Review: Skrillex & Diplo - 'Skrillex and Diplo Present Jack Ü'
US electronic dance music producer/DJs – 27-year old Sonny Moore, aka Skrillex, and 36-year old Thomas Pentz, aka Diplo – come together as Jack Ü to release their debut LP, ‘Skrillex And Diplo Present Jack Ü’.
Smashing through trap, future bass, dubstep, electro, techno and house, ‘Skrillex And Diplo Present Jack Ü’ is an unreserved joyride – packed with instantaneous, innovative thrills.
The superstar DJs' points of view rarely clash and merge in a way that allows a listener to feel both artists' influence within the tracks – in this way, ‘Jack U’ is a success.
However, although the album is packed with tons of show stopping trickery, ‘Skrillex And Diplo Present Jack Ü’ is surprisingly momentary, with only a couple of cuts making a definitive mark.
Skrillex and Diplo somehow manage to goad Canadian pop star Kiesza into a carnival shakedown on lead single ‘Take Ü There’.
Coaxing her burning vocals through pumps of bass and a variety of trappy passages, the tune’s beatwork morphs and swirls around the singer whilst maintaining fluidity.
Kiesza is pushed into the background for the Missy Elliot remix of the track though, and the renowned rapper is comfortable taking the lead.
Missy is a genuine presence on the rework and before delivering some of her own seasoned vocals, she shouts out acts like Salt-N-Pepa and Erykah Badu.
Pining for a lost love, Canadian heartthrob Justin Bieber delivers delicate, heartbroken vocals on standout cut ‘Where Are Ü Now’.
Mercilessly chopping and screwing with Bieber’s romanticism, Jack Ü intersperses his outpouring with outlandish, over-processed wailing and a warped, ravenous house beat.
Featuring singing from Canadian singer/songwriter Kai and Skrillex himself, the comparatively straightforward ‘Mind’ provides respite from a relentlessly vivid tracklist.
Backed by brawny, grinding R&B beatwork, ‘Mind’ allows its melodies to dominate instead and sees Kai and Skrillex tenderly expressing commitment to each other.
The trademark coos of London-based electro double act AlunaGeorge’s Aluna unwind without hassle on pumped up highlight, ‘To Ü’.
The singer’s nimble purring successfully ducks and dives around the tune’s future bass agenda. Whilst a chart awareness is present, the cut retains an innovative edge.
There are a multitude of juicy low-end sounds on ‘To Ü’, and unlike certain cuts on the album that derive pleasure from the chaos they create – the track’s contrasting elements seem content working together.
‘Jungle Bae’ – featuring Trinidad and Tobago ragga soca artist Bunji Garlin – will annihilate the competition at many raves, still, the hyperactive tune feels less evolved and more repeatitive than most of ‘Skrillex and Diplo Present Jack Ü’.
Featuring Canadian producer/DJ Snails and Dancehall star Taranchyla, ‘Holla Out’ descends quickly into a whirlwind of furious, hi-energy EDM.
‘Holla Out’ continues its onslaught until it bows out in a seemingly random collage of vox samples.
Thanks to an irresistibly rowdy bassline, 2 Chainz’s empty bragging eventually manages to ignite ’Febreze’.
With the tune’s fervent production continuously spurring the rapper forward, Skrillex and Diplo pack the track with tons of little flourishes.
Atomic bomb effects and tropical sounds are even introduced at the cut's end – alongside another dose of casual chit-chat.