You’ve gotta hand it to the bass man – he’s got guts. EDM’s reigning champion, Sonny Moore returns to the scene in a big way with the release of “Recess,” just in time for festival season. The growth on the first ever, full-length Skrillex album is palpable, pertaining to both the evolution of the Los Angeles native’s musical style as well as the progressive nature of the track listing itself. From first to last track(bonus points if you smiled just then), “Recess” is a testament to the three years spent producing it, and each song reflects a different moment in Moore’s slingshot to the top of the electronic mountain.
The LP starts true to the Skrillex signature in the explosive “Alls Fair in Love and Dubstep,” appropriately exclaiming, ‘Guess who’s back ************!?’ From there, this rocket is headed to planet get up and dance. The title track is cleverly constructed with the help from Kill the Noise and Michael Angelakov (Passion Pit), plus a vocal from old-school hype man Fatman Scoop, whose skills you will 100 percent recognize. In fact, all but two songs are collabs, one of which will have some fans undoubtedly confused. “Doompy Poomp” is experimental but deliberate – it’s ballsy, especially for an album of this magnitude – which is why I love it so. It’s the convergence of some of my favorite Skrillex flavors. If you were wondering if “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites” should actually be considered music, this one might have you scratching your head, but it’s a huge step forward in creativity, and my spirit hood is off to him.
Chicago’s own Chance the Rapper gets a feature in the lusty “Coast is Clear,” and in addition to Moore’s love of hip hop, the album is seasoned with reggae vibes – a staple of Skrillex swagger. “Ragga Bomb” and “Stranger” are major highlights we’ll be hearing a lot of this summer.
“Recess” not only feels like a complete live show, it’s the soundtrack to your Friday night. Played straight through this album is a total montage of you and your best friends deciding to go play laser tag, followed by a spontaneous crazy night in the city, and it follows through all the way to you crashing into bed, exhausted from all the fun.
If you’re worried that Skrillex has gone all progressive and different on you, not to worry, he’s still the best live show in town, and my money is on that you’ll be able to catch him at Lollapalooza this summer. “Recess” is just another trip on Moore’s magic spaceship; an intergalactic good time that I shall warmly welcome the reinvention of, again and again.