The third wave of electronic music is upon us even if our minds deny its existence. While the early 2000’s brought us sounds of hip-hop and R&B artists in the top 40 and mainstream sounds, electronic music of diverse genres are making a major relapse once again. Notably, House and dub-step has taken great leaps into listeners of the party and nightclub scene. Not only that, but advertisements and big budget corporations have bought into genre by marketing their products towards younger age groups with the help of this music. Still, most university radio stays away from the “mainstream” music and strive to achieve the coolest sounds.
If you’ve ever been around for the past year and a half, and are up to date on acclaimed music, you’ve most likely heard of James Blake‘s self titled debut back in early 2011. This brought the sound of post dub-step to a larger audience, although many will argue the genre has been alive since musicians like Skream, Mount Kimbie, and even some Burial did their thing back in 2002. What James did was godlike to the music business. He allowed dubstep to be “cool” to teenage ravers and older hipsters alike without feeling like falling into the fad trap. Personally, that album was amazing to me, but I assume flack will be had once I write this statement: it is the best album with the post dub-step genre for its future influences on music.
Now this isn’t an article on James Blake and his achievements, but more about “that next sound”. I have received a mysterious sample of what was called folk-step. It really opened up my eyes to how artists are blending and experimenting with opposites of genres. I’ll include a link to the sample below, but the entire 13 minute expedition is a compilation of samples consisting of, well, folk music mixed with dub-step elements. While some are noticeably better than others, I can see this becoming a hit or opening doors to other ideas.
What breaks this style away from other dub-step spinoffs is ability for this to appeal to two different audiences. One being the mainstream folk group, because the folk sounds aren’t the strongest singer-songwriter style, but more of an acoustic Nickelback feel. The dub-step influences are pretty basic as well, as they don’t take any risks at all in pushing the genre for both of the combined styles. I feel like this group never took any chances and were undecided on whether they were writing a folk song or a dub-step track. Then again, I’ll probably never know what the concept behind of this sample was because of how mysterious it is. I could easily be writing about a remixed acoustic Creed album (God hopes not!).
I like the way this sample brings up a lot of good ideas. While I guess I’ve never really had much experience with folk-step, besides Alt-J like most people, it can show to many how experimentation leads to greater work. Give this a thought; where will we be if there wasn’t any Sex Pistols for punk? Let’s take that a step further and also say where would the Sex Pistols be without the Velvet Underground? Its a huge topic on where what came from what, but an interesting topic nonetheless. Be sure to check out this wicked link below with the folk-step sample, as well as comment if you have any information or questions about this topic!
Download Folkstep sampler Here