I have had some thoughts I can't shake, pieces of a story that has not reached conclusion, with regard to the most famous hair and glasses combo in the business. I am talking about none other than former emo rock singer that was the first person to turn me on to dubstep.
His. Name. Is. Skrillex.
He did not kill dubstep. It is, in fact, alive and well. The only thing he slays are beats, and tracks, faces and brains. He is responsible for shaping the world of EDM as we know it today, and dubstep as it is defined in America. He is small, but his presence is huge. And sweet and warm.
His aura is the brightest, his vibes are the best, and his energy is connective and contagious. He is a being of the highest caliber. He showed up to Coachella and Ultra Music Festival as one half of the monster duo, Dog Blood. He spent the summer dedicated to this side project with Boys Noize. It seemed for a while that the two DJs ceased to exist as separate entities. Dog Blood released an EP and performed live sets through the summer. I saw them at Electric Zoo, where Skrillex announced he and Boys Noize would be going on Dog Blood hiatus.
Next. Level. Like a dude dropping in a spaceship to the stage at Made In America. Oh wait, that was Skrillex, too. There isn't much this guys can't do, and when he says he is going to do something, he does it better and different than anyone else, and sets a precedent for how all others should do that thing from then on out.
During his BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix, Skrillex told Pete Tong about a group called Jack U, a supergroup made up of him and Diplo. The idea of this alone bent the minds of EDM fans, mostly excitement for such a super collaboration to happen, especially on the tail of Dog Blood, the project that is no longer just a product. Skrill also told Tong of his plans to get to work in the studio, with plans to release a massive album.
The weekend of Mad Decent Block Party San Diego marked the official debut of supergroup Jack U. Two legends, original gangsters, and supreme talents mixing together on stage for the first time. The bootlegged videos of new tracks have been circulating the Internet, and of course I am impressed as always with the works of my favorite DJ and first love in dubstep.
I never claim to be anything but an amateur, which keeps me humble in a place where it is easy to lose your head, but I definitely have known about Jack U for quite sometime. Months before Skrill mentioned the collab with Diplo on BBC Radio 1, I happened to catch a really weird kareoke night with the two members of Jack U and A-Trak. Word got out then of the monster pairing, with guesses around Twitter as to the next magical combination.
I guessed A-Trak, but secretly have been wishing and hoping and praying that Sonny Moore would return to plain old solo artist Skrillex. Just popping out dirty, grimy, filth I fell in love with, the stuff that makes your jaw clench and your face scrunch.
Not that I don't enjoy these innovative sounds. I walked out of the OWSLA tent at EZoo after being showered with the blood of a canine and oversized super soaker guns, and fell to my knees at the power of what I had just witnessed. I was immobile for quite some time, fairly sure I could live in that moment forever. I have not stopped watching the videos from my front row position, thanking the based gods every chance I get for to have been in the presence of such talent. I then recall the year before when I saw Skrillex drop from a spaceship on the second stage at Made In America. My fresh, newbie roots. The reason I am here now. The foundation that showed me the way to live my life instead of waiting to die.
After a whirlwind tour of festivals and pushing Dog Blood, I heard Skrillex tell Pete Tong he was working on an album that was bound to rattle his fans back from the distractions of the EDM takeover in America. I believed him when he said he was getting back to basics. Yet, with all they've got going on and another festival season just around the corner, it is no wonder the collaboration duo named Jack U has easily fallen by most of our waysides. Yet, something this huge can't be contained. The news that we can finally expect the teaser that was MDBP San Diego to be followed up with real releases from these two dudes that everyone wants to call by their first names, even though they know little of the actual people behind them.
Don't believe me, grab a read for yourself. I was sure to check my sources on this one.
All I have to say is Holy-fucking-Ship. As he prepared to set sail, Skrillex told inthemix of his plans to DJ with Diplo as Jack U:
While you’re in Jamaica, will you and Diplo be working on music as Jack U?
Wes and I have made so much stuff together, and the thing about Jack U is it’s more the name we use when DJ together. It takes a lot of work to maintain a whole other project – Dog Blood’s a good example.
We’ll feature on each other’s tracks, and put out some singles together, but mostly we just like to DJ together [as Jack U]. We’ve got five songs that we made that aren’t even released, and we’ll end up releasing in 2014. When we play, our style is so crazy. The sounds Diplo and I make are pretty different, but the energy is so similar. When we’re tag-teaming back-to-back, for me it’s one of the most fun things.