These days, new names for genres pop up every day, and with good reason—despite what old-timey snobs say about music today, there’s a lot of new sounds being played with and no shortage of experimentation that makes it hard to classify with the good old words we’ve been using for decades. That being said, sometimes it gets taken too far. With so many variations of dubstep being invented, the everything-”step” names keep coming. I'm calling out some of the most unnecessary, and silly names ending in "step" today. Just stop step!
This was one of those slights at the American dubstep scene that someone took seriously and ran with. We have a feeling real "bros" will say they love "brostep," not realizing the origin of the term. And while we won't slight any form of dubstep that gets you on the floor, we hope your knowledge of the dubstep scene is more than the aggressive sounds that Skrillex and Rusko come with. There's so much more to the 140BPM scene.
Drumstep's a genre that got its legs swept out from under it early-on. It drew influence from the dubstep bass that was prevalent at the time, with drum & bass producers using it at a dnb tempo. The fact that many within the scene couldn't properly define the sound should have given someone the notion that drumstep wasn't meant to be. The tracks sound great (and still do), but it feels like the actual scene never developed; it was just a few dope producers experimenting with alternate drum patterns.
No matter how you slice it, dubstep is pretty much a "chill" genre. Even if its at 140BPM (or half of that, depending on your school of thought), there's no real reason to try and invent a sub-genre that already resides in the makeup of the scene. When you've got producers like Mala as part of the pioneers of your sound, there's really no need to make a separate "chillstep" distinction.
Clownstep was famously coined by drum & bass producer Dylan to describe simplistic dnb tracks that would leave the crowd dancing like clowns to their swinging beats. While it was used as a derogatory term, it took on a meme-like rise, with dnb lovers on the Internets associating ANYTHING they felt was simplistic with being "clownstep." Ironically, one of the tracks readily associated with "clownstep" was Dillinja's "Twist 'Em Out," which Dylan remixed (guess it's OK when you're getting paid for it).
Many feel that this "genre" was born with Dodge & Fuski's tune "Pornstep," but they also had a track entitled "Guettastep." Is that a genre as well? The sampling of porn sounds has been used in many genres of music, including "What's In Your Head" by Disclosure. Were they making pornhouse or porngarage?
Hardstep as a term is pretty damn confusing. Grooverider put out DJ Nut Nut's "Special Dedication" as the only tune on his Hard Step label, but that was a straight-up jungle track. Some feel that "hardstep" is effectively what happened when jungle producers stopped editing the hell out of the breaks they were using in the mid-1990s, making things easier to dance to. The wikipedia entry likens the sounds of Evol Intent and Dieselboy to modern-hardstep, while calling DJ Hype and DJ Zinc early hardstep DJs. Why they couldn't just call it drum & bass or jungle is beyond us.
Funkstep is one of those genres you might not even know existed, and we apologize for presenting it to you. Some genius figured it made sense to give dubstep tracks with funky house-tendencies the moniker "funkstep." That's right, if you have a 4x4 in a dubstep tune, you might be making funkstep. Now if you hit the Wikipedia page on Funkstep, the only notable name listed is Pretty Lights, and we're not sure how much he associates with the term. We also hate the idea that dubstep can't be funky on its own.
The sound of "donk" is said to be built "around no-budget 150 bpm bouncy beats, intrusive fog-horned synth stabs, cartoon-y samples, and unsettlingly saccharine highs." Now, we're not sure how prevalent the use of the donk sound is in dubstep to need a whole fucking SUB-GENRE attributed to it. How come cribbing a sound, or paying homage to an influence, can't just be that?
Hipstep was long known as the jungle/drum & bass that delved heavily in hip-hop, primarily with hip-hop MCs and producers in the New York City area. It definitely didn't take (although it emerged around the time the UK was dwelling in the "jump up" zone that was effectively the same thing), but a funny thing happened when NPR decided to look at the times that hip-hop and dubstep collided, and they called it "hipstep" (or the equally awful "dubhop"). We're just glad this one didn't catch on, either
Let's lay it all on the line right here, right now: Trap is the genre. Trap's something that comes from hip-hop, but has been overtaken by the EDM producers who blended the 808-heavy southern rap sound with EDM build-ups, breakdowns, and melodies. EDM's fingerprints are all over trap, from the more dubstep-esque vibes that Caspa or Zeds Dead might explore to the hardstyle anthems that Flosstradamus employs. Trapstep isn't really a "thing," though. It's you (yes, you) trying to play "FIRST!" at creating a sub-genre off of the hot sound of the moment.
Just stop it. We don't like the way it sounds, and it really doesn't mean anything.