Power Ranking Each Song On Skrillex’s New EP, ‘Recess’


Full disclosure: it took me a long time to finish this review.

It’s not because I didn’t get to it until now, and it’s definitely not because I wasn’t listening to the album.

It’s because Skrillex’s new album demanded extra attention.

Instead of tossing up a review for the sake of tossing up a review, I let the album sink in a little bit.  Because if one thing was for certain about Sonny Moore’s new EP before he even released it, it’s that it was going to get ‘mixed’ reviews.  Judging by previously groundbreaking albums like Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites and Bangarang, the jury was still hung over Recess. 

But after a long, brutal wait for the king of bro-step’s newest compilation, our verdict is in.

And the verdict is ‘epic.’

Deep, ferocious and reggae-influenced, Recess is quite different from anything before. Aside from the fact that every bass-screeching melody is completely free of category, this album is an experiment gone terribly right. 

No genre, no agenda, and no fillers. 

Just Skrillex.Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 3.07.14 PM

Not only does ‘Recess’ include tracks from King Skrillex himself, but features a few of the hottest names in music (not just ‘Electronic Dance Music’).

A collaboration with world-renowned producer, Diplo. A guest-appearance from rising Chicago hip-hop artist, Chance the Rapper. And the most intriguing of all, the song’s imminent smash-hit, ‘Recess, which incorporates the talents of two completely separate musical masterminds in Kill the Noise and rap MC Fatman Scoop.

While Recess certainly doesn’t produce the same jaw-dropping, eye-opening reaction that Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites did, it does solidify the notion that Sonny Moore is one of the most brilliant, versatile producers in all of music.

I’m not kidding.

From hip-hop to grime, to rebellious and down-to-earth, the many faces of Skrillex are powerfully revealed in each of the 11 tracks on his latest EP.

In order to summarize our own feelings towards this late, great masterpiece – here’s our power ranking of every song on Recess. 

11. Try It Out (Neon Mix) ft. Alvin Risk 

The disappointment.

I’m a huge Alvin Risk fan. But this “Neon Mix” of Try It Out just seems very bland and undecided. In recent years, anything done by Skrillex and Alvin Risk has been money.

Not so much here.

10. Fire Away

The experimentation.

Intriguing, but confusing. It’s tough to tell what Skrillex wanted this song to be. His unmistakeable, angelic vocal chops don’t cut to the soul here like they do for other tracks.  But if nothing else – this song certainly speaks to the range of his production capabilities.

9. Stranger

The outcast.

I think this is the melodic translation of the Alien logo used as the cover art for Recess (which is, according to Rolling Stone, based on his heavy usage of the alien emoji). Nothing to run home to Mom and Dad about, but definitely not one to overlook.

8. Coast is Clear ft. Chance The Rapper

The eyebrow-raiser.

Can I ask a question, can you keep a secret?

Sorry I had to, that line is great. And although it’s not really up to my normal taste in tunes, that almost makes this track that much more appealing. Skrillex casually incorporates a new sound with one of the hottest rappers in the game. This disco-influenced, hip-hop beat might take you some time to appreciate it – but every time I do, I like it a little bit more.

7. Dirty Vibe ft. Diplo

The back-bender.

Per usual for any Diplo production, this one took a long time to grow on me. But when Skrillex plays the ‘twerk’ card as well as he did here, you gotta give him some credit.

6. Doompy Poomp ft. Mishka

The goof-ball.

Catchy and intriguing, but it’s tough to take a song too seriously when it’s called Doompy Poomp.

5. All Is Fair In Love And Brostep ft. The Ragga Twins

The diss.

Zomboy got pissed about this song.


4. Recess ft. Kill The Noise & Fatman Scoop

The smash-hit.

Your local schoolyard’s summer anthem.

3. Ragga Bomb ft. The Ragga Twins

The banger.

I know Sonny hates when people dissect his music, but whatever he does at 1:26 is mind-blowing. Call it a hook, call it a haunted hallway synth, I call it musical adrenaline.

And, they made a crazy music video for it.

2. FucK That 

The rebel.

This song has steadily climbed on the list – reaching the extremely coveted position of No. 2 on these power rankings. As I’ve been debating and deciphering, this song became the one to beat. Thanks to Skrillex, now we know what happens when you mix a little of that ‘future bass’ with a tribute to throwback British dub step.

1. Ease My Mind

The masterpiece.

In my opinion, the best vocals ever produced by Sonny Moore. No song on the album creates a better visual than this one does, and there’s a good chance you’ll see the lighters come out when Skrillex puts this one over the loud speakers at Lollapalooza (for like Elton John ‘Candle In The Wind’ shit, not to like smoke shit).

And when the raggae melody drops in during the second chorus, you can expect to see grown men cry as well.

Absolutely legendary track, on an even more legendary album.  

(Content photo courtesy of Brennan Schnell)

Spencer Brown | Ascension/Lockout EP [*Artists Spotlight*]

Interestingly enough, one of my colleague’s clairvoyant articles regarding “5 Songs To Remind Us Why EDM is the Future of Music” had indeed taken a gaze into a subsequent moment in time (now) and spotlighted this next artist, Spencer Brown, who is currently being championed by none other than EDM legend, Avicii.

Working closely with the Swedish progressive house master himself and the newly established record company founded by Ash Pournouri, PRMD (pronounced “pyramid”), Spencer Brown is certainly off on the right foot when it comes to developing his sound and exposing it to the world. We found Ash to be an especially compelling individual, making the Billboard’s list of Most Influential Dance Music Executives last year. Apparently the man owns a night club, manages artists, owns a new music label and is still working as an attorney by day. Damn, talk about motivated.

Spencer has always found a certain comfortability around music. Taking root in playing the drum and percussion, he eventually transition to the realm of music production, where his creativeness could firmly solidify and precipitate in the form of hip-hop and dubstep productions (inspired by the Dallas scene at that time).

At this point in time Mr. Brown was operating under the alias “Spenca”, garnering support from artists like Rusko, Bassnectar, Kill The Noise and Datsik. After releasing a few tracks on Firepower Records, Spencer Brown had a change of heart. For some time now, he had become increasingly interested with an entirely different and more subtle style of electronic dance music: House.

Determined to change the face of progressive house music, Spencer has said to have had a life-changing epiphany while experiencing a show by Eric Prydz in 2012. Spencer has now began to produce music under his full name with his premier release, “Echoes”, debuting on PRMD a few months ago. Today, with the help of Avicii, Spencer dropped his first EP under PRMD featuring two brand new tracks called “Ascension” and “Lockout.” Call this writer a fool, but it seems awfully coincidental that these were two of the greatest maps on the best FPS video game of all time: the Halo series.

Both tracks definitely bring about a slight Avicii-esque vibe, but they are whole-heartedly unique in their own right. We are particularly enamored with Spencer’s airy, stratospheric synthesizers. The first song “Ascension” has this funky feel throughout the intro that gracefully decays and slowly culminates into a beautiful build that regresses back to the introductory sounds. “Lockout” is assuredly our favorite of the two pieces. Here, Mr. Brown utilizes those resounding synthesizers we mentioned earlier to create a curiously euphoric aura set for some distant, deep-space planet. When this thing drops, every listener (and their mother) deserves to jump on board. It will be a wild ride.

We look forward to seeing what else this young talent from Dallas has to offer. With Ash and Tim by his side helping him along the way, there is absolutely no way Spencer Brown can go wrong.

Cheers mates.

Get Yo’ Creep On: Our Top 8 Halloween EDM Songs

1. Raise the dead with Le Castle Vania.

2. VIP Remix from Knife Party. Think “Internet Friends” on steroids.

3. Remember Chuckie? Apparently so does Figure.

4. Alesso released this two Halloween’s ago. And it still goes harder than a stale milky way.

5. Kill The Noise is his name, black magic is his game. And music.

6. Can phantoms hang? I don’t know I’ve never met one. Supposedly Deadmau5 has?

7. Welcome to The Devil’s Den. Home of Skrillex & Wolfgang Gartner.

8. KILL EVERYBODY. Okay, geez. We get it Skrillex.