Sonny Moore, aka Skrillex, aka the most “popular” (or at least “talked about”) man in Electronic Music at the moment has been a busy chap. His ability to produce anthem after anthem with ease, whilst simultaneously putting on shows that are absolutely spectacular, has left many producers/DJs in the dust.
His last major EP release was “Bangarang” and it took the world by storm, reaching number 1 on the UK Dance Albums Chart and US Dance/Electronic Albums chart and achieving a top 4 place in Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
Why am I mentioning these facts you ask? Well to put it plainly and simply, when one album gets so much hype and becomes multi-platinum selling, an artist typically just can’t resist the temptation to make their next release using the same ‘winning’ formula… Not Skrillex… he’s decided to produce something utterly and completely different.
First on “SoftSkrill’s” EP “The Leaving” is “The Reason”. This track feels as though it’s been heavily inspired by Moombahton – perhaps he’s been heavily influenced by his signee, Dillon Francis. Along with the Moombah elements, this track also contains 80s-esque synths, which are largely used by French Electronic producers, such as Daft Punk and Danger. Despite the softer edge, the drums are still spot-on in terms of punchiness. Skrillex never fails to create perfectly-compressed and eq’d drums, so I suppose it’s hardly a surprise that the track is able to get heads nodding.
“Scary Bolly Dub” is likely to be the modern dubnut’s favourite, as it is not only the heaviest of the three tracks (with its reggae-inspired guitar & synths, driving beat and massive dirty mid-range basses), but also incorporates elements of his biggest tracks – “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites” (SMNS), for example. I personally can’t decide if this track deserves the new title or whether it should be labelled as a remix of SMNS…
And finally, we have ‘Leaving’, the track that never drops – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. This is possibly the softest and most minimal track Skrillex has released to date. The drums are used to accompany the raspy, processed vocals, rather than drive the track forward, and they work beautifully with the mellow piano and soft atmospheric synths and pads.
Although I think it’s fantastic that Skrillex feels confident enough to experiment with different genres and combinations, I have an inkling that this EP won’t receive half as much exposure as his previous releases. He led the mid-bass movement that’s taken the EDM scene by storm and I sincerely doubt that people’s desire to find the heaviest bass which, over time, causes a brain aneurysm will fade enough to give “The Leaving” the chance it deserves.