Chillstep: relaxing, melodic dubstep
The first thing that comes to my mind when I hear the word “dubstep” is the aggressiveness of the music. No matter the artist, more generic-form dubstep is characterized by violent bass drops, synths, “wubs” and pretty much a conglomerate of screechy metallic noises. Don't get me wrong, dubstep is appreciated by countless fans, but the noisiness of the music can actually serve as a turnoff to some otherwise would-be listeners. Sometimes, you need something more soothing and passionate to listen to while relaxing or doing work. Enter melodic dubstep, or chillstep. Though it may come under the guise of melodic dubstep, lovestep, or liquid dubstep, most songs of this genre can be described in a couple words: flowing, dynamic, beautiful, and intense. The intensity and dynamic nature are especially important features, because while this music is chill, it is certainly not boring or flat. Musically, chillstep favors a deep wobble bass (but without the grit of regular dubstep), soaring synths, trance-like female vocals, smooth progression between sections, and euphoric arpeggios and piano embellishments throughout.
Artists forging the path for this genre include Blackmill, Mitis, Seven Lions, Rameses B, and Phaeleh, though many other electronic artists are dabbling in chillstep as well. There are many related genres within the downtempo/chill spectrum, including dub, ambient, chillwave, and vocal trance.
Check out some of my favorite chillstep tracks below!
Blackmill – Lucid Truth [soundcloud url="http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/16139497" params="" width=" 100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]
“Chillstep is dubstep with emotion. It is not just a subgenre, it is a trip into the realm of sub-bass that opens your mind and touches your soul. “ - Last.fm's chillstep genre page