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The 2023 Case File: Dubstep FBI's top picks of the year

It's time to recognize the artists, brands and events that shook our world.


In what has been the biggest festival year since pre-COVID, the world of bass music exploded in 2023.


Festivals debuted larger-than-life production, artists dropped long-awaited IDs and the underground bubbled to the top.


Music was our escape this year. It provided a space to forget about the problems of the real world and protect us in a new universe.


We were constantly reminded of the strength of our bass music community as renegades ran rampant, old artists emerged with new projects, labels were founded and tours were announced.


Dubstep FBI's top dubstep picks of 2023

Illenium's massive production for Trilogy Denver this summer


We would like to thank everyone involved in the back-end of the industry for the countless hours and hard work they put into making this scene so special. From planning tours to setting up for shows or rolling out releases, working in music is not easy.


We would also like to use this time to recognize the artists who pour their hearts and souls into these sounds we all love — it's because of you that we have the ability to escape from reality and enjoy music that makes us feel some type of way.


Dubstep FBI's top dubstep picks of 2023

And how can we forget the fans? You all stop at no end to support your favorite artists, you buy merch, wait in line in freezing weather and share new songs with your friends. Special shoutout to the fans who act as our agents on duty — capturing footage on-the-ground across the world.


Let's use this time to come together and appreciate the community we've all created. There will always be ups and downs, but what matters is that you have friends to lean on and music to share.


It's time to recognize everything that made 2023 so special.

 

Brands, labels & promoters

What would our industry be without the community aspect? We're diving into the brands, labels and promoters who created spaces for our community to share its love for bass. We've also created a category for our favorite photographers and videographers who capture the best moments of our lives.



Dubstep FBI's Top Brands of 2023


Dubstep FBI's top dubstep picks of 2023

Phaseone rocking a Sounds of Mayhem shirt at Forbidden Kingdom shortly before debuting his label


Dubstep FBI's top labels of 2023

  • Bassweight

  • Bypass Audio

  • DPMO

  • Rude Service

  • Sounds of Mayhem



Dubstep FBI's top dubstep picks of 2023

Deathpact playing the Offbeat afters at The Hideout in Denver (photographed by Nathen Lane)


Dubstep FBI's top promoters of 2023

  • Code: Lockdown, Defiant Presents, No Sleep Presents, and Psy Presents in Florida

  • iloveneon in Canada

  • Mutiny Music Collective in Salt Lake City, Utah

  • Offbeat Presents in Denver, Colorado

  • Project Seismic, Psychosis Events, Pirate Pandas & No Expectations in San Diego, California

  • RVLTN in Las Vegas, Nevada

  • Steez Promo in the East Coast

  • Unlocked Presents in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania



Dubstep FBI's top dubstep picks of 2023

Jessica Audiffred b2b LAYZ at Lost Lands (photographed by FFC Media)


Dubstep FBI's top photographers and videographers of 2023


 

Venues, festivals and sets

These are the spaces that sparkled when we gathered. The places that we could let loose in. The sets that we wish we could transport back to. Here are our top picks for venues, festivals and sets of 2023.


Dubstep FBI's top dubstep picks of 2023

Bass Station in Waukegan Illinois (Photographed by Bayked)


Dubstep FBI's top venues of 2023

  • Bass Station in Waukegan, Illinois

  • Mana Wynwood in Miami, Florida

  • NOS Events Center in San Bernardino, California

  • Queen Mary Waterfront in Long Beach, California

  • The Ave in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

  • The Ogden Theater in Denver, Colorado

  • The Ritz in Tampa, Florida



Dubstep FBI's top dubstep picks of 2023

The Grocery Boiz with the FBI at the Grocery Bash 2023 at Endgame in Mesa, AZ


Dubstep FBI's top shows and festivals of 2023



Dubstep FBI's top sets of 2023

 

Dubstep FBI's Top Songs of 2023

We've rounded up the absolute bangers that'll make your speakers quake while your neighbors complain. These songs are the reasons we actually did get a noise complaint this year.


Barking at Thunder by LAYZ and Vastive [Welcome Records]



Black Hole by Scarexx, NGHTKLR & Soul Valient [Subsidia]



Don't You Dare Go Hollow by SVDDEN DEATH and HVDES



Dopamine by Wooli and Tape B



GLITCH by ALLEYCVT [Deadbeats]



Knockout by HURTBOX and SHIVERZ



Mind Pluck by Subtronics and HOL! [Cyclops Recordings]



Poppe by Automhate and MAD DUBZ [DPMO]



Pumpany by Kompany and Kai Wachi [Disciple]



Quasar by Dr. Ushuu [Dubstep FBI Premiere]



Rise by Excision, Jessica Audiffred and Leah Culver




SPAWN by ANTIHERO and RZRKT



 

Dubstep FBI's Top EPs of 2023

These bite-sized wonders pack a punch with intense bass, crazy soundscapes and beats that'll have you moving non-stop. These are the projects that artists spent months (even years) meticulously crafting.


Abduction by AlienPark [Subsidia Records]



Animals EP by Vastive [Rude Service]



Crazy in the Head EP by FOCUSS [Rude Service]



Firestorm EP by Samplifire [Disciple]



Irreparable Damage by Versa [Malignant Music]



NOFORTUNE by Control Freak [Sable Valley]



RISE OF THE DEMIGOD by Kai Wachi [Kannibalen Records]



Slaughter House by Crankdat [Monstercat]



Tear Jerker EP by Cyclops [Disciple]



THE RETURN by MVRDA [DPMO]



 

Dubstep FBI's Top Albums of 2023

We've handpicked the ultimate dubstep soundtracks that'll take you on a wild ride from start to finish. These masterpieces reflect entire eras of artist's sounds.


Cheap Thrills by Effin



East Kings Point by VCTRE [Deadbeats]



Eyes Wide Open by PEEKABOO



Out of Bounds by Mersiv



PERIPHERY by Ravenscoon [WAKAAN]



 

Dubstep FBI's Top Compilations of 2023

Compilations serve as tasting platters to discover new artists. Huge shoutout to the labels who consistently deliver these projects, we know how much time it takes to A&R, plan, distribute and market these beasts.


Bass Dreams, Vol. 5 [emengy]



Kannibals at the Beach Vol. 2 [Kannibalen Records]



Sounds of Mayhem: The Uprising [Sounds of Mayhem]



Subsidia: Night Vol. 9 [Subsidia Records]



The Really Big One [Rude Service]



 

There you have it The tastiest sonic morsels from our year in review. And while we couldn't make it to every festival or listen to every song that was released, we hope this gives you some inspiration to discover a few new artists and attend a new event in 2024.


We are always listening.


 

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