January 2nd, 2012 1:00am
Shouts To All My Lost Boys
Skrillex is among the most popular of a new breed of electronic music acts that, in many ways, gives audiences the sort of intense, uncomplicated physical release that today’s rock bands either avoid entirely or are to inept to provide. There is a lot of precedent for Skrillex’s high-energy maniac pop – you can definitely hear echoes of Fatboy Slim, Basement Jaxx, Nine Inch Nails, Daft Punk, Girls Aloud and Justice, among others – but its concentrated thrill power is enough to make even some truly great rock bands seem anemic in comparison.
As indie culture in particular has shifted away from this sort of release – with the exception of music derived from punk and hip-hop, which still has some coolness capital – there has been a concurrent rejection of anything that seems aimed at listeners with a more traditional sort of masculinity. I’ve had my theories about this for a while, and was starting to think I was drawing connections and ascribing biases where they might not really exist, but the way Skrillex et al has been written off as “bro-step” confirms a logo of my suspicions. This distinction has been made mainly to separate this music from the more cerebral, moody and far less populist strains of dubstep that are beloved by indie-centric music nerd culture. It’s very precious and protective, and horribly dismissive of valid music that aims to thrill its audience, like most great dance music through the decades.
Through Skrillex “rocks” pretty hard and has an audience that includes some “jock” types, the music itself isn’t particularly macho. It’s mostly just hyperstimulated, and in ways that ought to seem familiar by now. Skrillex isn’t reinventing a wheel, but is making them spin faster and harder.
Buy it from Amazon.