Today marks the 10th anniversary of Mary Anne Hobbs’ legendary “Dubstep Warz” Breezeblock show on BBC Radio 1. Anyone around the world that has ever had an affiliation with this music will reference this two hour mix as the most essential dubstep education that has ever been aired on radio. It marked a point when the sound began to reach critical mass, and was a crucial turning point in a global success story. As Mary Anne Hobbs once said, “This show marked the global tipping point for the dubstep sound. Mala, Skream, Kode 9 & The Spaceape, Vex’d, Hatcha & Crazy D, Loefah & Sgt Pokes and Distance changed the world of global dance music forever. “Dubstep Warz” still sounds as vital, as primal and as thrilling as the night we threw it down. It brings tears to my eyes. If, as a broadcaster, you can deliver one show with the cultural and historical impact of this one in a lifetime, it’s a miracle”.
Of course, dubstep has evolved and branched off in all sorts of directions since then, more so in the five plus years we’ve been running TRUSIK. Collectively, the scene has witnessed the beautiful metamorphosis of this rich eclectic sound into some truly extraordinary kaleidoscopic forms. Similar sentiments were shared by Rory Gibb in 2011, when reflecting on the show’s 5th anniversary he wrote, “The sound has morphed and mutated into all manner of bizarre and brilliant (and, to be fair, often depressingly formulaic) shapes, and dubstep in 2010 was at times almost unrecognisable from its early form. Even by the time of 2008’s Generation Bass follow-up special, where those involved in the first broadcast each picked a rising DJ to champion, those changes were already beginning to show”.
For better or for worse, the sound lives on, with a global following bigger than ever. Before signing out, I would like to share an important post by Mary Anne Hobbs from 2013 when she personally reflected on the historical significance of Dubstep Warz: “I shared an extraordinary chapter of my life with the DMZ generation of dubstep artists and the community, the family, that built up around the scene. I remember the high-magic of club nights like DMZ and FWD>>… feeling my spirit on fire in the pitch-black… finding some kind of holy grail in the space between the sub frequencies. The first time I ever saw Skream play there were only 3 other people in the room, DJ Hatcha, Skream’s girlfriend Charlotte and the barman at FWD>>… it remains one of the greatest live sets I’ve ever seen in my life.
The Godfathers of this generation, accidental icons, such as Kode 9, Mala and Loefah, have gone on to help inspire the most vibrant global electronic scene. So many different artists have channeled their spirit of invention and gone on to build fascinating new trajectories of their own… Superstars like James Blake and Burial, and labels who nurture so many young producers, such as Hyperdub, Swamp 81, Deep Medi, Hessle Audio, Tempa, Hotflush, Tectonic, Night Slugs, Hemlock, Nmbers, Keysound, Apple Pips, Eglo, Ramp et al. The ripples of pure energy pushing out from the tiny epicentre of this incredible scene have contributed to a landscape which has never looked more diverse and beautiful. If you want to hear why I fell in love with dubstep… one primary piece of evidence is right here. This radio show was considered the global Tipping Point for the sound… a show that changed history”.
“You can’t put man in a room without no subwoofers” – Mala, Dubstep Warz, 2006