All That Noise

The first two tracks, All Is Fair In Love and Brostep and Recess, can’t be told apart even though he’s collaborated with two completely different artistes.

Written by Swetha Ramakrishnan | Updated: June 14, 2014 4:49:29 am
Recess sounds more like a compilation of experiments with his many collaborations, rather than a platform for a music artist to stamp his style. Recess sounds more like a compilation of experiments with his many collaborations, rather than a platform for a music artist to stamp his style.

Album: Recess

Music: Skrillex

Price: Rs 499

Rating: **

There’s this famous internet meme where a bunch of aliens are sitting together in a conference room, frustrated that humans converted their signals of communication into a genre of music called “dubstep”. Perhaps, music purists would club Skrillex’s music into the same category, but his string of singles have managed to create a wave among dance-dubstep enthusiasts. Even though his most famous single, Bangarang, sounds like it’s been churned around in a blender, you can’t help but shake a little something to it.

Recess sounds more like a compilation of experiments with his many collaborations, rather than a platform for a music artist to stamp his style. Or, maybe, artistes just don’t take studio albums seriously any more, with Youtube and Soundcloud overpowering our listening sensibilities. If we stop identifying tracks by their albums, don’t the albums become redundant?

The first two tracks, All Is Fair In Love and Brostep and Recess, can’t be told apart even though he’s collaborated with two completely different artistes — with the Ragga Twins, hardcore reggae dub steppers, in the first track, and Michael Angelakos, an indie singer-songwriter, in the second. Stranger is slower, and unwinding, like a hypnotic club track between two heavy dance songs.

In Dirty Vibe, he collaborates with South Korea’s CL and G-Dragon, who give the song an edgier bass drop. The last two songs, Easy My Mind and Fire Away, can’t even be called dubstep, with their sombre melodies. Ragga Bomb, featuring the Ragga twins has a Jamaican cruise feel to it, while Doompy Poomp is ambivalent. It’s neither fist-bumpingly active nor ambiently passive. It’s almost as if Skrillex had no intention of classifying this album into anything.

Recess teases you with the idea of pace. When you’re expecting an eardrum breaking beat, you get an almost calm, atmospheric vibe, but some tracks are actually just mixed noise. This becomes quite an irony because Skrillex’s most famous quality has been introducing tense build-ups to intense drops. While you have to appreciate the idea that this album wants to try and make you dance, the lack of direction stands as a barrier, leaving you with nothing to remember.

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