After 2012 shoved dubstep and the rest of electronic music into the global spotlight, the dubstep year of 2013 belonged to those who were willing and able to push the envelope. Featuring hybrid genre infusions, multiple tempos, and a general departure from the normal “grind" of the dubstep we’re used to, here are the 15 heaviest, filthiest, most inspired dubstep bangers of the year. Enjoy.
Juventa feat. Erica Curran – Move Into Light (Koven Remix)
Juventa feat. Erica Curran - Move Into Light (Koven Remix) [Enhanced]
UK bass export Koven comes to our ears after only a two-year rise to fame with his remix of Juventa’s Move Into Light
, featuring the vocals of Erica Curran. Already on the edge of stardom, Koven catapults himself into the limelight with drops so soothing, you’d swear it wasn’t dubstep. About as epic as they get, this one marks the beginning of a massive career for the young talent.
Candyland feat. Zak Waters – Not Coming Down (Original Mix)
Candyland feat. Zak Waters - Not Coming Down (Original Mix) [Spinnin']
Skyrocket duo Candyland could seemingly do no wrong in 2013, especially when paired with Zak Waters’ impeccable intonation in Not Coming Down
. “Uplifting" would be an understatement for this underappreciated anthem that has the raw energy and beauty to entrance the most miffed of modern dubstep haters into outright admiration.
Royksopp feat. Susanne Sundfør – Running To The Sea (Seven Lions Remix)
Röyksopp feat. Susanne Sundfør - Running To The Sea (Seven Lions Remix) [Dog Triumph]
Yet another reminder of the seemingly endless creative minds marching out of the OWSLA Nest, Seven Lions opened ears and minds this year with his ability, and it’s undeniable in his remix of Röyksopp’s Running To The Sea
. Taking dubstep as his chosen medium, Seven Lions paints a dramatic landscape around the vocals of Norwegian singer-songwriter Susanne Sundfør that peaks magnificently before crashing around your feet as you hit replay.
Datsik feat. Zyme – Oxygen (Original Mix)
Datsik feat. Zyme - Oxygen (Original Mix) [Firepower]
Datsik, aka Troy Beetles, is a mainstay of the North American dubstep scene, and his Firepower Records imprint is among a handful of teams keeping the style alive and violent. Beetles dished out part two of his Let It Burn
LP series this fall, and with it came Oxygen
, a thumping throwback to classic ’09 Datsik featuring the talents of Zyme. With all this progress in the dubstep world, it wouldn’t be right not to include one of the fattest, most unapologetic dubstep bangers of the last 12 months.
Alvin Risk – Skyclad (Original Mix)
Alvin Risk - Skyclad (Original Mix) [OWSLA]
Alvin Risk makes his first entry into the chart this year with what is arguably his best composition yet. Skyclad
opens with both force and grace, not letting up until the jarringly chaotic drop brings to bear the full force of the Alvin Risk sonic arsenal. Alvin demonstrates his mastery of the dubstep techniques of today while pushing the envelope and creating something modern–a future legend at work.
Infected Mushroom feat. Savant – Savant On Mushrooms (Original Mix)
Infected Mushroom feat. Savant - Savant On Mushrooms (Original Mix) [Dim Mak]
As the last name you’d expect to disappoint, Infected Mushroom unleashed Friends On Mushrooms Vol. 2
this year, and with a superb collection of collabs, they made a massive mark on the year in bass. This Savant effort outshined not only the rest of the album but most of the surrounding dubstep world this year simply on depth alone, not to mention the complexity of the drops and creativity in organization–a six-minute journey at your fingertips.
Minnesota – Bloom (Original Mix)
Minnesota - Bloom (Original Mix) [Gravitas]
In a culture that values qualities like “violent" or “filthy" (both of which we’ve probably used in this list already) when describing dubstep, it’s comforting to know that Minnesota shines when composing music of the opposite end of the spectrum. His best of the year, Bloom
hums with a beautiful energy and serves as a vibrant reminder that dubstep can also be served up smooth, cradling itself in silky synth melodies and cozying up next to your eardrums.
Eptic & MUST DIE! – Z (Original Mix)
Eptic & MUST DIE! - Z (Original Mix) [Never Say Die]
This year in dubstep belonged to the pioneers, and that included Eptic and his crossover collaboration with MUST DIE!, which sports a 4/4 build, and quite the aggressive one at that. So aggressive in fact that it’s able to match up with the 140 BPM dubstep that composes the rest of the track, including the commanding drop, which would kill in any setting imaginable.
Rez – Underworld (Bassnectar Remix)
Rez - Underworld (Bassnectar Remix) [Child's Play]
As a tribute to dance music pioneers Underworld and their seminal track Rez
, the stems were given to one Lorin Ashton, aka Bassnectar. With his deeply thoughtful remix, Bassnectar creates an urgent, open-air chase through the wild using tribal drums that leap from a cliff into a vast expanse of a drop, full of pounding kick drums and undulating synth. Who better to resurrect this monumental tune than one of the most long-term influential artists in the genre?
The M Machine – Ghosts In The Machine (Kill The Noise Remix)
The M Machine - Ghosts In The Machine (Kill The Noise Remix) [OWSLA]
This track had the recipe for success (or sweet disaster, depending how you look at it) from the beginning. Starting with uber-creative trio The M Machine and their imaginative works like Ghosts in the Machine
makes it easy for a producer of Kill The Noise’s caliber to blast remixes off the face of the planet. His sound is one that lunges and swerves in front of your face, throwing sonic karate-chops in ruthless rhythm–unequalled complexity in the dubstep world.
Skrillex & Alvin Risk – Imma Try It Out (Neon Mix)
Skrillex & Alvin Risk - Imma Try It Out (Neon Mix) [Big Beat]
Speaking of prodigious proteges, although Skrillex isn’t putting down his torch anytime soon, he’s surely spread his formidable OWSLA fire to one Mr. Alvin Risk, who has since lit a flame under the collective ass of the bass world. Fueled by tried-and-true Skrillex recipes and the futuristic, sophisticated approach of Risk, Imma Try It Out
was one of the best showings from both artists of the year, and the Neon Mix
was the package’s greatest invention.
Datsik & Getter – Glock Burst (Original Mix)
Datsik & Getter - Glock Burst (Original Mix) [Firepower]
General Datsik and Lieutenant Getter poke their heads out of the Firepower tank at #4 with their vicious and twisted joint operation, Glock Burst
. Immediately recognizable tactics from both bass warriors surface in this delightfully murderous gunfight through a musical minefield. Before being recruited by his hero to be a part of the Firepower army, Getter caught Datisk’s ears via SoundCloud and was invited to meet him backstage at a show. The rest is, as the cliche goes, history. Nothing makes us dubstep-loving hearts thump harder than to see a young talent join ranks (and minds) with their idol.
Flux Pavilion feat. Childish Gambino – Do Or Die (Original Mix)
Flux Pavilion feat. Childish Gambino - Do Or Die (Original Mix) [Circus]
Flux Pavilion spent 2013 becoming into one of the scene’s most influential figureheads. In addition to ring-leading Circus Records and touring, Flux released the Blow The Roof
EPs, both dense with quality bass music. One of the most remixed dubstep tunes of the year, Flux Pavilion’s Do Or Die
, infuses hip hop flair with thick cymbals, rough snares, and the rugged rhymes of Childish Gambino into a finely crafted Flux beat that is decidedly danceable as a result. Add in shimmering builds followed by arresting swerves and wails of all pitches, and this track earned its slot on our countdown.
Excision & Space Laces – Destroid 7 (Bounce) (Original Mix)
Excision & Space Laces - Destroid 7 Bounce (Original Mix) [Destroid]
With so many wicked bass-bombs dropped from Destroid’s near-orbit of Earth this year, it’s hard to pick just one. However, one stands far and away as the pick of the proverbial litter in its incredible ability to strut that fine line between musicality and raw, unadulterated bass. In a pivotal year for the macro-genre that saw dubstep-centric artists branching out to moombah, trap, and beyond, Bounce gave the three demons of Destroid a chance to flex their favorite muscles.
Zomboy – Terror Squad (Original Mix)
Zomboy - Terror Squad (Original Mix) [Never Say Die]
Zomboy comes out on top of our battle royale of boom with Terror Squad, his scathing reminder of why his productions should come with a warning. Also the winner of our “baddest attitude" sub-contest, Terror Squad and its devastating array of stabs, growls, wobbles, and all-around creative composition lifts up the collective chins of downtrodden dubstep fans everywhere, stares them straight in the eyes, and slaps them across the face with a wake-up call: Dubstep is alive and well.