Review Summary: Leaving EP shows once and for all that Skrillex is no more remarkable than the existing plethora of wannabe producers
In some ways you can’t help but feel sorry for Sonny Moore. His career reminds me of that scene in The Simpsons where Sideshow Bob respectively steps on each one of the rakes collectively surrounding him, sending them splattering into his face. It seems that no matter what Sonny Moore does it only leads him to step further into the united mass of *** laid before him. Crowned at the top of the “brostep” mountain under the alias Skrillex has left him at the centre of ridicule and derision by many, perhaps unfairly, considering the whole dubstep v brostep v electro confusion was never really his fault anyway and he’s at least one of the more competent producers in relation to his scene as a whole. It may also be unfair to judge him based off of such a thrown together side-EP as Leaving
considering he seems to be making some attempt at experimenting (his lack of which was always one of his most criticised traits). Consisting of only three songs, one of which is just a medley of his past big singles, even Sonny Moore himself admits they were put together “last minute”, before immediately being chucked up onto the internet for consumption. But if anything, if you truly hadn’t cottoned on by now, this EP reveals Skrillex for what he truly is.
“The Reason” is trapped between wanting to expand into new sonic territories and Skrillex’s old habits; the flashy electro wubs are still present but in restricting itself, the beat just plods along with nowhere else to go and the song feels purposeless. Maybe the focus is meant to be on the cut up vocal sample, but it’s stale, short and boring. As is the one on “Leaving” which, honestly, doesn’t sound that much different. The song as a whole will surely be seen as a poor Burial imitation, riddled with every cliché to have come from those trying to emulate the producer’s iconic sound. There are tepid synthesisers in the background trying to create a sinister vibe, an uninteresting attempt at a garage beat, a pitch shifted vocal sample trying to express some notion of sadness or longing and moody urban-themed artwork to accompany it all, which looks like someone took a quick picture of a nearby road and then fiddled with the contrast on photoshop. It all lays out just how amateurish Skrillex’s production actually is. Forgetting that he’s been rehashing the same ideas for the best part of 5 EPs now, when he does try to branch out into something ‘deeper’ he ends up a poor imitator fumbling together the basic parts. In his own territory Skrillex was king, but by attempting something which requires more time and talent (which he’s seemingly unwillingly, or unable, to give) than laser-infused party bangers he’s been exposed as nothing more than an unremarkable producer who exhausted his own simple ideas a long time ago.