Dubstep parties have quickly turned into the next big thing at Northern Michigan University. With bright flashing lights and powerful, “wobbly” bass, it’s hard to resist the urge to dance.
Over the last few months, the eclectic style of dubstep music has worked its way into Marquette’s culture. One of the men responsible for its introduction, Chase “Dubstub” Risak, a senior political science major who moonlights as a dubstep disc jockey, shared his definition of dubstep:
“Dubstep is slow dance music that is defined by heavy, dark basslines, modulated wobbles and build-up leading to a ‘sick drop,’” Risak said. “It often has a two-step beat, i.e., boom-clap. It is like the evil child of ‘drum ‘n’ bass,’ ‘UK Speed Garage’ and ‘Breaks.’”
Since dubstep first stepped into Marquette’s nightlife, there have been several house parties and various other dubstep parties scattered around the city. Tonight, Upfront and Company is hosting their second dubstep show, “Way 2 Much Bass.” General manager Jon Ruuska is preparing for dubstep to be a regular occurrence there.
“It’s really a growing movement right now,” Ruuska said. “I’d say it’s heavy bass with an electronic overtone. There is a lot of sampling. They called the last show ‘Too Much Bass,’ and (the bass) actually vibrated a few of our wine bottles out of their slots.”
Dubstep parties have proved to be a much different experience from rock, pop and country concerts. Jon Bermudez, a dubstep DJ, feels like he successfully brought a little of his West Coast culture to Marquette with him.
“I started off being a dubstep promoter,” Bermudez said. “I just started to try to get as many people to listen to dubstep as possible.”
He promotes shows with a true dubstep attitude, giving insight to the atmosphere dubstep shows provide.
“Come and get your face stepped on at the Upfront,” Bermudez said.
Bermudez said that a lot of different styles of music are now incorporating some of the defining techniques of dubstep into their songs. He said they seem to be adapting to the style.
At previous shows and house parties in the U.P., attendance greatly exceeded everyone’s expectations considering dubstep was new to the area. Risak said that at their last show, they were at capacity 10 minutes after the doors opened, because it’s something everyone wants to experience.
“It’s like a big scene, like going to a club and everyone’s having a great time. There’s music that people have never heard of up here, lighting that people have never seen up here, parties are going way longer and more people are coming,” Risak said.
Having a show at the Upfront and Company will allow for an even more memorable experience, said Cora Smith, a junior photography major.
“I feel like it will be a lot better at the Upfront because it was super crowded (at the last show),” Smith said. “They said there was going to be crowd control but there was not at all. It fluctuated from being so packed you couldn’t move to being a more fun atmosphere.”
Smith, an avid dubstep fan, is excited to see a show in a more professional setting at the Upfront and Company. She has gone to many shows in the U.P., and she said dubstep shows are some of the best shows she has ever seen.
Ruuska has similarly high expectations for the event.
“From what I understand they’ve had some (parties) in houses. As far as the atmosphere here goes, we have an in-house sound system and in-house lights. That would be different from a house party,” Ruuska said.
Ruuska said the room at the Upfront and Company can house around 325 people, and he expects that number to be easy to attain.
The dubstep show at the Upfront and Company tonight is from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., is free of charge and is open to those 21 years old and older.