Philadelphia Weekly’s cover story on Philly’s dubstep scene is who’s who of the east coast’s burgeoning dub mecca and a comprehensive take on the rise of the EDM at large. The piece features observations on everyone from Aoki to Philly’s own Starkey. A few of our favorites:

PHILLY’S DEV79: “Hitting the stage around 2 a.m., Dev79 destroys a set of original music and bangers by Seclusiasis artists Kastle and Siyoung. It’s nothing—nothing—like a Skrillex show. It’s classic DIY Philly shit, nothing like the dubstep exploding elsewhere around Philly and the rest of the country. “DJs gotta make the party pop off, but they should also bring some knowledge to the table. Many people now are playing this homogenized, dumbed-down version of dubstep, and it’s not doing anything positive for this scene’s culture.”

STARKEY: “Starkey’s an Allentown native who’s lived in Philly since he was 18. He completed his graduate studies in music production at Temple. You’re more likely to read about the 30-year-old dubstepper in British mags like The Wire or NME than you are in the local press—he also performs more in Europe than in Philly—but he’s been swinging fierce since the mid-2000s. His albums, like Ear Drums and Black Holes and his two-volume Space Traitor series, represent some of the finest American dubstep music made so far. He slightly modifies dubstep’s signature sound by mixing in vocal melodies and more pop-friendly tropes, but he has a deep relationship with the music’s early days.”

THE PHILLY SOUND: “When we started our parties, we wrote the words ‘Street Bass’ really big on the fliers,” says Starkey. “It encapsulates what we think’s going on in Philadelphia—street music with heavy bass. Philly’s always been in the shadows of other places, but, honestly, I don’t think there’s much going on in New York. People here are willing to take chances that people in other places aren’t.”

THE INDIE ROCKERS: “Losing people. It’s what indie rock music, which for many years has been the go-to musical vehicle for youthful, rebellious kicks, might be doing. The shoot-first-ask-questions-never glory days of Mudhoney and Sonic Youth—who pushed the boundaries of sound while carving out a new, exciting cultural world—are long gone. And as second generation bands like Pavement and Guided By Voices now offer little more than a nostalgic experience, cashing in on the reunion tour racket, indie rock’s more openly becoming an old-timer’s market.”

THE AUDIENCE: “The last thing little hell-raisers wanna do on Friday night is watch some old dude whine/cough into a microphone while playing an acoustic guitar. And no matter how many mandolins, ukeleles, banjos or violins the band incorporates to create a indie-rock-as-orchestra vibe, the music’s still boring. One of the main reasons young concert-goers are pledging allegiance to dubstep ragers like Skrillex is they want music that’s more aggressive. They need energy , and they want fun . They need spectacle . They need an event, and as indie-rock gets cozier with the WXPN and NPR set, the kids are finding fresh ways to get their kicks.”

MIMOSA: “His music, like on his recent LP, Sanctuary , is much more ambient, psychedelic and intricate. As his TLA set proved, it’s every bit as cathartic, but Mimosa’s more devoted to atmospheric builds that avoid bashing while still bumping.”

SKRILLEX: “Skrillex takes you to the mountain, then he takes you much higher, and then he blasts you, like a fucking missile, out into space. His music hits hard, like a sledgehammer to the dome—moshpits formed at the Electric Factory stop on his recent Mothership Tour. And his stage-production’s unlike anything anyone’s ever seen. Using a body motion suit, sensors pick up his frenzied moves from behind the DJ booth and are then visualized through a towering, 20-foot-tall DJ projected on a huge video screen behind him. It’s as if he’s a god-like monster/alien/robot leading the most epic party in the history of mankind, except the party’s on a planet nobody’s ever been to before. Call it Planet Skrillex. People needed something new that was big, loud, fast and mean, and Skrillex has provided it. He’s captured the hearts and minds of an undeniably large segment of young concert-goers, and the consequence is a major alteration of the fundamental principles of dubstep music.”

AOKI: “A California-based electro-house DJ who’s had a huge impact on dance music’s recent rise. In the late 1990s, Aoki founded Dim Mak Records, which has since dropped acclaimed albums by leading EDM figures such as MSTRKRFT and Tiësto, as well as indie-rockers with electro cross-over appeal, like Bloc Party and the Kills. Known for his insane, over-the-top live shows, Aoki’s also a party promoter, and his second annual Pacific Fest brought more than 50 EDM-centric acts to Silverado, Calif., in August.”

THE LIVE EXPERIENCE BOTTOM LINE: “Kids went ape-shit,” [Starkey says of Skrillex’s show]. “They heard loud, raucous music their parents don’t like—it was like going to see the Beatles or something. Rock ’n’ roll’s sappy and boring right now—kids need aggression, and this is the new angst music. It’s their rock music.”

Via Philadelphia Weekly