And while plenty of words stick to the 24-year-old’s outsize dance tracks, that one doesn’t. This music is elegant against all odds. It’s the New York Giants’ defensive line doing “Swan Lake.” It’s digital flatulence made mysteriously anthemic. It’s cartoonish, puerile, indulgent, impatient, bombastic — all precisely folded into the shape of pop.
That’s why there’s a pretty good chance that Skrillex will be the guy jumping onstage at the Staples Center in Los Angeles next month to accept the trophy for best new artist at the 54th Grammy Awards. And if he does, he’ll have done it without a proper album to his name.
Instead, the Los Angeles-raised DJ and producer Sonny Moore has been releasing songs piecemeal since 2010, occasionally packaging them as seven-, eight- or nine-song EPs. “Bangarang,” his fourth EP, was released digitally in December. Hard copies land in stores on Tuesday.
But fans have known these beats for months. On the road, Skrillex embodies information-age workaholism, spending endless hours hunched over his computer, sculpting new music and avoiding sleep. He’s often tinkering with mixes minutes before stepping onstage. To see him perform live is to watch him pull fresh tracks from his laptop as if yanking mutant fish from the sea.
Read the rest of the review, which appears in Sunday’s Style section.