Dubstep: Sounds of the Future

Dubstep artist VibeSquad

According to allmusic.com, dubstep is a genre of electronic dance music characterized by

overwhelming bass lines and reverberant drum patterns, clipped samples, and occasional vocals.

Replacing the sounds of legends like Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin, dubstep is completely altering the hippie music scene. During the hippie movement of the 1960’s you would often find live bands playing rock or folk music at festivals across the nation, but nowadays you will find one man at the center of it all, creating electronic beats and intense bass lines with as little as a computer and a set of turntables.

To those who don’t understand it, dubstep isn’t music, it’s simply an odd combination of electronic sounds. Well, if it “isn’t music” than what is the appeal and why is it sweeping the underground scene?

Dubstep began in London nearly ten years ago and originated from UK garage and grime music. Over the years this genre of music has slowly gained popularity, eventually making its way into the rave and festival culture.

Currently, you will find dubstep being played at most major festivals and/or dance events, and at these events you will find the dancefloor jammed with people completely lost in the music. The appeal of dubstep lies within the fact that the possibilities are endless, to its creator and to the dancer.

The DJ is free to create whatever mixes his imagination will allow, and as for the listeners, we are free to move our bodies however we feel necessary. For the followers of dubstep, this is where the true appeal lies. There is no specific dance style when dancing to dubstep, you just move your body however the beat moves you. Also, wherever dubstep is played there seems to be an unspoken understanding among listeners that anything goes. This means that you can dance however you like, you can dress however you like, and no one is there to judge you. Maybe this is why it has grown so popular among the hippie culture.

For those who don’t understand dubstep, it is likely that they have never let the bass vibrate through their bodies and the beats move their soul. It is a beautiful experience, and it only takes one time to get hooked on the dub.

The Modern Hippie and the Modern Herb

For most, the words hippie and festivals automatically correlates with getting high. Although this may have been the case back in the 1960’s, this isn’t always the case for the modern hippie. Don’t get me wrong there are still plenty of ganja smokers out there, but in today’s day and age it is not always necessary to get high in order to live a life guided by peace, love, and environmental consciousness. Just like the modern hippie, the green herb has also earned an updated outlook in the new millennium. As stated in the article “More than Marijuana” in Modern Hippie Mag:

There is also a lot more to the cannabis plant than just getting high.

Prior to the ostracizing of cannabis in the 1930’s, this plant was a mainstay in American society. In fact

It is the most versatile and sustainable plant on the planet, bar none.

Cannabis can be used to produce fuel, and can eventually help eliminate our dependency on oil. It can also be used in the textile industry as fabric, but without the need for pesticides and herbicides needed when growing cotton. Among many other things, it can also be used to make paper. A paper that is stronger and more durable and we will no longer need to plow down our remaining forests for a disposable material.

Many people choose to ignore these facts; I myself didn’t even know this plant was so versatile prior to reading this article. We have been brainwashed into believing that marijuana is strictly for smoking, should we have realized its fantastic properties decades ago, we could have saved our planet from much of the devastation we have inflicted on it over the years.

The first step is always realization; and now that we have done that, there is still much debate over making it completely legal. Both those who promote marijuana usage and those who object are against its legalization for various reasons. But as the hippie has earned a new updated view by popular culture, I think in time marijuana will also earn a modern outlook. Once society accepts the many other properties of marijuana, besides just smoking, we will be using hemp fuel, wearing hemp clothes and writing on hemp paper. This will be a revolutionary moment in history, and it will also be the right step to help preserving our planet for future generations.

The Power of Love

As described on their website;

Modern Hippie Mag is your online resource promoting healthy living, peaceful existence, environmental sustainability, and other eco-stuff.

Among their weekly issues, is something known as, Your Daily Groove. In this section, they offer a quote with a short analysis. Sometimes it’s a quote of encouragement and sometimes it’s a quote pertaining to nature, but this week it was a quote about love and power. The quote reads;

“We look forward to the time when the Power of Love will replace the Love of Power.  Then will our world know the blessings of peace.”  ~William Ewart Gladstone

I find this quote to be entirely true, especially after the beautiful weekend I experienced. This weekend, I attended the Earthdance festival in Laytonville, CA. The Earthdance festival is a festival dedicated to promoting peace through music, art, and human relations. The first thing I noticed, upon arrival was the amount of love in the air. Everybody was full of smiles, people said hello to each other in passing, and people weren’t afraid to strike up a conversation with a complete stranger just for the sake of it. Another observation I made was the ideal that “anything goes.” You can dress however you want, you can act however you want and you can dance however you want, and no one is there to judge you. It is a beautiful thing, and throughout the whole weekend I didn’t see one ounce of negativity.

In today’s day and age, most people are concerned with power and advancement; some are even obsessed with it. But, the love of power only creates turmoil and rifts within society. I have witnessed the power of love first hand, and as stated in the quote, it truly does create peace. What a perfect world we would live in if festival life could translate into everyday society; there would be no wars, no corporate dominance, and no environmental destruction. Although this may not be possible yet, I feel blessed to have experienced it myself because now I can live a life dominated by the power of love as opposed to the love of power.

Earthdance 2010, jumping picture with new friends.

 

Burning Man

Burning Man. The ultimate of festivals. Every year, nearly 50,000 people travel from all over the world to the barren deserts of black rock city in northwestern Nevada. It is a week-long event in which an ideal city is resurrected, and torn down without a trace. Black Rock City isn’t just any old city; it is a city based on bartering, radical self-reliance, self-expression, creativity, participation, etc. The festival begins on the Sunday before and ends on the monday of Labor Day. On Saturday night; after nearly a week of meeting incredible people and viewing unbelieavle displays of art, is the burning of the man. The man is a large wooden effigy that stands in the middle of the city, and every Saturday night; as a way of closing the event and saying goodbyes, the man is burned. As one burner describes:

On Saturday night, we’ll burn the Man. As the procession starts, the circle forms, and the man ignites, you experience something personal, something new to yourself, something you’ve never felt before. It’s an epiphany, it’s primal, it’s newborn. And it’s completely individual.

It is hard to pin-point what the burning of the man means or what feelings it stirs up, because ones experience at burning man is so completely individual. In all honesty, I have never been to burning man, so I cannot say from personal experience, but I have spoken with multiple burners and they have all described it as one of the most incredible and wholly profound experiences of their lives. I can only imagine the freedom and love one might feel as the man goes up in flames. It is a time of reflection, thankfulness, and for many; sadness because it signifies the closing  of a life altering and magical event. This year wasn’t my year, but I know that I will get there some day. I will be among the thousands of burners, feeling the love and watching as the man burns to the ground in a beautiful display of self-expression.

Burning of the Man

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