Release Date: Jan 24, 2012
Record label: Big Beat
Genre(s): Electronic, Dubstep
Skrillex is a magician. His trick is turning the elusively thwumping U.K. dance music called dubstep into high-fiving dance-floor heavy metal. The DJ-producer's latest EP suggests new artistic pretension with an "orchestral suite" and a woozy jam stuffed with Doors references. But for the most ….
Google 23-year-old dance music sensation Skrillex and you'll learn that people either think he's a musical god or hate him with a passion usually reserved for serial killers. The sheer intensity of the vitriol directed at him almost makes you feel sorry for the kid, until you remember that he just picked up five Grammy nominations and is well on his way to becoming the biggest electronic music performer in the world. You could blame him for turning dance music mainstream, but compared to electronic superstars like Tiësto, Paul Oakenfold, the Prodigy or the Chemical Brothers, he's far more creative and musically compelling.
Nominated for five Grammy Awards, shortlisted for the prestigious BBC Sound of 2012 poll, and courted by everyone from Chicago producer Kaskade to metal icons Korn, former From First to Last frontman Sonny Moore's transition from post-hardcore vocalist to dubstep producer couldn't have realistically gone any smoother. However, despite his unprecedented success, there's still a question as to whether he can apply his now trademark, demonic, wobble bass drops and thumping syncopated beats to a whole album. Named after the battle cry of the lost boys in Steven Spielberg's Hook, his fourth consecutive EP Bangarang (also his first Top 40 entry in both the U.K.
[a]Skrillex[/a] comes to us riding a wave of hype while trailing a cloud of sulphur. To the sniffier end of dance, he’s the end of the world: the moment dubstep percolated down to the people who used to buy DJ Sammy records. Worse still, the purists groan, he represents the moment America re-made the genre in its own national image.What none of the naysaying community seem to realise is that Skrillex is not a dubstep guy.
Fresh off five Grammy nominations, what can Sonny Moore, last year’s most polarizing artist, do for an encore? How about drop a new EP that will offer aid to both haters and fanatics alike? The trick is that the songs the former folks—the ones who sniff that Skrillex is making “brostep”—will hate the most actually show him at his strobe-flashing, fist-pumping best. “Right In” and the title track are one long adrenaline rush of stabbing keyboard chords, sawed-off vocal samples and Skrillex’s trademark: squirming, squalling synth lines, which simulate the excitement (if not necessarily the virtuosity) of a guitar solo. This is the stuff that pisses off bedroom dubsteppers, but it’s uncomplicated, catchy fun, the equivalent of 21st-century hair metal—and that’s meant as a compliment.