A genre of music that emerged out of the UK Garage scene around the early 2000s. Although in some ways rooted in that scene (rhythmically, &c.), it has from the beginning stretched across many other genres, most notably including:
Dubstep has been known by several names-- 8bar, Eski, etc, but the name dubstep seems to be the one which has taken root.
What does it sound like?
Although dubstep can vary greatly in terms of the sound, one thing that is a common element in every track is a strong emphasis on bass and sub-bass. Bass is a major component of dubstep, more so than perhaps any genre before it. It is used both to create rhythm and to provide a melody. As a central part of the music, it ties all of the other sounds together.
The speed of it could generally be described as somewhere between house and drum and bass, although it can sound slower, often.
The dubstep sound originated in the UK, however it has been quite prolific. There are dubstep scenes springing up all over the world, with notable scenes going on in the US midwest, notably the Chicago area, and regular dubstep events in most major metros in the US.
Of course, the original UK dubstep scene is the most mature. It overlaps the mostly local Grime sound, which can be described somewhat as hyper-urban dubstep with lyrics (most dubstep, like its electronic roots is devoid of lyrics, though many have taken to MCing over dubstep beats).
There are a lot of dubstep producers out there, but there are only a few legends. These artists are among the originators of the dubstep sound, and they were the ones to create the original pure dubstep sound, which stood quite on its own, as the subculture hadn't yet even had time to branch out into other genres. Some of these notables are: