Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Skrillex - Recess


One of the most prolific dubstep artists to come out in the past five years or so, Skrillex, has been experimenting in different fields of music. The term 'brostep' is thrown around the internet more than a rugby ball, with fans arguing whether Skrillex is brostep or not. However so, he still remains a commercial pioneer when it comes to electronic bass lines going ape shit, which is something you can't argue against (unless you've been living in the basement for the past few years.) Luckily for you I can't be arsed to go on any pretentious bullshit rant about both genres. His album Recess came as a surprise to me, but it has been a little while since Bangarang was released. “Breakn’ A Sweat” was a superb example of a wonderful collaboration between Sonny Moore and the remaining members of The Doors - will this album come across anything like that?

The first song comes with “All Is Fair in Love and Brostep”, which is one of the songs that feature The Ragga Twins. It starts off with a spoken sample and therefore goes into auto tuned singing with bass on the voices. When the bass line drops is seems less mental as I hope, but it’s okay nonetheless, it works throughout the song. The synth sounds are nice through the second verse, working with the drumbeat until the next bass drop.  Next up, Kill the Noise teams up with Skrillex for the first time since KoRn's Path To Totality album with the song “Recess”. The album title song arrives with Fatman Scoop providing some vocals. It's an upbeat song which in my eyes would be brilliant live, the bass lines aren't much, but the song mainly relies on a constant repetition and considering dubstep is a form of house it is expected.

Stranger” is a toned down track with Killagraham and Sam Dew. It kicks up a minute in, with the bass line high pitched, which if I am absolutely honest really annoyed me. I like the singing on this track, it's nice and halfway through the tempo changes which the sounds do sound a lot better when slowed down. Alvin Risk rolls his way for a guest appearance on the track “Try It Out”, a nice and lively one which kicks ass all the way throughout. It's catchy and a good head nodder, and the return of the high pitched auto tune voices on this album makes this song quite swell. The bass line is quite samey throughout, but it's a perfect duration for a song like this. “Coast Is Clear” pops up with a very retro feel to it, until it kicks in with bass line and light percussion. The lyrics are pretty vulgar, not that it matters to me. It's an alright rap, the song is pretty weak compared to the rest of the songs so far into Recess. The light distorted bass sound is nice, but it kind of ruins the calm mood and harmonies near the end of the song. Diplo pops in with more auto tune with the choir sounding slightly spazzy as if it's random key mashing on a MIDI controller. When it drops the auto tuned voice is replaced instead of a bass line that I think was pretty cool. It's a slightly catchy song with an awesome techno vibe coming off it, it's one of the shortest songs on the album.

Ragga Bomb” comes next this, if the title didn't tell you, is the other song featuring The Ragga Twins. The voice is nice distorted which seems to replace the bass line in this, the song flows pretty nicely throughout and then the bass drop strikes once again with nice rapping until the end. The intro to Doompy Poomp sounds slightly shit and the music kicks in, a strange mix of sounds in my opinion. It's however somewhat groovy, with some whiny little high pitched twat through the song. Halfway it changes through some strange but soothing elevator music feel to it. “Fuck That” is next, and when the bass drops it has a pretty fucking groovy to it. It's another song a dubstep artist has done that is experimenting with trap music.

For those who don't know what trap is, it's dubstep with a build-up, but without a bass line that sounds like Optimus Prime having a sloppy fart sounding shit after a vindaloo autobot curry. There isn't much to this song other than a steady and chilled beat and bass line which isn't over the top or messed around with on MIDI pots or sliders. We are approaching the last few songs and they are both just over 10 minutes in length when added together. “Ease My Mind” is the first one to come from this, a nicely soft tune which has such a West Asia feel to it when it comes to the bass line.

This is one of the best songs on here, when it comes to music and vocals both work wonders on this. It remains a nice travel through some decent electronic music for a lovely casual listen. And last but not least it's “Fire Away” to finish of this album. This is a quiet and beautifully ambient track, even with the bass creeping around the background. It's a quiet way to go out of an album, but it's a great mix. This album has mixed around different genres when it comes to electronic music - with dubstep, hardcore techno and ambience being examples of the versatility of genres in this album. Though it's not the strongest album Skrillex has produced, it still has a few kicks and punches which give you glimpses of what he has appeared to be since 2010. There sadly isn't as much energy in this album as there could've been, the with the songs with different moods it seems a little out of place with each other, there are still some highlights. “Recess” would be fantastic to see live as it's such a good upbeat song, and "Fuck That" is a good example of trap. There are some highlights on this, with a main focus on brostep, but it's decent enough, however it will alienate some of his fans for the songs he has previously produced involved crazy bass lines and fast tempo songs. It's nice to see experimentation, Skrillex focuses on more of a groove rather than going mental, however if you like his stuff before Recess and don't want him to change from his old ways then you won’t like this as much.
~Matthew Clewley

7.2

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