As the ‘EDM’ scene has gone it’s got harder and harder to enjoy when it’s all become so unpredictable. When Skrillex first burst onto the scene his songs structures and style felt entirely unique even if it did rely purely on thrills. In 2015, the drop has been done to death and ‘Brostep’ is on its last legs in mainstream popularity and Skrillex’s first proper solo album ‘Recess’ was a testament to that. Diplo and Skrillex have been promising a project together for a while with the hope from many that it will take Skrillex in a new direction musically if Diplo can let go of his glow sticks.
‘Jack U’ isn’t actually any of those things. It’s more a way of trying to make this style of music legitimately fun and unpredictable again, with Diplo and Skrillex doing what they do best. Throughout this entire album they keep their heads screwed on making music that’ll send shivers up the spines of those who’re looking for a beat to bounce to; it will convince others that they should do the same even if they detest the entire EDM scene because of the fact it has twists at every corner.
It’s got to the point where these two know what dubstep has become and happily embrace the entire silliness of it. When they’ve got a guest list filled with people like Justin Bieber, 2 Chainz, AlunaGeorge and Kiesza yet they manipulate their performances to sound so over the top that it sounds nothing like them any more. This is done best on the track with Kiesza on it ‘Take U There’ which swaps quickly from a cheesy chord progression into an assault on the senses with booming drums, deep bass drops and vocal manipulations.
The two producers have a dynamic that flies above what you’d expect – Diplo’s obsession for tropical sounds hasn’t left him on here as on a lot of the tracks the percussion ranges from steel drums to bongos and when paired with Skrillex’s talents at being able to distort sounds fantastically and the duo’s sense of humour, it can become euphoric. You get the sense that every time they decided to throw in a horn blast while making these songs they were laughing away. The comedy reaches its peak when these two jokers team up with Hip-Hop’s class clown 2 Chainz on the track ‘Febreze’ which has Tity Boi proclaiming “Yeah I am the shit/ So I should have Febreze on it”, it’s just all so ridiculously fun.
Elsewhere they actually make good use of Justin Bieber’s vocals on the track ‘Where Are U Now?’ as he sings with his falsetto vocals sounding so much more mature than before. It’s a track that has Diplo and Skrillex toning down the madness as well to allow these Indian inspired synths to shine through. It’s a place where Justin Bieber’s vocals really shine and a sound that could possibly have more people see him as a serious artist if he were to go down that route.
Sometimes the madness does get a bit much and dives back into the realm of being slightly generic like the tracks ‘Holla Out’ and ‘Jungle Bae’ which will fade out of memory as soon as they’re over. Outside of that the fun rarely stops and you’ll find yourself flying through this little LP with ease. Two of the world’s biggest producers have teamed up to show us how there really is still room for being imaginative in what’s so largely referred to as ‘Brostep’ and ‘EDM’.
Best Tracks: Febreze, Where Are U Now?, Take U There, Beats Knockin