Saturday Night: Gritsy Dubstep Night At Warehouse Live
See pics from Gritsy (including the iconic Gritsicle) in our slideshow.
Aftermath first heard about Dubstep in 2007, and immediately felt an immense attraction to the music's personality. Sure, you're better off enjoying the power of the wobbling basslines at a good club with an above-average set of speakers, but the chilled-out-meets-foreboding moods, tempos and grooves that serve as the hallmarks of this burgeoning subgenre are also ready-made for relaxing and vibing out at home.
At its core, Dubstep combines elements of two-step and garage from the dance-music scene with the heavy low-end vibes found in old-school reggae and dub soundsystems. Throw in a hefty dash of grime - the style of rap/hip-hop promulgated by Dizzee Rascal and B L A C K I E - and you have an idea of exactly how retro-futuristic dubstep really is.
Though you'd think that such a style of music might have trouble finding a foothold in this town, Gritsy has been throwing Dubstep parties in Houston since 2006, and has recently started making strides to increase its profile into the larger electronic-music scene.
Aftermath and our trusty photographer friend entered the doors around 9 p.m., only to find a rather subdued crowd. We knew that would be the case, especially since the festivities were scheduled to last until 3 a.m. Strolling about the floor, we marveled at The Wall of Bass - 15 18-inch bass cabinets stacked three high into five piles - and prepared our ears to be properly assaulted.
We were quite impressed with the demographic range of the partygoers. Hip-hop types mingled freely with dressed-up preppy types looking to dance here instead of at a Washington Avenue club. The crowd did somewhat skew towards the younger side of the twentysomething spectrum, causing Aftermath to occasionally feel like an older brother chaperoning our younger sister's college house party.
Yet for all of our crowd-watching, as Aftermath attempted to parse the class, race, and scene lines for easy description, we were consistently amazed at how chill and relaxed the mood was in the room. People were there to have a great time, and they weren't going to let much get in the way of that.
Musically, The Dub Commission and 12th Planet put on a fantastic show, trading DJs every 30 minutes or so in order to keep the sound fresh and the energy pumping. The DJ booth featured a familiar new-school setup: Two vinyl turntables, two CD turntables, a large mixer, and a laptop with Serato scratch software.
Use of the decks varied widely, however, depending upon each DJ's personal style. The night stayed true to the roots and forefront of the Dubstep scene, though, as dub and reggae mingled easily with both grime sensibilities and electro-glitch aesthetics.