the new wave of artists as being a way for the genre to evolve.
"They're taking the blueprint and turning it into their own thing. This music's very open to new ideas - you can't hold a good tune down, it'll get played."
At such a pivotal time in the development of the music, where can it go from here?
"I don't know where it's going but I'm interested to keep following, to keep hearing what's going on because I think it's the most exciting music on the planet right now."

Constant elevation

Dubstep past, present, future…

Menta 'Sounds of Da Future' Sounds of Da Future, 2001
This instrumental, dark two-stepper was a seed kernel for what would become dubstep.

Digital Mystikz 'Anti-War Dub' DMZ, 2006
Devastating deep dub pressure from the enigmatic Mala and Coki.

Ikonika 'Please' Hyperdub, 2008
Haunting, strange, deadly electro-step cut from newcomer Ikonika.