Skrillex - 'Bangarang'

Is it the future of dance music? Please, no.

  • Release Date 27 Feb, 2012
  • Producer Skrillex
  • Record Label Atlantic
  • Fact Dave Grohl recently admitted: "I fucking love Skrillex"
4 / 10
Skrillex 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. He’s just a rampaging barbarian who’ll as happily nick anything floating past in popular culture, and has as many roots in Fatboy Slim or Guetta as he does with, say, Caspa.

‘Bangarang’, a stopgap EP ahead of his debut album later in the year, still fails to confirm whether his unashamed populism is deeply naive or profoundly cynical. After all, no-one so coldly calculating would allow a sprawling mess like his collaboration with the three surviving Doors, ‘Breakn’ A Sweat’, to survive the editing process: a confusing mush of Manzarek keyboard lines and Skrill’s crabby, trademark distorted dublines that features repetitions of “come on baby light my fire” for added subtlety. But by the same measure, his Ellie Goulding collaboration, ‘Summit’, pitched somewhere between Chicane and Owl City, feels like someone with a coldly cynical probe inside the mind of the charts. Cynical or just dumb, what’s still obvious is that Skrillex lacks anything beyond the bleeding obvious.

He’s glass-eyed, as nutritional as wood glue, and content to rapidly mash his fists against the buttons marked ‘breakdown’, ‘trance synth’, ‘distorted wobble’ and ‘tuned-up vocal’ – but has just enough knack to occasionally get good results out of that, as he does on the both-barrels likes of ‘Bangarang’ (Justice-go-candy rave), and ‘The Devil’s Den’ (Daft Punk-go-Dirty Vegas). Pity he still can’t find the button marked ‘soul’.

Gavin Haynes

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