February 7, 2013

Record Reaction: Skrillex – Leaving EP

Your favorite dubstep producer Skrillex started out the New Year right. On New Year’s Day, he released a new music video for his much-loved track with Ellie Goulding, “Summit.” The next day, he released a collection of three songs, the Leaving EP, his first official release since his Bangarang EP in 2011. On the third day, he took part in a very excited interview, in which he spelled out his plans for the year.

“I have so much music. I have too many songs to even know what to do with,” he told Billboard. “I just always make music anyway… But I want to make a record. I just haven’t had enough time to really sit down and idle myself and clear my mind and go, ‘OK, what’s the next thing I want to say? How’s it different from what I said before?’ and think of all these things. I have so much inside me, so many ideas; I’m more excited than ever to make music again, ’cause I haven’t done that for, like, two years.”

Skrillex is lauded for a lot of things — his production talents, his charisma, and his unbiased and expansive ear for music. But maybe one area he doesn’t get enough credit for is his work ethic. Skrillex has been on the road for more than two years now, and is averaging about 300 shows a year. And all the while, he manages to produce new music. It’s a miracle he can still stand up straight.

So now, finally, Skrillex is coming home, to Los Angeles, to rest, to regroup, and to begin work on a new project.

But before he started, and as a bit of a palate cleanser, he released this quaint little EP. Leaving EP isn’t a groundbreaking release. But it was never meant to be. This is simply Sonny Moore cleaning out his closet before delving into something completely new. The EP consists of three rough tracks – one new, but standard, dubstep burner, one track ripped from Moore’s live sets, and one stab at a new style.

This EP might give the impression that Skrillex is making some changes, despite some aspects of his sound remaining – pitch-shifted vocal samples, and those thick, pulsing bass lines. But it seems his most recognizable traits, like his bone-shattering bass drops, part of a movement he helped to pioneer, are on their way out.

These changes mirror the hints that were made on Skrillex’s last release, his Bangarang EP. Though that EP featured some of Moore’s most drastic moves in the vein of strict dubstep poundage, he also took some cracks at other styles of electronic music — hard house, techno, and electro.

There’s a hefty debate amidst some more finicky dance music fans concerning the last track on this EP, “Leaving.” This track features a more subdued vibe, a more minimalist production style, and seems to most heavily draw its influence from the branch of electronic music garage, and from its most prominent artists, like Burial.

The best example of where Skrillex is right now is on the opening track “Reason.” This song is a little bit more complex than some of Moore’s older work, but manages to keep the same pulsing, energized core that all of his music has had for years now. And, as Anthony Fantano of the Needle Drop noted, the track is a testament to just how good a songwriter Moore can be – as well as a good show of his unique ability to build tension and pressure in a track.

The facts remain. Sonny Moore is a talented producer, a charismatic figure, and has good taste. I can’t wait to hear what he’s working on next.

Not bad, Sonny. Now give us something that will blow our minds.


Image Credit: Skrillex

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