By Brian Harris
While constantly releasing new EPs since his arrival in 2010, dubstep wunderkind Skrillex, a.k.a Sonny Moore, formerly of screamo band From First To Last, never dropped a full-length album until now with “Recess”. Ever since his first EP, “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites”, changed the landscape of not only the burgeoning offshoot of EDM known as dubstep but EDM as a whole, fans have wanted to hear what a full-length album full of circuit-bending, Transformer-like, bass-shaking Skrillex songs would be like.
With his recent AMA on Reddit along with his app “Alien Ride”, which allowed the people who downloaded it the first chance to listen to the album, the interest in Skrillex and what he can bring to the table was at an all-time high.
Long-time fans will be somewhat disappointed when on their initial listen to “Recess” as the songs are not exactly like what you’d hear on previous EPs of his like “Bangarang”. If “Recess” shows you anything as the listener, it’s that Skrillex is a true student and aficionado of electronic music. That being said, while Skrillex shows his various EDM tastes on “Recess”, his own signature sound gets lost, which hurts the album.
On the two songs he does with UK duo Ragga Twins, “All Is Fair In Love And Brostep” and “Ragga Bomb,” the dancehall-influenced jungle sound that was prevalent through out the UK in the 90’s is much more prevalent and overshadows the usual production that is prevalent on a Skrillex track. You can’t help but think that “Recess” at times is a primer for people who Skrillex is there first dabble into EDM and “Recess” is a gateway for people to check out EDM acts from long ago like Aphex Twin and Atari Teenage Riot.
“Recess” is actually full of songs that explore different sounds along the EDM spectrum. The songs “Ease My Mind” and “Fire Away” delve into the more ambient sound made prevalent by groups like Portishead while “Doompy Poomp” sounds like it was made for the next Super Mario Brothers game but was left off due to how bad it is.
Like a Skrillex song, “Recess” has it’s low points and high points, most notably the title which featured Fatman Scoop and “Dirty Vibe”, which has guest spots from his partner in Jack U, Diplo, along with K-Pop heavyweights G-Dragon and CL.
In the end, while “Recess” doesn’t have the same impact that his past releases have, it shows the love and respect for the genre of EDM that Skrillex has. Hopefully, by doing “Recess,” Skrillex learns how to further expand and mold his own sound without becoming an EDM textbook. ***1/4
Recommended Songs: “Dirty Vibe”, “Stranger”, “Ragga Bomb”