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Yo Skrill Drop It (kinda') Hard

At this point Skrillex has released five songs in 2023 and we’re just in the beginning of February. He’s already let us know that he’s going to be dropping an album soon because he pulled out of a couple of music festivals so that he could work on it and it's rumored there might even be two albums. I am not sure if any of these songs will be on them but I would have to assume they are. What I can say is that I have mixed signals as to what a Skrillex album will be like based off these five very different mixes, from the heavy bass house track “Rumble”, to the light synth pop of “Wayback”, you could tell this was not going to be the dubstep Skrillex, but I think we already knew that. This is going to be the Skrillex we’ve heard as a producer of the kind of songs he’d been dropping on us for the past decade since Recess, the OWSLA Skrillex. It was a nice little throwback to hear the “Oh my god” sample on “Leave Me Like This” but this song was yet another transformation into a Jock Jams-esque thumping dance jam. The fourth track is probably my least favorite, a synth-ie, dream hop song that does have some interesting blends and is a reminder that, at the least, Skrillex will always know how to make these weird sounds that are unique to him. Lastly, he’s release “Xena” with Nai Barghouti, a song that makes me think he is trying his hand at the recently vogue World Music genre, evoking tribal timbres sounding like they come from trash cans and some nice bass drops. It’s surely interesting every week to see what he has in store.

I can’t say I’m sure where Skrillex is taking his music at this point and to that degree, I don’t totally defend it, while still somewhat am defending it because that’s what a true fan does. I think the Bobby Raps track, “Wayback”, is truly fun and would be as much of a banger as any, maybe not a classic but a banger for sure. After listening to it a dozen or so times I will say “Rumble” is good but considering Fred Again.. is on it, it didn’t live up to the hype, it’s just a little basic, which I’m sure is the point and this will also be awesome to see live.

The other songs, despite having selected some great underground talent (as he has steadily done since forming OWSLA) I can’t say I find to be more than pop electronic songs. “Way Back” is actually pretty catchy, especially with the horn section at the end and it’s got some solid flow from Trippie Redd but “Real Spring” just doesn’t really work for me. Xena is probably the most fun of these three, especially since it will probably be really fun live but I doubt the casual listener will like it.

The thing is, Skrillex has always been a psychotic innovator, splashing us with grimy bass drops and insane wonks that have earned him the credit to do what he wants for a lifetime. I don’t even mean in the sense where I dislike his new music, I honestly have a hard time giving a non-bias opinion because I hear the cool little things that only he could do and I still really enjoy that and I’d rather he do shit like that rather than make the same old shit. It’s a faith I rarely have in an artist and I still can’t help but be excited for his new albums no matter the direction his music may be headed.

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