Essential Mix Review: Skrillex defies classification; blurs genres and transforms the Radio 1 airwavesEssential Mi Review Skrille

Essential Mix Review: Skrillex defies classification; blurs genres and transforms the Radio 1 airwaves

Skrillex is dubstep’s poster boy, a spirited musician, and industry tastemaker. His dedication to the craft is second-to-none, re-inventing and re-imagining what electronic music can be at every opportunity, leading the push for creativity in dance music with his label OWSLA and stable of talented producers under his wing.  His solo career is a highlight reel of accomplishments most producer’s could only hope to achieve, all while staying true to the sound he helped create.

Dog Blood, his collaboration with Boys Noize, is one of the most talked about pairings in recent years and his forthcoming supergroup with Diplo is destined to shake up more than its fair share of dancefloors. He beat Sebastian Ingrosso and Axwell to the punch, producing a track for Disney’s Wreck It Ralph long before the ex-Swedish Mafiosos lent their talents to Monsters University. His Grammy wins speak volumes to his musical proficiencies and despite all of his successes, Sonny remains one of the most down-to-earth and humble DJs in the business. On his Essential Mix, Skrillex demonstrates not only his refined tastes for the darkest corners of dance but his ability to manifest a level of unbridled energy that even casual dance music fans can get behind.

Skrillex’s first studio Essential Mix (the last time he was on Radio 1 it was a recording of his opening set for Nero and clocked in at only an hour – hardly a proper Essential Mix) is everything you’d expect from the OWSLA label head. In anticipation for his performance at this year’s SONAR Festival, Sonny showcased his unique flair for unconventional mixing and his highly-developed ear for unique track selection. In his usual fashion, he ignores any preconceived notions about his classification as a dubstep producer and weaves a tapestry of sound that is quintessential Skrillex.  All day Friday my excitement for the night’s Radio 1 airing was palpable and from the second the Essential Mix intro came blaring through my TMA-1s all of my self-imposed hype was substantiated. Right out of the gate Sonny kicked things off with an untitled demo from Dog Blood and Adam F’s remix of “Power Glove,” setting a pace and tone that he quickly flipped on its head with Disclosure’s “When a Fire Starts to Burn.”

In mere moments Sonny had me trapped; time seemed to stand still and with each track that passed I found my attention locked in; desperately trying to identify and piece together the unconventional track listing. A bootleg of Blawan? A Valentino Khan track?  Was that Chino Moreno? It was, and as a longtime Deftones fan (the 90s rockers responsible for the original “Knife Party”), I was pleasantly surprised to see Mustard Pimp’s remix of  “You’ve Seen the Butcher” flanked on either side by Skrillex’s “Leaving” and Boys Noize’s “Excuse Me.” As forward-thinking as the LA scene that he calls home, Sonny spent the next two hours showcasing artists and styles that were in stark contrast to the commercial pop house that currently dominates the EDM airwaves. Justin Martin, Josh Wink, Kendrick Lamar, Phonat, Bro Safari – the track listing may as well be a “Who’s Who” of forward-thinking talent; representing the outputs of the most buzzworthy leaders in their respective genres. The effortless fusing of blistering dubstep, UK garage, and deep house with cutting-edge hip hop, trap and grime is unlike any Essential Mix that has come before it; further reaffirming that Skrillex is more than just a bass music producer. He is one of the industry’s foremost pioneers, a rare talent whose true love lies not in the success and fame he has acquired but instead in the music he creates.


Dog Blood – Untitled Demo
Knife Party – Power Glove (Adam F Edit)
Torro Torro x Astronomar – Go Deep
Disclosure – When A Fire Starts To Burn [PMR]
Destructo – Higher [Boyznoize]
Blawan – Why They Hide Their Bodies Under My Garage? (Skrillex Bootleg)
Jeremih x D’Angelo – F*** U All The Time x French Fries
Dog Blood – Middle Finger 2
AC Slater – Out Here [Trouble & Bass]
Sluggers – Rollex
Culprate – McFunk (feat. Torqux) [Inspected Records]
UZ – Trap Sh*t V13 (Justin Martin Remix) [Boysnoize Records]
Millions Like Us – Behind You [Inspected Records]
Skrillex – Leaving [OWSLA]
Deftones – You’ve Seen The Butcher (Mustard Pimp Remix)
Boys Noize – Excuse Me
Stephen Brown – Fuego (Ben Sims Remix) [Theory]
Branchez – Shake
A$AP Rocky – Wild For The Night (Dog Blood Remix)
Skrillex – Try It Out (feat. Alvin Risk)
Skrillex – Scary Bolly Dub [OSWLA]
Felguk – Loud Blue (12th Planet Remix)
Jeremih – 773 Love (Cashmere Cat Edit)
Alvin Risk – Put ‘Em Up (feat. Jason Aalon Butler)
Blood Diamonds – Barcode (The Widdler Remix)
Flux Pavillion & SKism – Jump Back (VIP) (feat. Foreign Beggars) [Circus]
Kendrick Lamar – m.A.A.d city (feat. MC Eiht) [Aftermath]
Sub Focus – Tidal Wave (Flosstradamus Remix) (feat. Alpines) [Mercury]
Josh Wink – Higher State of Consciousness (Dog Blood Edit)
Phonat – Ride The Prejudice [OWSLA]
Bro Safari & UFO! – Animal
Dada Life – Boing Clash Boom (Major Lazer Remix)
DJPJMADEDISTRACK! – Juke That Ass From The Back [Halstead Street Entertainment]
Leatherface – No Love For [Booty Call Records]
Orties – Plus pute que toutes les putes (Lecter remix) [Booty Call Records]
Valentino Khan – The Dip
Bro Safari – The Drop (Must Die! Remix)

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