The rise of funky house sees an unlikely parallel with the new direction of dubstep's Kode9 that take a refreshing, percussive direction. With Coki & Benga's "Night", the years biggest anthem and fully adopted by the funky house crowd, there's definitely parallels. One of Kode's battle weapons right now is the Martyn remix of TRG's "Broken Heart", due out on Hessle Audio in the future. The last track on the Burial album, "Raver" is an amazing excursion in offbeat and double time 4x4 kicks. After the traditional swung garage release of TRG, Hessle Audio have recently been pioneering the minimal, techy side of dubstep. New singing Untold takes a deep, synth lead approach that on tracks like "Purify" is hard to tell who, out of dubstep and techy microhouse, is assimilating who. Hessle's Pangaea has been steadily gaining momentum and identity, with "Nest" deep and mournfully haunting, such that the whole camp, from TRG, to Untold, Ramadaman and Pangaea are developing a strong sense of direction, identity and purpose, fulfilling the promise set out by Ricardo Villalobos' Shackleton remix and beyond.
Another promising percussive newcomer is Narcossist, who hails from a small village in the north of rural England but sounds like he has a hotline to Croydon circa 2004. He's perhaps best known for his track which opens Grievious Angel's amazing Dubstep Sufferah Vol. 3 mix. New dub "Sunblind" however, is definitely worth investigating, with it's garagey bass stabs, clipped drums and sense of rolling propulsion.
Finally returning to Martyn, after releases on Revolve:r/Soul:r, Tempa, one forthcoming on Applebim's new label Applepips ("Suburbia"), and remixes for Hessle Audio and Offshore, he's starting his own imprint 3024 (perhaps to upstage fellow European dubstep producer 2562, by using a bigger number). With a focus far more on the classic, warm Detroit/Chicago influence rather than the colder Hessle, minimal influence, the label's first release is the melodic killer, "Velvet".
In many ways it is the next installment after Skream's awesome "2D" (due out on Skreamism 4 soon), which itself felt like a dubstep reword of melodic techno anthem "Beau Mot Plage" by Isolée. Word is Skream is working on a twisted remix of "2D" amusingly entitled "2LSD." The flip of "Velvet" however, takes Martyn's new found love of 2001 era dark swung garage, into deep house territories. The label will include artwork from Dutch graphic artist, Erosie. As first releases on a label go this gets full marks: 3024/3024.
One final addition to look out for on the techno flavor in dubstep, is "Stand" by Anti Social Entertainment. Quest, Silkie, Heny G and the boys have formed a musical alliance with Deep Medi label. Look out for both this truly epic dubplate in current Mala sets and the Anti Social camp as a whole for 2008.
While dubstep didn't invent the warehouse party, this year has seen the scene attending some pretty amazing squat/warehouse raves, with Dubstep After Hours and House Party notable must-attend events.
With dubstep's emphasis on the environment it's heard in, the warehouse/squat parties have brought a new dimension to the scene, an added element of danger, excitement and an outside chance to have dubstep the last music hear before you're buried alive in an east London Victorian era basement. Putting on one of these parties isn't without risks for the promoters either, as the most recent Dubstep After Hours party found when it was sadly shut down before it began. However House Party's new line up looks great, with a Kode9 garage set, live performance from the Bug ft Warrior Queen, Tubby, Anti Social, shanty house mashers Faggatronix, plus party specialist Oneman.