The word “Dubstep” was first used in print in 2002 to describe Horsepower Productions’ new style of 2-step garage.
It’s reputed to have been used by DJ Hatcha at the famous Big Apple record shop in Croydon, but either way, there’s no getting away from how important Benny Ill & the rest of the group have been in the mutation of dark 2-step into dubstep. It’s easy to hear the 2-step influence here in the bass and drums, but it’s also clear to hear the dubby vibes that originally gave dubstep its title.
Like lots of the music from that time, it’s quite unique. It’s heavily sample based, and atmospheric in a way that belies the Croydon roots of the sound.
Although the song is very much a bass driven one, it presents a nice listening experience too, with a rich selection of vaguely tropical sounds adorning the central rhythmic pulse.
The album In Fine Style, from which this song is taken, was released in 2002 on the seminal dubstep label Tempa, which until slightly after that point had essentially just been releasing the songs on the album as singles anyway!
Still ahead of its time!