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17 March, 2014@12:17 am

Despite being one of the biggest names in dance music, prior to this week’s surprise release of Recess, Skrillex does not actually have any full-length albums to his credit. Despite a series of very successful mid-length EP’s with cryptic (and now classic) titles like Scary Monsters & Nice Sprites and Bangarang, Recess is his first long-player. Yet Skrillex knew what Michael Jackson did on Thriller and Nas did on Illmatic; minimalism is good, clocking in at only 11 tracks, rather than the bloated 18-track or two-disc albums we get from many producers.

As his first proper album, Skrillex clearly looks to venture outside of comfortable territory, as dubstep’s popularity now seems to be waning, next to newer genres like trap and twerk music. It’s opening cut, “All Is Fair In Love & Brostep” is a cheeky self-parody in title alone; he’s aware of the watering down and lampooning of the genre (Saints Row IV’s dubstep gun, anyone?), but also shows he’s king of it, as he destroys the track just four minutes into the album.

He’s really gone beyond the standard formulas that so many have adopted and copied from his older tracks, taking this record into unpredictable territory. The title track, “Recess”, is a catchy collaboration with Kill The Noise, which will undoubtedly help resurrect the career of the once overused Fatman Scoop. Even the Call Of Duty soundtrack favorite, “Try It Out”, with Alvin Risk, is given new life here on the “Neon Mix”, which makes the original mix sound like an unfinished demo.

The drum-and-bass propelled, jazz fueled “Coast Is Clear” with Chance The Rapper definitely breaks new ground, but Chance’s appearance here is redundant as he repeats lyrics from Biggie’s “Big Poppa” over-and-over again. “Dirty Vibe” with Diplo is also a wild ride, featuring some new emcees spitting some semi-familiar vocals over the otherwise bonkers beat. A sharp left turn is made on more experimental selections like “Doompy Poomp” and “Fuck That”, neither of which follow any kind of previously laid out blueprint of what a Skrillex song is supposed to sound like.

But the crown jewel of this LP is “Ease My Mind”, which even upon first listen, you’ll hear the crowd of thousands singing along in unison. Mark our words, this anthemic track will undoubtedly be the highlight of Skrillex’s live sets this year.

While it may have taken Skrillex longer than expected to drop his album, its surprise release mirrors the unpredictabile nature of his production. Recess is the result of a beautiful mind, with a killer ear, and the techinal prowess to put it all out on wax.

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1 Responses to "Skrillex – “Recess” (Review)"
  • Bangz_UK says:

    IMHO the appearance of Skrillex himself signalled the beginning of the end of dubstep. He is the pop face of dubstep and as we have seen with most EDM genres, once they are watered down enough to appeal to mainstream audiences, they lose their original charm and originality and fade back into the underground.

    Also there’s still dope dubstep out there and there always will be.

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