Review Summary: Skrillex is in trouble
Skrillex’ success at the Grammies earlier in February seemed like the nail in the coffin for dubstep and electronic music; this most unsubtle and graceless of musicians, with his wirrs and his wobs, had finally hit the big-time. Thank the heavens for Will Bevan.
Fresh from his collaborations with Massive Attack, Four Tet and Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke, Kindred
is his second solo EP since 2007’s Untrue
, a record that was truly a landmark in minimal electronic music. Much like last year’s Street Halo
, Kindred builds on the template Burial set himself with Untrue (and for basically every minimal electronic artist since, be it Mount Kimbie’s relaxing vibes or James Blakes’ isolated emotional atmospherics). However, with two of the three tracks stretching over ten minutes, the ambition has been ramped up tenfold.
‘Kindred’ opens up the EP with the chopped-up beats you’d expect from Burial, but eventually these are overshadowed by the murkiest bassline heard from him yet, before giving way too a mournful vocal sample and haunting ambience that hints more at oncoming dread and tragedy than the desolated cities at night from Burial records of yore.
‘Ashtray Wasp’ is the best of the three tracks, becoming more of a suite with all its false starts, the track evolving with every passing minute. It possesses the most ominous beat Bevan has laid down yet, sounding like the marching feet of a shambling zombie horde. When this clears away, we’re left with more haunting ambience, as the zombies unleash have unleashed their destruction, leaving little in sight.
was meant to represent the desolate night-time cityscapes of post-rave urban Britain, Kindred
represents its shambling zombified return; menacing, and back with a vengeance. Skrillex, watch out.