So Various Production's much-hyped The World is Gone is out on Monday. Already this year we've had LPs by Burial, Boxcutter, and Benga, plus Dubstep Allstars vol. 3, mixed by Kode 9. Still to come there's LPs by Distance, Skream, Loefah, and Kode 9, plus Dubstep Allstars vol. 4, mixed by Hatcha and Youngsta, and the Roots of Dubstep compilation also on Tempa. That will make at least eleven essential dubstep albums in 2006. I seriously doubt there will be eleven essential rock albums in 2006.
Two conclusions. Firstly, this is an incredibly healthy scene. Secondly, the mainstream media has absolutely no excuse left for ignoring it. They'll tell you the average reader has no way of hearing club-based underground music, but this just isn't true now that dubstep's embraced the album format - and even if it hadn't, you can get dozens of crucial singles on Bleep.com, which is no harder to use than iTunes. They'll tell you dance music is faceless, but what about Space Ape, Warrior Queen, Crazy D, Sergeant Pokes, and all the other hot dubstep MCs? Sure, most people aren't going to like music that's so much about fear, austerity, and heart-attack sub-bass, but dubstep is a hell of a lot more interesting than DIY indie or whatever other haircut-fixated non-scene is getting repped this week.