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Ready to Wobble: A Guide to Wobbleland

In Clubs

It’s just a few years old, but Wobbleland has already proven itself steady. As one of the most reliable and consistently well-produced large shows in the area, Wobbleland regularly draws crowds of dance fans. This year’s roster features dubstep, trap and bass with Griz, Doctor P, Cookie Monsta and a full lineup of DJs.

Since its inception in 2011, Wobbleland has gathered some of the biggest names in dubstep. The first Wobbleland featured now-superstars Skrillex and Nero, who packed San Francisco’s the Factory for one of the biggest dubstep shows of its time. After successes every subsequent year and a venue change to City National Civic, Wobbleland continues to draw a loyal following. The show comes to town Jan. 24 this year.

A few standouts to look out for this time:

Kill Paris
Boulder, Colo., seems to be a breeding ground for talented glitch-hop producers. Something about the beautiful landscapes and crisp weather must inspire artists like Pretty Lights and Kill Paris to infuse beautiful sample work and clean synth lines into their otherwise bass-driven music. While his drums are stellar on their own, where Kill Paris really shines is his ability to weave instruments together in interesting and meaningful ways. Each synth pushes and pulls perfectly with each bass instrument, resulting in accessible yet exciting productions.

John Beaver
After recovering from a recent bout with cancer, John Beaver is one of the most energetic DJs in the Bay Area scene. While his genre versatility as a DJ has long been held in high esteem among fans, Beaver’s most endearing quality is his stage presence. He’s one of the happiest DJs you’ll ever see, and that fact alone makes him a joy to watch.

Protohype has long been on top of the American dubstep scene. His ability to seamlessly intertwine hugely different instruments is what set him apart originally, but I’m most excited about a live rip posted on his SoundCloud page just a few days ago. While many producers are stuck in the same cycle of formulaic buildups and drops, Protohype teased crowds with a new single (“Downfall”) that draws on classic U.K. grime sensibilities and downtempo drum work. He’s bringing a bit of subtlety to the monster that is American dubstep.

Minnesota vs. G Jones
Minnesota’s rise to stardom has been a joy to watch. While exploding in both the dubstep and glitch-hop scenes, he’s kept a humble attitude and a devotion to his fans. His productions, while heavy in the low-end, tend to focus more on melody and musicality than buildups and basslines. G Jones, after a monster year with releases from Robox Neotech and Team Supreme, varies between chilled-out hip-hop instrumentals and big, spacey, club-style trap hits. The two collaborated on a number of memorable tracks in 2013, resulting in an arsenal of experimental melodies in a trap context. Their combo of L.A. beat scene-style trap and hip-hop influences is a great addition for the lineup.

Funtcase, like many other heavy dubstep producers, calls the U.K. home. What’s different about Funtcase is his strong influences drawn from U.K. hip-hop. His collaborations with artists like Foreign Beggars provide an interesting subsection of dubstep in which lyrics intertwine with rolling bass lines and heavy kick snare patterns. While remixes of American rappers like Childish Gambino yield unique results, Funtcase shines when working with artists from his home turf.

Doctor P
Big room dubstep made a huge impact on mainstream crossover with dance music in recent years. At the forefront of this movement is Doctor P. His hit singles “Sweet Shop,” “Tetris” and “Big Boss” all made waves on the festival circuit the years they were released and now evoke nostalgic feelings in slightly more seasoned party-goers. Expect a monstrous amount of energy and a number of new releases during his set. Judging by his most recent collaboration with Method Man and Adam F, the English producer hasn’t slowed down since his debut in 2009.

While most of the Wobbleland 2014 lineup consists of heavy, bass-centric dubstep artists, Griz provides a breath of clean production in an otherwise grime-filled evening. It’s hard to classify his music into a single genre—it sits somewhere among glitch-hop, jazz, hip-hop, bass music and dubstep. This combination, brought together in a live show that features finger drumming and saxophone solos, makes for a unique performance that will stand out from a night of DJs and controllerists.

Wobbleland arrives at City National Civic on January 24. More info.

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