Release Date: March 14th 2014
Label: Big Beat Records/Asylum Records/Atlantic Records/OWLSA
First of all, apologies for the delay, I aimed to review Recess sooner but it’s just one of the things that kept slipping down the to-do list. Anyway, believe it or not, this is Skrillex’s very first full-length solo LP, with all of his previous releases being part of various EPs and singles. Already possessing a more than respected position in music (or overly disliked by others), it seems that he’s released plenty of albums prior to this under other names, but here it is, Recess, Skrillex’s debut album.
All of Skrillex’s previous appeal is draped across Recess, the infusions of reggae found on Make It Bun Dem, the disgusting drops of Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites, the cleverly devised guest spots, as well as the notorious Skrillex ‘hooks’ are all there in the very recognisable style he’s known for. However, in some ways Recess shows a new side to Skrillex, for example track 4 Stranger is a vocally helmed song that doesn’t necessarily rely on the production until the drop in which reminded me of this.
The stand out track from Recess is arguably Skrillex’s best song to date – Coast Is Clear featuring Chance The Rapper, and Ease My Mind. The former showcases not only the talents of Chance but also the intelligent way Skrillex’s production has been catered to collaborate with Chance The Rapper’s hybrid rap/sing-song style of rapping. The drop isn’t as dramatic as you’d expect and the layering of the track makes for much more of an appropriate setting for Chance’s bars.
There’s nothing wrong with a drop filled with ad-libs and high-pitched scratches, and if you’re a fan of this notorious Skrillex attribute, then you’re going to be a big fan of Recess. The album is plastered with them and ultimately it comes down to taste, unfortunately, I grew tired of them. Guest spots from G-Dragon and The Ragga Twins also kick tracks into other musical directions with fusions of reggae ever-present, which I thought was a great addition to the running order of the album.
As with most electronic releases, there’s a fair amount of waste material, including some tracks that could have been left out altogether such as the intelligently titled Fuck That. Fatman Scoop’s vocals are well utilised, as are a lot of the drops across the album. Recess satisfied me, but didn’t really blow me away as did Coast Is Clear and Ease My Mind, if Skrillex could use the same initiative used to craft those tracks across the remainder of the album, we would have had a truly exciting release.
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