In this generation of carbon-copied sounds, where many an artist wallows around in a pool of similar-sounding artists, it’s exciting to witness a musician develop a signature sound and top the charts with it.
Skrillex, or Sonny Moore, has managed to use a number of influences—from Aphex Twin to Marilyn Manson—to create a controversial musical formula. There are possibly as many Skrillex haters as there are fans, but the same can be said for a lot of really good bands. For some reason, people seem to really love Skrillex, or really, really hate him.
Bangarang, Skrillex’s fourth EP, still borrows from Moore’s library of signature sounds—creepy chipmunk vocals, grinding bass, and huge dub step drops. Ellie Goulding, 12th Planet, Kill the Noise, and yes, The Doors are all featured on the album, though they’re all barely recognizable. Skrillex has a knack for taking vocals and melodies, and shredding them to create a more distorted song that sounds as if it’s ripped on nearly too many energy drinks. Bangarang is definitely going to be club-friendly.
“Breakin’ a Sweat,” featuring bits by The Doors, including Jim Morrison’s electronic music prophecy, is one of the better tracks on the album. The song builds, then drops where you’d expect it to, and blows “Light My Fire” out with some skinny white-kid swagger.
“Bangarang” may feel a little nostalgic to fans of the film Hook. The title was the battle cry of the lost boys. The song aims to appeal to 1980s children, ending with, “Hey-yo, I’m eating Fun Dip right now.” Those were the days, right? It’s a light song, with heavy sound that will have kids shaking to the ground.
One track sounded out-of-place, and was surprising considering that it was a collaboration with 12th Planet and Kill the Noise. “Right on Time,” with its overused synths and relentless beat, sounds fit for a high-school rave.
Whether you like it or not, Bangarang is a tight, well-produced album. The tracks jump around a little from trance to dub step, all with a heavy hand of glitch, but they all carry Skrillex’s signature sound. With a solid tour schedule, and artists lining up to be remixed by him, Moore has a bright future in the next generation of music.