MIMO - When Music is Your Fix

‘Skrillex & Diplo Present Jack Ü’ – Album Review

Atlantic (2015)

Dropped without any notice during their mammoth 24-hour Beatport DJ set last week, Skrillex & Diplo Present Jack Ü sees two kings of the EDM scene join forces for a surprise full-length LP which, unsurprisingly, isn’t exactly short on epic bass drops.

The fratboy-friendly supergroup occasionally show signs that they’ve broadened their horizons since they first shared a stage together at the Mad Decent Block Party back in 2013. “To Ü” is the kind of sweetly-sung warped R&B that special guests AlunaGeorge pioneered on their own under-rated debut album. Canadian newcomer Kai very nearly steals the show with an emotive turn on the ghostly alt-pop of “Mind,” and although Justin Bieber fails to convince as the wounded soul, the Drake-esque melancholy-turned-pumping house of “Where Are U Now” is another reminder of Diplo’s accomplished production skills.

Boasting a powerhouse performance from the deep house scene’s leading lady, Kiesza, “Take U There,” which features here in both its original form and a hyped-up Missy Elliott remix, also proves the duo are capable of infusing their more pulverising fare with a winning pop melody.

Sadly, the pair retreat back to their comfort zone of speaker-blasting wobbles, trap synths and boisterous beats a little too often, and despite charismatic turns from New Orleans bounce act Fly Boi Keno (“Beats Knockin’”), Georgia rapper 2 Chainz (“Febreze”) and Snails & Taranchyla (“Holla Out”), half of Skrillex & Diplo Present Jack Ü ends up amounting to an indistinguishable blur.

The dance music titans, therefore, may have been better off leaving Skrillex & Diplo Present Jack Ü as the E.P. it was initially intended to be. But although it undoubtedly runs out of ideas, it also provides just enough glimmers of inspiration to justify their dream team status.


3 / 5 stars     

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About the Author


Jon O'Brien's love of music began as a six-year-old after becoming bizarrely transfixed with the 80s poodle rock of Heart, Europe and Def Leppard. Switching his attention to pop icon Michael Jackson, he then became addicted to the UK Top 40, becoming a rather pointless walking Wikipedia of chart positions in the process. Driving his poor neighbors up the wall while learning to play the drums as a teen, he toyed with the idea of becoming a musician, but in studying Journalism at the University of Central Lancashire, he realized heÕd rather write about music than perform it. Since then, he's written thousands of reviews and biographies on everything from bubblegum pop to death metal, but electronica remains his main passion, with everything from Aphex Twin to Zero 7 in his spare room-consuming record collection. Jon resides in northwest England near Liverpool.

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Posted in: Album Reviews, Electronic Music, Featured


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