what is wobble?

Yeh I wouldn't call the above wobble, even though the basslines wobble.

And if they were wobble, they would be wobble of the highest standard.


When people speak of 'wobble' pejoratively they tend to mean the more abrasive higher frequency stuff don't they?

These wobble, but wouldn't generally be referred to as wobble, right?

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Heck, even this doesn't usually get dismissed as being 'wobble'.

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nah those are just a bit boring
wobble for me is all that rather more fierce mid range stuff that leaves a metallic taste in yr mouth, it's not subtle any of it, the vibe surrounding it is kinda post modern hooligan via danny dyer films etc, it's very much a kind of matey passive aggressive hyper masulinity that borders on camp, lots of emphasis on dirt, filth etc, more interesting than the piss poor music.

Aww Nein

Wild Palms

had to be one of the maddest ones out there...

awwnein, I'm not sure if your distinction is 100% accurate, but I definitely do feel there is a difference between C&R Fabriclive37 and the stuff that's out there now. FB37 was actually pretty interesting at the time (as someone getting into the sound)-- the same definitely can't be said for what's passing as wobble nowadays. I think the difference you're trying to parse honestly has more to do with good vs bad production skills...

i dunno, i definitly dont think you can just say it "good vs bad" production, as theres definitly an aesthetic descision involved, its not like if one were trying to make a sound much like caspa for example but didnt know how youd end up with this weird throaty tone, youd just end up with a midrange wobble that wasnt loud enough or EQ'd badly. i think its easy to say you dont like somthing so its just "bad" production, there are different choices involved.

i also do think that it does link up with dubstep becoming more of a grungy squatter music, excessive violent/disgusting imagery when commenting on it (just look at youtube for examples, worth a thread in itself...), and, dont wanna mention a crass drug/music link but ketamin being pretty popular in the squat scene.

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this one pretty weird, the guy just screwed it

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this is like the extension of chainsaw calligraphy

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this is actrually quite good, but definitly from the ironic angle. anyone know who actually made this?

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Well-known member

far from boring.
Yeah I just posted those as examples of tunes with wobbly sounds that aren't 'wobble', no aesthetic judgment either way implied. But 28g is a pretty good one.

I have liked some tunes with that kind of over the top grinding modulation. Nothing wrong with a bit of noise and spaz once in a while. When it becomes the main style in a set can become pointless and wearing very quickly, loses all impact anyway. Yawn.

Edit - that Monsta tune isn't far off something like Haunted or All Of A Sudden. Are those wobble? Haunted in particular is a magic tune I think, the spareness of it was quite striking at the time. You could still hear it was garage stripped down to something sort of undead. Don't think I like any of those other ones but they're taking their time loading in so not giving them much time.
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Well-known member

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village elder.
Edit - that Monsta tune isn't far off something like Haunted or All Of A Sudden. Are those wobble? Haunted in particular is a magic tune I think, the spareness of it was quite striking at the time. You could still hear it was garage stripped down to something sort of undead.

Haunted is almost the ultimate dubstep tune. pretty much perfect.



Well-known member
that caspa fabric mix is actually classic. not every track is amazing, though a fair amount are and tracks like terminator and louder are pretty superb for what they do. occasionally it does get a bit silly but wobble is fun, and considering a lot of halfstep era dubstep was impossibly dull, portentous, plodding and so self aware of its apparent scariness, this stuff at least has energy and aggression going for it. ideally id like the energy and aggression of this stuff mixed with the darkness of the halfstep period (sort of like proper gabba dubstep maybe).
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Tentative Andy

I'm in the Meal Deal
This is prob the last wobble-type tune that made me think 'Hey, this is actually pretty good":
Sadly I think it's been semi-officially confirmed that it will never come off dub...

(Recognising in advance that this is a topic that's been well and truly talked to death before....)
I try not to hate on the wobblers too badly 'cause I'm very aware that the sort of criticisms levelled at them - idiotic, music for the braindead, lowest-common-denominator, too macho and aggy, too noisy, etc - are exactly the same sort of things that were said loads about ardkore at the time, and prob about lots of other hard, high-energy styles that I like (for example, it kind of pains me that 'tearout' is almost always used as a par-word these days, as lots of my favourite jungle tunes would have been seen as tearout tracks).

Also, I think my view on the style would be different and less strong than some peoples', because I wasn't closely following the dubstep scene through the classic 2002-2006 years. I love a lot of that stuff now, of course, but I'm always going to be listening backwards, as it were. I've never been to FWD, I hadn't even been to a DMZ night until last year. If I had been closely invested in the development of the genre in 'real time', as a lot of people here were, it's likely my hatred would be stronger, as I would have directly experienced the narrowing of the sound, the changes in the audience and vibe at nights, etc.
(Similarly, I've never listened to much post-200 dnb, so lack the part of the context of the related changes in that style. Possibly why some people are so pissed off with the way that dubstep has gone is because they feel like they've been through the same process twice).

Basically, my main problem with most of the wobble tunes I hear is that, to use one of Luka's favourite words, to me they just sound corny. Which is very vague, I know, but perhaps a clearer way to say it is that simply boosting the ammount of noise and distortion on a track is, by itself, very much yesterday's idea of what is shocking and rebellious in music. Noisyness is such a well-worn idea that it's very difficult to put a new and exciting spin on it. As many people have pointed out, hundreds of extreme metal bands have been employing the same sonic ideas as wobblers for decades now, to much better effect.
(Fans of wobble sometimes seem to imply that its detractors find it too scary or too extreme, that they can't handle the punishment. For me the listening experience is almost the opposite, I'm more likely to be bored or irritated, waiting for some excitement which never quite comes).
Also - and I know that this is what everyone says, but it's true - it doesn't help that the beats on most wobble material are so dull. It seems weird to me that, for music that is supposed to be peak-time rave material, they have such an energy deficiency in the rhythm department; the most frequent image I get from listening to them is that of machines which are slowly grinding to a halt. Someone once posted - can't remember who - that the average wobbler has 'no panache', and that sums it up quite well for me.

Of course, as a style it could get better - so could almost any style, really. And for that reason I'll always try and keep one eye on how it develops. But for me there so many semi-related styles that sound much better right now that it's much more productive for me to focus my main energy on them.


Well-known member
good post andy, though hasnt dubstep always been seen as being a bit rhythmically weak/stilted? tbh, and this might be cos i always liked grime more, a lot of it could be a bit corny too, just that before it was in a 'oooh isnt this dark' ( all that 'atmospheric' film dialogue) rather than 'oh god more geezer samples' way. to me, the more energetic jump up wobble type tracks was like a reaction to dubstep taking itself so seriously i think, kinda injecting it with more of a hardcore rave type of energy/silliness/'messiness'. not saying all wobble is fantastic, and i can see why a lot of original dubstep fans hate it, a lot of it can be silly/over-revved and aimed more for the floor than 'deep' or introspective qualities, but in a way, that makes it fun too. id of course prefer it if maybe they felt a bit less jerky (some of cokis recent stuff is just horrendous, even jokers tron i think is a bit too abrasive), but ill still take a tune like d1's pitcher to a lot of the more subdued stuff on applepips or wherever, though that has its place too and is prob more in the tradition of old dubstep being more medidative, pensive etc.
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Well-known member
here's an interesting one: do people dislike the 'tearout' halfstep stuff on the grounds that it generally lacks rhythmic inspiration/groove/ funk?

also does anyone feel that that the old original 'deep' halfstep stuff is roughly equivalent rhythmically to the 'tearout' halfstep we have now? like gumdrops implies above, do they exist at essentially opposite ends of a single (halfstep) spectrum?

to me at least loefah's halfstep tunes as sparse as they were still had more groove than the average 'tearout' tune. maybe i'm prejudiced because i really don't like much of the midrange wobble, and really don't listen to enough of it to form an impression beyond it's 'noisy and grating'.


here's an interesting one: do people dislike the 'tearout' halfstep stuff on the grounds that it generally lacks rhythmic inspiration/groove/ funk?

that would be the main distinction between the two for me...

Something like Pinch's Punisher, his Atki2 remix or that early Trouble and Bass 12 that had Bricks on it, to me at least sound a lot more interesting rhythmically and have this element of funk, which are hard to pin point, although essentially they do use the same tricks. Just the way the LFOs wobble is funky.

I don't know but there is just the total lack of swing in the recent aggy wooble tracks that I hear... all that borgore / datsik / stenchman type stuff... the mostly generic Boom BAP, rhythms of it, just don't in any way inspire me to dance. The rhythms are so straight as well, the only thing I can think of when I hear them is that stupid dubstep dance video and the moves that guy makes, like some giant godzilla rolling through a city or something... something very clumsy... They just seem to try and totally blind your senses, without really doing anything to make you dance... If I want to spazz out, I'd rather go to a heavy metal concert to be honest.


Do not read this.
I think the best use of wobble is dubstep either goes to 28g or Blipstream, surely?

mind you
ancient memories rmx
chest boxing
pinch - chamber dub
etc etc..


village elder.
I think the best use of wobble is dubstep either goes to 28g or Blipstream, surely?

mind you
ancient memories rmx

yeah that is insane in the best possible way. remember loefah talking about that remix in old interview and saying they just couldn't believe what skream had done to it! (again, in a good way)
so no one thinks this is funky at all?
that’s close enough to a definition of wobble for me. course not all of it's aggy - and some of the earlier brok out bits had energy that was effective – but from a listener’s viewpoint my main complaint is that it generally was and is boring.
the 29g trifecta (above), skream’s ancient memories et al wobble, but i don't believe they're the wobble implied here.
that caspa tune has a nice enough intro, decent stepper’s beat, but then i feel it’s merely a slight kink removed from ad nauseam. maybe i don’t feel engagement, it just huffs and puffs away in the background until it runs out. dark&metallic and funky requires something, maybe not less obvious, rather something with.. more subtlety yet more brutality (to unintentionally paraphrase martin hannett)
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someone should make a Coki thread

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