Dubstep in space! Kid Antoine Pairs Sparkling Synths And Skeletal Beats On “Inclusive”!

Tracking and tracing the genre formerly known as dubstep is tricky business. The earliest incarnation of dubstep was varied to begin with, from the dub-infused intellectual British downtempo dance music, from the gauzy, misty hauntology of Burial to the militant science fiction bassweight of The Bug or Kode9. Dubstep quickly mutated as it crossed the pond, getting amped up under the auspices of Skrillex and other bro-step/monsterstop ‘wub-wub’ merchants did what Americans do best - bigger, better, faster, and more!



As the intellectual tendencies of dubstep succumbed to formulaic imitators, leaving every beat drop staid and predictable, it’s not surprising people would turn away from the genre, despite many of the sounds and aesthetics having already seeped into the mainstream. Deep, visceral basslines and hyperkinetic, abstract beats are de rigeur, these days, via the many threads, offshoots, and tendrils of dubstep, into genres like trap, grime, the catch-all ‘bass music’, and the style come to be known as FWD.

Fwd is based around an eclectic club night out of the UK, where second-wave dubstep producers like Skream, Benga, Plastician, and Digital Mystikz would push the genre, well, forward, bringing in atmospheric, lo-fi synths and stripped-down beats, incorporating the newly emerging trap beats into dubstep’s deep bass meltdowns.

Mainstream music has followed suit, in the ensuing years, and even the biggest hip-hop and EDM tracks tend to have a kind of raw, eclectic, and sparse template, with lo-fi tropical drum machines and almost New Age synths being the order of the day.

The stars have perfectly aligned for Kid Antoine’s “Inclusive,” with its spartan beats and starshine synthesizers. The floating, flickering synths owe a lot to another dubstep mutation, the style known as ‘weightless’ being investigated by Mumdance and Logos. “Inclusive” also owes a nod to Logos’ solo endeavors, with the loping, irregular, bricolage-like beat bringing to mind Logos’ brilliant futuristic Cold Mission. Like Logos, Kid Antoine’s beats are detailed and precise, while still never becoming as piercing and abrasive as lo-fi trap.

spotify With smooth, rich production like “Inclusive,” this digital information overload has the potential to reach a wider audience, beyond pale, pallid basement dwellers forsaking the sun in twitching hibernation. Kid Antoine’s putting the information overload back into the system, creating a feedback loop and hopefully causing a collapse. Those of us who’ve been rocking “Inclusive” for a while, like we have here at We Are: The Guard, will already be levitating in deep space, while the rest of the world slowly realizes they’ve been living a lie.

J. Simpson occupies the intersection between criticism, creativity, and academia. Based out of Portland, Or., he is the author of Forestpunk, an online journal/brand studying the traces of horror, supernatural, and the occult through music, fashion and culture. He plays in the dreamfolk band Meta-Pinnacle with his partner Lily H. Valentine, with whom he also co-founded Bitstar Productions, a visual arts collective focused on elevating Pop Culture to High Art.