If some sad sack with way too much time on his hands were to tally up all the negative comments posted on TheUntz.com Facebook wall, it would reveal that the majority of trolls were targeting Skrillex. What is it about Sonny Moore that brings out the venom in people? Do underground fans hate him because they think he sold out? Do other producers hate him because they’re jealous? Do parents hate him because their teenage sons blast that noise all day while they’re playing Call of Duty and munching on Funyuns? Do hipsters hate him because they hate everything? It seems like the only people defending Skrillex are grammatically-challenged Filipina tweens on YouTube.
I’m not a Skrillex apologist, because I don’t think he’s done anything wrong. Whether or not you think he ripped off DZ, or you believe Rob Swire and 12th Planet were ghost-producing his early work, the bass music, nay, electronic dance music world changed when he came on the scene. It’s undeniable. The radical shift in production techniques and sound palettes was instantly and irrevocably altered once Scary Monsters touched down. I heard it myself. I watched this happen.
5. Skrillex & Alvin Risk – Try It Out (Neon Mix)
This joint with Alvin Risk marked the return of Skrillex to the States for his fall club tour; most of those dates sold out in seconds. It’s funny–when you listen to a 2013 track and compare it to a cut from 2010, it’s really amazing to hear the leaps and bounds in production technology, vision, and structure.
Even for someone producing at the limits of hardware, software, and contemporary thought, the stylistic advances make late 2000’s dubstep sound like it was made by cavemen. And maybe you like that. The bottom line is, things have progressed at light speed, and this represents the epitome of 2013 sound–it’s fast, it’s furious, it’s frenetic. Try it out.
4. Skrillex ft Ellie Goulding – Summit
The relationship between Ellie Goulding and Skrillex was all the buzz for a minute there. For a brief period of time, the world of TMZ entered into the underground electronic music scene. It was two kids in love, give ’em a break.
While the relationship wilted (unsurprisingly, as both were on crazy touring schedules and under immense scrutiny), this gem emerged. Showing the softer side of Skrillex, you could call this the “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” of Generation Y. Really a fun duet, and a neat video. Kids: don’t try to light shit on fire. Especially your hands or your face. Any body part, really. Just don’t play with fire.
3. Benny Benassi ft Gary Go – Cinema (Skrillex Remix)
You can count us among the many surprised by the trio of Grammys Skrillex scooped up in 2012. The governing body of the awards has been notoriously out of touch for years (see Al Walser), and for the young protege of Deadmau5 to snag the most sought-after music industry awards before arguably the most well-known electronic act at the time, it showed some awareness and a bit of foresight on the voters’ part.
The snub may have been overblown, but the tension afterwards… maybe not so much. Regardless, Skrillex pushed his way into mainstream consciousness overnight (even though his award acceptance wasn’t televised). And millions of moms across America asked their kids “Who’s this Mr. Haircut on the TV?”
2. La Roux – In for the Kill (Skrillex Remix)
Sure, Skrillex could craft these powerful dubstep bangers, but could he remix a tune? Especially a Brit-pop hipster act with gorgeous vocals and a left-field sensibility? Done and done. Remixing La Roux gave Sonny some major credentials in the Hype Machine set, and breaking out of EDM-only into broader understanding and acceptance was key to his meteoric rise. The heavy artillery is still there, of course, but the sensitivity to the beauty of the original made this reworking a smash hit.
1. Skrillex – Scary Monsters & Nice Sprites
This is the one that started it all. This is the one that kids made their grandmas listen to while they filmed it. That first “Oh My GOD!” moment (pun very much intended) when you thought to yourself “well this is different.” This track shot around the internet–many people’s first exposure to the powers of dubstep.
This was the drop heard ’round the world. Love him or hate him, this track was revolutionary. Skrillex isn’t some scary monster. He’s a nice sprite with a computer, fun friends, and a suitcase full of talent.
By Harshvardhan Singh.