Australian producer Jack Grace mines the post-Dubstep underground for Future Bass inspiration on “Us”!

Tracking and tracing electronic music has been weird and wonky since the explosion - and dissolution - of Dubstep (RIP). The once vital, militant, artsy combination of tectonic bassweight and weird, shuffling rhythms became a parody of itself in the hands of American bro-step/Monsterstep DJs and producers. Dubstep lost a lot of its heart, the emotional/intellectual core that made those wobbles so effective, becoming just more tweaked-out generic rave fodder.

Dubstep has evolved in a number of interesting directions since it went mainstream. Some producers fused Dubstep’s sub-bass and shifting rhythms with other dance music genres, like techno or house music. Others mined the ethereal/emotional side of Dubstep pioneered by Britain’s Burial, laying a foundation for today’s alt r&b/future r&b. Producers like James Blake would layer delicate, heartbroken vocals over polished beats and woozy synths, creating one of the most exciting and pertinent permutations of Dubstep.



youtube Australian producer Jack Grace has spectacularly fused future r&b with Dubstep’s best features on “Us.” Grace’s beats never stand still for a second, kicking like a felt-wrapped cannon. This creates a hypnotic tapestry for Grace’s falsetto croon, very similar to James Blake, and appealing to a similar crowd. “Us” is pure nightside dancefloor fodder for losing one’s self in the fog machine at 2 am.

“Us” gives us hope that the future of emotional, well-crafted dance music/synthpop has not run out of ideas. There is still room to express our weird, disconnected, cyborg existence; our distant romances; the loneliness that comes from being constantly connected yet never really connecting. We Are: The Guard want to hear more producers and songwriters pull off this android romanticism to create something new instead of merely rehashing what has come before.