Editorials / Music

Rolling the Bass: The Courtship of Dubstep and Molly

by Leah Schneider

Nearly every style of music that could have, at one point, been considered ‘pop’ has had a fairly steady and specific drug that has gone along with it.

Alcohol in the roaring jazz age of the twenties, LSD and various other hallucinogens in the rockin’ sixties and seventies, and I’m not an expert but I’m going to go ahead and throw cocaine in with the grunge of the nineties.

Dubstep is a fairly new genre of electronic music that has not only caught the attention of contemporary music listeners, but also a large and inflating number of show-goers. The mind-altering substance of choice is easy to guess: Molly. Both have, conveniently, had a recent boom in interest over the last half of a decade.

Molly, sometimes referred to as Mandy, is actually MDMA. To those of you who took a mandatory health class in high school will know that MDMA is commonly known as ecstasy.

Most ecstasy comes in pill form, and is often cut with other drugs. Everything from uppers like methamphetamine and caffeine to downers such as heroin and other opiates. Molly generally refers to MDMA in its crystalline or powder form, and has the expectation of actually being pure MDMA.

Because of this, it’s thought of as the “safer” version of ecstasy among most recreational drug users. However, that’s not to say Molly is without its faults. Like all powder forms of most street drugs, you never really know what you’re getting, and taking any street drug is always a risk.

Classified as an “upper,” it turns one’s senses on full blast and can induce a sense of euphoria and intimacy with the people around you. Colors, sounds and physical sensations can feel much more intense than normal.

Combine that with a steady flow of Solo cup-shaking bass lines, complex beats, and hair-raising synth leads and you’ll be led right down the rabbit hole of psychedelia.

Let it be known that dubstep shows are are not always huge rave-like ragers that can only be found a quarter mile under an abandoned subway system or in a Nightmare on Elm Street style warehouse.

Dubstep artists are sprouting up in the social hives of America like California and New York, but also worldwide and locally. Even a place as unassuming as Dayton, Ohio produces these bass mixologists. Dubstep artists frequent the same venues as the local bands of central Ohio and people will come to see them.

Dubstep shows that would be considered absolutely miniscule to anyone who grew up in New York City or Chicago or Los Angeles still pack the venues, and there is no shortage of narcotic party favors among the patrons. Be they regulars, fans or even randoms, many love the experience and almost always come back.

A student from the Ohio State University commented on his experience in taking MDMA at a dubstep show:

“It made me feel really empathetic and connected to my friends in a way I never have before”. Later he added that the following day he felt “drained and depressed”.

Like any contemporary concert, there is a crowd of hyped up people excited to hear music and everyone in the audience is pressed hip to hip. With Dubstep though, everyone loves the hell out of it, the crowd seems to feed off of it.

Even those not dancing with Molly (literally the cleverest thing that has ever come out of Miley Cyrus’s mouth) are perfectly content to be pressed together like over-heated cattle with complete strangers, even more so, they enjoy it.

There is no room to think or be embarrassed about your throw-back dance moves or limbs slick with sweat. Everyone moves together and the energy level is unlike anything any other show could produce.

Of course, Dubstep can have the same effect without illegal substances. Another student attended the same show, allegedly not under any influence. She was just as ecstatic to see the performance:

“I really like the music. I’d bet over half the people here are on something, but I still have a good time with my friends while sober. Plus I actually remember it.”

With or without drugs, live Dubstep offers a unique experience. Even if the music is not your thing, the show is almost impossible to not get sucked into at least for a brief moment. Something about it is truly electric—the lightning-hot neon insanity searing the memories of the audience with a one-of-a-kind night.


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