​LA dubstep has been granted UNESCO cultural heritage status

today01/04/2024 4

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Los Angeles dubstep, also known as brostep by fans, has been added to the UNESCO cultural heritage list after gaining recognition from the official awarding body.

It comes just weeks after Berlin techno was added to the list of intangible cultural heritage (ICH) in Germany. Following in the footsteps of Berlin techno, brostep was dubbed a “cultural phenomenon” by UNESCO’s awarding team.

LA dubstep was added to California’s cultural heritage list along with five other entries: Erewhon, cosmetic surgery, marijuana, Acai bowls, and the traditional Californian dance of shuffling.

Artists including Knife Party, Skrillex, Flux Pavillion, Excision, Modestep, and Deadmau5 have all been credited with pioneering the genre, said to be “unlike anything else – a sound of its own” by LA’s mayor.

“Brostep is a deeply reflective genre that transcends time, looks to the future, and is loved by generation after generation,” said the mayor of Los Angeles, Karen Bass, at the awards ceremony last weekend. “It resonates with me beyond words,” added the 70-year-old.

Skrillex, who is best known for his introspective works including ‘Kill Everybody’, and ‘Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites’, appeared at the awards ceremony to pick up the prestigious prize. While on stage, he paid tribute to his “best friend” Fred again.. for supporting him over the years, and his other mate, Four Tet, for continuing the “rich sound of brostep”.

Meanwhile, Canadian DJ Excision has received a nod of recognition for his pioneering efforts in recent months, and his one-of-a-kind Shrek visuals that appear on screen while he performs. In the visuals, Shrek can be seen reaching through the screen before vomiting all over the DJ decks.

“I can’t think of any predecessors who have done dubstep better,” says UNESCO’s Bang Aran, who gave credit to Los Angeles artists including Skrillex and Marshmello. “The EDM-ification of dance music feels so new and fresh. I can’t wait to see where it goes next.”

Mark Shmello is Mixmag’s brostep connoisseur

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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