Skrillex – Bangarang

by Nick Hugon (International Affairs), published January 19th 2012

Moldy | Stale | Edible | Fresh | Tasty!

Sonny Moore has his place in the world; this much cannot be denied. The renegade post-hardcore vocalist has besieged mainstream dance culture since becoming Skrillex four years ago. The past two years yielded four colossally successful extended plays, of which Bangarang is the most recent and the final installment before Skrillex’s first studio album, Voltage, expected later this year.

So, it’s like I said: Skrillex has found an incredibly fruitful niche and is adored within it. The problem is that the niche is small. Plenty of people occupy this little space, but let’s face it: Skrillex’s brand of roid-rage dubstep is entertaining in a sweaty room of gyrating 17 year olds covered in gyrating 17 year olds, but few other places. Skrillex’s music is pure, sonic adrenaline (à la Andrew W.K. in many ways), and in the end it’s all just a ways too much unrelenting womp-wompy madness.

And Bangarang isn’t even a long-play record! It, like Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites, is quite long for an EP, a duly noted testament to Moore’s impressive prolificacy. But the point is that Bangarang might have been a chance for Moore to show that Voltage might approach some level of digestibility.

This isn’t to say it won’t; Moore isn’t an idiot, and his own music taste is diverse enough that one can expect him to break up the madness a bit on Voltage. But so far, he isn’t really showing that Skrillex can be as multi-faceted as Moore himself is. He’s sticking to the tricks that have worked in the past, like a shout before a colossal beat drop. Some might call it a trademark, but I’m not convinced. On Voltage, Sonny Moore is going to have to really take the risks—the kind of risks he failed to demonstrate that he’s willing to take on Bangarang.

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