Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites: Skrillex at Town Ballroom
blog by Ben Tsujimoto • October 10, 2011 @ 9:06am
Call it what you want—dubstep, house music, electro—there are overlapping strands of all three. Regardless, Skrillex, coming to Buffalo for a sold-out Town Ballroom show on Monday night, has captured the attention of mainstream America. Dubstep—the wild stepbrother of U.K. garage music—is the new trendy genre? This is all so confusing.
Sonny Moore—stage name Skrillex—has out-grown the underground dance scene and quickly garnered mainstream appeal (he’s collaborated with Tommy Lee and remixed a host of major artists: Bruno Mars, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry). While dubstep diehards see Skrillex’s move as desertion, thousands of others have been drawn to Moore’s dance tracks as a result of new exposure. As this helpful Guardian article states, “One thread on the message board for Coachella festival, entitled ‘I never realised how horrible Skrillex was until now’ managed to accumulate 1,485 posts.” While house music purists grumble, Skrillex’s popularity grows exponentially.
Skrillex’s most played track on YouTube so far, “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites,” (video embedded below) has accumulated over 34 million views. The dubstep style—marked by heavy synthesized bass drops, occasional singing and an electric pace—is more-than-a-little addicting, if a little startling to the eardrums; an off-shoot, “brostep,” has caught on with the college age crowd as well.
Pitchfork writes: “In the UK, the wobble sound is now the default dubstep position for many fans, as the scene commands a increasing share of the Friday night/student/super club market. With the fanbase expanded far beyond any one core, complaints about deviations from South London circa 2005 or an overall loss of direction feel increasingly irrelevant.”
Appreciate Skrillex for what he is—a vanguard of dubstep/house/electro that’s injecting a relatively undiscovered brand of music into the American mainstream.