Skrillex – Bangarang – Review

Big Beat, Atlantic

By Mark Millard

2011 may have been the year of the Rabbit, but one might suggest it was in fact the year of a totally dissimilar, larger and additionally ferocious species. Equipped with lengthy black hair, signature spectacles and dark garments covering his skin, Skrillex is a strange yet unique, shocking but eye-catching and rapidly spreading epidemic that has only begun to take over the world.

With the release of two EP’s, including the critically acclaimed “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites”, a number of popular remixes, countless tour dates and the launch of his very own record label known as OWSLA, there’s no doubt the ex-From First to Last vocalist turned electronic producer gives the Rabbit a serious run for its money. Oh, and previously unstated: He’s nominated for five Grammy awards including ‘Best New Artist’ and is going up against the likes of Bon Iver and Nicki Minaj; the rarest accomplishment for a musician of his genre.

The young producer’s talent is already tough to disregard, but he’s thrown and delivered a knockout punch with his latest EP Bangarang; a seven song release that not only concludes 2011 in notable fashion, but kicks off 2012 with a bang (no pun).

From the opening track “Right In”, all the way to the highly anticipated Ellie Goulding collaborative closer “Summit”, the listener is reintroduced to Skrillex’s ability to not only blend powerful bass tones, pulse shattering snare sounds and matchless vocal chops with catchy and creative choruses, but to just as easily juxtapose said elements with low key works of melodic brilliance.

A prominent distinction this time around, the release is filled with collaborations; both predictable and shocking. Bangarang features the likes of close friends and previous collaborators 12th Planet and Sirah, but Skrillex kindly treats his fans by working with the legendary Wolfgang Gartner (The Devil’s Den), the aforementioned Goulding (Summit) and most notably, members of the Doors ‘Breakin’ A Sweat). Although it’s very safe to say nobody saw the latter coming, it’s a clear indication of where music appears to be heading.

No matter how bold of a statement the following may appear, electronic music is taking over, and there are few names superior to Skrillex right now. It seems as if everyone, including renowned 60’s rockers, crave to be a part of it. You may want to do the same, and if the past year is any indication, you’re in for one epic ride. 2012 may be the year of the dragon, but it meets a worthy adversary in electronic music – and Skrillex is fronting the battle.