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by Philip Sherburne

March 18, 2014

Deep Cuts: Skrillex

by Philip Sherburne  |  March 18, 2014

It's well known that Skrillex likes to roll deep. His home is with his crew, wherever that may be, and since the hard-touring DJ pretty much lives on the road, the ranks just keep expanding. He's made plenty of unlikely alliances in his short career so far, from Damian Marley to Korn to the surviving members of The Doors, and on Recess, his debut album, the circle expands further. A few guests (Alvin Risk, Kill the Noise, Milo & Otis) come from Skrillex's own OWSLA stable, and it's not that surprising to find the ubiquitous Diplo turning up here. (He's been in the game for longer than Skrillex, but he's followed a similar path to EDM superstardom, winning over fans by just doing his own thing and bunking with some supremely unlikely bedfellows along the way.) Following Skrillex's recent collab with A$AP Rocky, he also hooks up with Chance the Rapper and The Social Experiment, making further inroads into hip-hop. But who expected to see K-Pop's G-Dragon and CL (from 2NE1), much less jungle pioneers the Ragga Twins, whose debut single came out when Sonny Moore was just two years old?

Those guests aren't the only surprising thing about Recess, however. No matter where you stand on Skrillex -- and few artists are more divisive -- it's safe to say that at least some of it will sound nothing like anything you expected from him. Sure, there's a lot of his usual serrated bass attack and migraine-strength snares (particularly on the opening tracks, appropriately named "All Is Fair in Love and Brostep"), and the title track marks an unfortunate shift toward the concussion-grenade melodies so prevalent in 2014's main-stage EDM. But who thought he'd be attempting a fusion of Claude VonStroke and Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, which is how "Recess" (assisted by Passion Pit's Michael Angelakos) comes off?

In accordance with the collaborative spirit of Recess, we've put together a Deep Cuts playlist focusing on Skrillex's collaborations and remixes.

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