Dubstep has come a long way in America. The commercialization that defined the genre’s mainstream moment has mostly subsided, as have the brash declarations that “dubstep is dead!” from every click-hungry U.S. media outlet. In its wake is a renewed enthusiasm for the dark, minimal 140 sound that’s stirring up a hellish momentum all across the country. Socio-cultural speculations attempting to explain the way underground dubstep now tunnels its way from coast to coast are endless, but ultimately, there’s only one universal explanation – and it’s personal.
Following two releases on the prominent Chestplate label, Los Angeles-based artist Mesck is rising to the forefront of the dubstep community not only in the US, but worldwide. If last year’s Dead Language EP didn’t do the trick, Mesck’s sound permeated every corner of the international scene in sets from Distance, Truth, Youngsta, Joe Nice, and many more – as well as via his recent guest mix on N-Type’s RinseFM segment. Mesck is a sophisticated producer and a charismatic DJ. His tracks have been featured by respected outlets like FatKidOnFire, Trusik, and Vice; his live sets seduce audiences around the country, from established sound system hubs LA and Denver to emerging crowds in cities like Atlanta. Mesck is one of a modest handful of American artists who Americans make a consistent effort to see. In this way, he’s a trailblazer actively bridging the US and UK communities. But more than an unassuming cultural leader, Mesck is a creative visionary.
Dubstep’s magnetic energy is characterized by a raw intimacy which, like much masterful music, eludes commercial appeal. The honest quality sacrificed by the genre’s profit-driven incarnations is perhaps the very quality that drags young fans underground in its pursuit. Dubstep’s notoriously dark vibe contradicts the utopic, neon-packaged bliss sold by EDM parties and festivals. Yet, anybody who’s packed onto a dimly-lit dance floor when the DJ drops “Dead Language” understands that the subversive energy is powerfully contagious. Mesck has a touch for capturing primal emotion and captivating listeners with it. His sonic mastery over the dangerously sharp edge of human nature is the essence of his place on Chestplate’s iconic release catalogue. Mesck’s productions are far from conventional “party music”, but the parties his music inspire tend to transcend the conventional. It’s an undeniable component of dubstep’s legacy: genuine expression promotes genuine interpersonal connection.
In a recent interview with Trusik, Mesck discusses the visual side of his artistic personality. He’s designed artwork for Epoch, Oxossi, and Mikael: some of the genre’s most inventive producers. The art is intuitive. Like all great release art, the imagery whispers hints of the sound it envelopes, serving as a bridge between the mediums. The natural creative connection is indicative of the genuine expression that epitomizes Mesck as an artist – and the magic of underground dubstep as a whole.
Today, dubstep in America is encompassed by an electricity conducted through every one of its artists, supporters, and fans. This summer, dubstep appears on the festival circuit once again; this time around, smaller gatherings like Infrasound feature Mesck and a slew of fellow Sub.mission Agency artists, along with international staples including Goth-Trad, Seven, and Joker. Underground music’s growing prevalence isn’t simply a passing trend. It’s a genuinely passionate response to the intimate, honest, resonant expression that fans – humans – crave.
Follow Mesck on Facebook and SoundCloud. For tour dates, booking information, and more, check out his agency page here.