While Skrillex is certainly not producing unique EDM he has certainly acquired a unique sound based on his aggressive dubstep production style. Sadly this has not transferred to his debut full-length album. ‘Recess’ held promise, looking through the list of contributors such as Chance the Rapper, Fatman Scoop, Ragga Twins and Alvin Risk one would expect something pretty amazing. Sadly it feels very incoherent with no real focus on a single aspect.
Track 2; ‘Recess’ is a prime example of that, with a hip-hop beat layered with a generic trumpety-synth and female vocals which is suddenly interrupted by Fatman Scoop being beatmashed and modulated before dropping in some deep house/trap leads. The result is a mess that sounds like it doesn’t know what it wants. Other opportunities have been wasted such as the opening track ‘All Is Fair In Love and Brostep’ with underground rave scene legends The Ragga Twins. Their contribution is so overproduced Sonny Moore could have easily just downloaded some shitty vocal sample and that would have been sufficient. It’s almost insulting to The Ragga Twins. Even the lead single ‘Try It Out’ featuring Alvin Risk is nothing stellar in an already saturated EDM orienated music market.
Despite the random mix of influences and genres on the album, there are a few tracks that have merit, like ‘Coast is Clear’ featuring Chance the Rapper and The Social Experiment. Skrillex has let them take the lead in regads to vocals and by not tampering with them, there is actually a nice balance of Skrillex’s trademark beat combined with some decent lyrics from his fellow collaborators. In the same line ‘FucK that’ harks back to a simpler time (albeit with a more upbeat tempo) with a more traditional stripped back sound that was being put out a decade ago by new kids like Digital Mystikz, Caspa, Benga, Skream and the like and honestly, it’s great to here something relatively old school. In a nutshell, ‘Recess’ sounds very confused and in the wise words of Hank Hill, ‘Mother of God! It’s all toilet sounds!’