IASPM International Conferences - Proceedings, Situating Popular Musics

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Dubstep: Dub plate culture in the age of digital DJ-ing
Hillegonda C Rietveld

Last modified: 2013-01-22


This paper inquires into the role of the dub plate within the creative practice of the dubstep DJ. Dub plates are important to dubstep for a range of historical and aesthetic reasons. As a concept, the dub plate connects dubstep genealogically and rhizomically to the cultural memory of 1970s Jamaican reggae sound system practices. As a one-off cut, a dub plate provides an aura of authenticity to the DJ-producer. In the dubstep music scene, however, dub plates seem to appear in a variety of media formats, from analogue lacquered aluminium (“acetate”) and vinyl to digital CDR. Finally, when inquiring into the current practices of digital dubstep DJs in the UK, the dub plate functions as a residual concept of a unique, authentic, event.

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