When we look back on the year for dubstep, there were a couple crucial elements that immediately jumped out at us. Between “Terror Squad” parodies, Riddim’s rapid emergence, and hearing the phrase “dubstep is dead” tossed around like a rag doll, 2014 was definitely one for the record books. Sure, this bass music subgenre might not generate nearly the hype or buzz that it did back in 2011, but that doesn’t mean that it’s impact isn’t still widely felt among the EDM public.
To help put things in perspective, I reached back for a quote that Michael Parsberg (of Pegboard Nerds) gave me during an interview at Electric Forest this past summer.
“The dubstep that you hear over here [in America] has not been that popular over in Europe, but it’s kind of coming over there right now. So it’s kind of a weird transition, that everything that basically started in Europe came over here, and now it’s coming back.”
Basically, when dubstep made its first major immigration to the U.S. several years ago, the majority of famous producers were located in Europe at the time. However, as the trends have shifted, European musicians now look towards many American producers to set the pace for what is fresh and current. This ongoing exchange of ideas and material has truly defined the dubstep culture since day one.
Below, you will find our list of the top 20 dubstep songs from 2014. We have also gone ahead and shouted out another 20 bass tunes that barely missed the cutoff. Relive a memorable 2014 the only way a true bass addict knows how… with tons of filthy dubstep, hand curated just for you.
20. Zomboy & MUST DIE! – Survivors
For Zomboy, 2014 will be remembered as the year he catapulted himself into the ranks of the Datsik’s & Excision’s of the world. It is now impossible to mention the biggest names in the dubstep game without bringing up this crazy character. His most memorable release of the year was easily The Outbreak LP – a ten-track, full-length album from Never Say Die Records. While songs like “Immunity” & “Outbreak” received no shortage of compliments, it was his groundbreaking collaboration with MUST DIE! that stole the spotlight. For those of you that are well-equipped to handle large amounts of bass music bloodshed, “Survivors” is precisely your type of jam.
19. Tim Ismag – Scorpion (Ft. Trinergy) (Spag Heddy Remix)
It has been a remarkably busy year for the man they call Spag Heddy. The tomato bass titan cranked out massive tune after massive tune, and just when we thought he might slow down, he would drop a new banger just to remind us how wrong we were. In fact, looking back at the year now, it would be difficult (if not impossible) to pinpoint another producer that made a larger impact on the dubstep masses than this gentlemen. With a countless amount of fresh releases to choose from, it was actually his remix of Tim Ismag’s “Scorpion” that reminded us how to rage properly. Even more recently, Mr. Heddy put out his spectacular Pastanistan Express EP. There is clearly more than enough Spag Heddy to go around, so who’s hungry?
18. Haunta & Invictous – 2000EMU
Well, most of the tracks that appear on this list come from fairly popular artists within the dubstep industry. However, that is not exactly the case with Haunta & Invictous’ “2000EMU.” Just one of the many quality tunes featured on SMOG Record’s Battle Royale Vol. 1, this ear-mutilator serves as these youngster’s official introduction to the general dance music public. In case you came into this countdown unaware of who these guys were, you will definitely leave with nothing else on your mind but this absolutely wicked tune. As far as their other notable 2014 releases go, Haunta made a bold statement with his Swerve EP and Invictous teamed up with Bommer to help compile their Blat! EP. We are expecting big things from both of these beatmakers in 2015.
17. JPhelpz & Algo – Brains
From the jump, 2014 has been one of JPhlepz’s best years to date. Whether you were listening to his Genius LP, Living Dead EP, or his 100% free Care Package EP, it seemed that whatever direction you turned, John Phelps was waiting there with open arms to greet you. Now, while selecting only one of his dope tracks from this year came as no easy challenge, “Brains” was the breakout candidate to secure this coveted position. Wasting little time in linking up with Algo, these two dubstep robots went to work on designing one of their dirtiest tunes in existence. In addition to this dangerous song, Algo also made front-page headlines when he unleashed “World Of Hurt” later in 2014. We cannot wait to see what these two skilled musicians come up with next.
16. Bukez Finezt – Under Control
There are very few personalities in dubstep that are more unique than the towering force from Germany better known as Bukez Finezt. In what has been a year of nonstop movement, this producer put a lot of extra thought and energy into his timely releases. The largest of which definitely came to us in the form of the ominous “Under Control.” For all the brostep and riddim craziness we witnessed during 2014, it is refreshing to know that a more deep and dark take on dubstep can still grab our attention. Built with synths that sound like tugboats and gritty percussion that keeps our toes tapping, this song serenades you like none other. Be on the lookout for more Bukez Finezt, because nothing else quite compares.
15. The Brig – Black Pearl
Here is what we appreciate the most about The Brig: he sounds like nobody else. In a world that is overrun with copycats and rip-offs, it’s a sight for sore eyes (and ears) when an individual completely changes our EDM outlook. With songs nowadays often deprived of creativity and originality, those two traits always manage to stand their ground in all of The Brig’s heroic productions. Headlining his Black Pearl EP on Most Addictive Records, the title track is the kind of tune that you cannot help but keep on repeat all day. In an anything but typical manner, The Brig gets you bouncing off the walls with his vicious bass growls and unconventional synth work. Who knows what 2015 holds for The Brig? But something tells us it’s big.
14. Eptic – Brainstorm
It’s not easy being one of the most sought-after producers in bass music paradise. Just ask Eptic. Then again, when you find yourself in this young gun’s position, it must feel like the entire world is your oyster. As if 2013 was not already a humongous year for Eptic, he had to return in 2014 and do the exact same thing. Continuing to solidify himself as one of dubstep’s brightest stars, his 2014 campaign was highlighted by a plethora of amazing releases, the most popular of which was The End EP. The multi-track collection was assembled on Never Say Die Records and it does an exquisite job of summing up Eptic’s wonderful year. Having said all that, it was actually “Brainstorm” that was the obvious decision to occupy this spot. While “Space Cats” also made a convincing case for itself, the no-nonsense attitude of “Brainstorm” just could not be beat. Eptic is sure to get your head shaking with this one.
13. The Frim – Hi
Found on Never Say Die’s Black Label Vol. 3, “Hi” could very well go down as one of the most underrated dubstep tracks of 2014. The Frim might not yet be a household name, but it seems like it will not be long till he is considered one. With his “Mean Machine” remix and Excision collab (“Night Shine”) gathering a ton of praise, this producer has proven time and time again why he is very likely the next big thing in dubstep. Chances are if you have already made it into 2015 without hearing of The Frim previously, it’s probably too late for you to redeem yourself. However, for those of you unwilling to ignore this musician’s miraculous noise, you will be rewarded for your loyalty with unrelenting bass to the face. This song’s fantastic vocal sample pretty much says it all, “The music, I am high from it.”
12. Megalodon & Habstrakt – Yabba Dabs
We never thought that we would see the day that World’s Wildest Police Videos, Family Guy, and The Flintstones were all rolled up into a ball of bass music. Well, simply put, we were wrong. Megalodon & Habstrakt both have a great reputation when it comes to anything dubstep, so it came as no shock when The Storm EP completely hypnotized unsuspecting electronic dance music addicts around the globe. While choosing a favorite tune from this EP seemed somewhat unfair, it had to be done. Plus, at the end of the day, “Yabba Dabs” was the clear-cut #1 contender of the bunch. Dubstep of this caliber is difficult to come by, which means you would be wise to soak it up whenever it surfaces.
11. Zomboy – WTF!? (Cookie Monsta Remix)
We will not go as far as to say that 2014 was a quiet year for Cookie Monsta, but he has definitely had years in the past where he had released much more new music. Nonetheless, what this producer’s 2014 lacked in quantity, he more than made up for with quality. Trust us, once you get so much as a sample of his remix of Zomboy’s “WTF!?,” you will no longer be able to decipher which way is up or down. So far this list has not seen what we would describe as an apocalyptic dubstep track, but this is definitely one of them. In case the extermination of all life on earth is something you have not come to terms with yet, we would strongly advise against playing this tune at high volumes. Then again, I know plenty of you that constantly crave the kind of filthy bass music that causes destruction wherever it ventures. The ruckus surrounding Cookie Monsta never subsides, it just continues to grow.
10. Skrillex – All Is Fair In Love And Brostep
Personally, I think that Recess did not really live up to all the hype leading up to its release. Sure, it was by no means a bad album, but lets just say that I was expecting much, much more from one of dance music’s most iconic figures. However, salvaged from the wreckage was one tune that every fan of classic Skrillex could not live without, “All Is Fair In Love And Brostep.” Taking a not-so-subtle shot at “Terror Squad,” Skrillex’s statement was a loud and clear claim to the dubstep throne. Sure, all of these other musicians out there can mimic his style and sound all they want, but at the end of the day, nobody does it like Sonny Moore does. The even funnier aspect of this track is that since its release, both Skrillex & Zomboy have squashed their beef and now appear to be chummier than ever. Like the saying goes, “All Is Fair In Love And Brostep.”
9. Ray Volpe – Lion
When we close the book on dubstep in 2014, there better be a nice, long chapter on how Ray Volpe quickly became one of the premier talents in the industry. His Lion EP garnered a ton of kind words from fellow producers and fans alike – while the brilliant title track even went on to get a remix EP of its own. Basically, if you enjoy top-notch dubstep and are not yet familiar with Ray Volpe, you dropped the ball big time. But guess what? There is always plenty of time to make up for your mistakes. Especially when you come to realize that this musician is just a teenager, it’s fairly obvious that his voyage is just beginning. “Lion” is guaranteed to give you a taste of what it would feel like to be the king of the bass music jungle.
8. Dubloadz & TrollPhace – Dangalang
Even the most intelligent dubstep experts could not have predicted the progress experienced by Dubloadz & TrollPhace during 2014. Dubloadz first started generating serious attention with his Jugular EP and later capitalized on that early success with his speaker-smashing Chug! Chug! EP. On the other end of the spectrum, TrollPhace had a year that was highlighted by a line of amazing OWSLA releases. With remixes of David Heartbreak & Yogi receiving play in live sets from DJ’s all over the planet (including Skrillex), his older tear-out dubstep sound was gradually replaced by mammoth bounce anthems.
After acknowledging all of those accomplishments, “Dangalang” was still the tune that best explained these producers rapid ascension to the top. Dubloadz & TrollPhace laid it all out on the table in 2014, and all of their hard work certainly did not go unnoticed.
7. Au5 – Snowblind (Ft. Tasha Baxter)
When you get one of our favorite producers in the same room as one of our favorite vocalists, the chances are high that they will emerge with something extra special. Which was precisely the case when Au5 joined forces with Tasha Baxter. For those of you that have never been trapped inside of a nonstop bass blizzard, “Snowblind” is about to show you exactly what that feels like. Melded together with synths that will freeze you in your tracks and chord progressions that are capable of cracking the thickest sheets of ice, this red-hot dubstep tune turns your winter wonderland into a catastrophic meltdown. Hopefully you brought a raft along for the ride, because these surging waves of bass will swallow up even the savviest sea explorers. We are giving Au5 an A+ for this pretty little number.
6. Bommer & Crowell – Yasuo
You knew it was coming, you just did not know when. Well, now you can all go home and sleep easy tonight, because “Yasuo” settled very comfortably into our #6 position. Resting peacefully right outside of our top 5 tunes, many bass music fanatics would make the argument that this track was the undisputed dubstep song of the year. Having said that, it would have been a somewhat questionable decision on our part to consider it as such. Sure, “Yasuo” was rinsed out in live dubstep sets left and right, but that also meant that it fell victim to constant overuse. Just to give you an idea, it would be nearly impossible to locate another tune on this list that was played out more times live than this one. For better or worse, Bommer & Crowell definitely left their mark on 2014.
5. D-Jahsta & Rekoil – The Devil
Somewhere in the fiery depths of hell, Satan is dancing up a storm to this scorching D-Jahsta & Rekoil collaboration. It’s probably fair to say that no dubstep track in 2014 had more anticipation surrounding its release than “The Devil.” For starters, each of these bass lords could be listed amongst the most violent dubstep producers on the face of the earth. With D-Jahsta having something of a legacy to preserve, 2014 was definitely Rekoil’s year to elevate his material to a new plateau. With a little help from his heavily stacked Resurface EP, this musician made sure that 2014 would be a year to remember. In case you missed their two-track Realm Of Terror EP when it initially dropped, now is the ideal time to make up some major ground. D-Jahsta & Rekoil undoubtedly rose to the occasion for “The Devil.”
4. MUST DIE! – Gem Shards
Most people would say that it’s a positive sign when one of the most well respected names in the dubstep universe (Skrillex) shows a track an excessive amount of love during his live performances. Well, we are inclined to agree. Lets just say that the first time “Gem Shards” was exposed to the world in Skrillex’s Red Rocks set earlier this year, the collective dubstep scene held their breath for this unrivaled tune’s eventual release. Standing alongside the rest of his Death & Magic LP on OWSLA, this song was the shining beacon that reminded us of those good old MUST DIE! days. The album itself drew on a variety of different influences, but when it was all said and done, dubstep is (and always will be) this producer’s specialty. The screeching synths, incomparable composition, and unregulated bass levels all helped make “Gem Shards” one of 2014’s most popular dubstep productions.
3. Virtual Riot – We’re Not Alone
2014 has been somewhat of a down year for melodic dubstep, but clearly nobody relayed that message to Virtual Riot. While riddim’s popularity soared to unimaginable heights during the past year, melodic dubstep quietly sat by the wayside, patiently waiting for its turn to make its colossal comeback. Released on an EP under the same name, “We’re Not Alone” was the only proof we needed that not only was melodic dubstep still alive and well, it was thriving all on its own. Powerful chord progressions and unbelievable sound design are what truly separates this one of a kind track from the rest of the competition. During his 2014 rampage, Virtual Riot operated at nothing less than 100% maximum efficiency.
2. Moody Good – Hotplate
Another Skrillex personal favorite comes to us courtesy of Moody Good. Scratch that statement, because anybody with a pulse ranks “Hotplate” among their personal favorites from 2014. His remix of Slum Village’s “Fall In Love” is not half bad either – but that is a discussion best left for another day. For anybody wondering how this twisted tune managed to maneuver it’s way into our coveted runner-up position, the reasoning behind it is actually quite simple. This song exhibits a perfect balance of fierce vocals, savage synths straight out of a toolbox, and bass that booms so loud that everybody in your neighborhood cannot help but take notice. Very few dubstep tracks won over massive festival crowds, as well as underground bass music venues around the world, but this magnificent creation made that feat appear all too easy. Every piece of music from Moody Good is nothing short of pure magic.
1. SPACE LACES – Digital Gangsta
After cycling though 19 of this year’s top dubstep tracks, we could not be more excited to finally arrive at our #1 selection. Waiting for us patiently is the mysterious man that they refer to as SPACE LACES. While this producer remained fairly quiet throughout the majority of the year, when he struck, he struck hard as f*ck. “Digital Gangsta” might not have been the most talked about dubstep tune of the year, it may have not been the most frequently played, but it possessed a trait that no other song on this list displayed, a complete and utter disregard for the well-bring of mankind. Prepare to get scrapped, bruised, and battered when you suddenly stumble into the psychotic drops from this downright ludicrous banger. SPACE LACES brand of dubstep sounds like it came from a totally different galaxy – maybe that is why we think all of his work is out of this world.
501 & Protohype – Won’t Change (Ft. Ras)
Adair & OmegaMode – God Code
Aweminus – IJFGAF VIP
Bassnectar – Noise
Dabin & Kai Wachi – You
DeadExit – Snake
Deemed & Styn – Ik Ben Ja De Kind
Destroid – Crusaders (FuntCase Remix)
Dubloadz – Fight Music VIP
Excision, Downlink, & Space Laces – Wasteland (Barely Alive Remix)
Flinch & Infuze – Belly of the Beast (Trolley Snatcha Remix)
LAXX – Semi Auto
Mantis – Desolation
Max Headroom & Animate – Shake It
Midnight Tyrannosaurus – Basement Bitches VIP
Northern Lights – Don’t Stop
Phiso – Breakfast
Trampa – Gunfingers
Twine – Fuck You
Unnatural Forces & Gh0sh – Rick Riddim