With undeniably two of the biggest names in electronic music, we really had a diamond collaboration on our hands with Skrillex and Diplo forming Jack U. What seemed to start off as a ‘muck-around’ project between the two has now looked to have snowballed into a fully-fledged combo in which resulting in a plethora of well received singles, various live performances including a 24-hour set that got shut down by the authorities. With production obviously handled by the pair, it was also home to guest appearances from 2 Chainz, Keisza, Missy Elliot, Justin Bieber and AlunaGeorge.
While both in electronic music, there’s no getting around the fact that Diplo and Skrillex are still very different musicians- both with very distinctive individual styles. Skrillex of course famed for his dubstep concoctions, while Diplo dips into EDM and dance, while also arguably giving birth to a modern moombahton, or at least revitalising it. However, while the pair are different, a good deal of Jack U doesn’t feel like a compilation of random sounds- some from Diplo and some from Skrillex, it does definitely feel like a collaborative project with both honchos having an equal hand in the creation of the project.
However, with that said, this means that often songs on the LP feel clustered, claustrophobic and crowded, what with so many genres of electronic music trying to access your eardrum. Take the 2 Chainz-featured Febreeze, while the warbled autotune-esque ad-libs from Skrillex build alongside a 2 Chainz bridge and the Make It Bun Dem-style chords, the Diplo helmed drop is very much attention grabbing after the earlier distinctively-Skrillex production, almost as if to say ‘hey guys remember I’m here too’. In a few occasions the drop comes out of nowhere, such as with the offensive, unforgiving Beats Knockin’, but that’s with me sitting with my laptop in my room- not at a rave, festival or club where the song would be a jaw-dropping track to drop.
Despite this in a few occasions, as you’d expect from artists of the pair’s magnitude, there are some anthems from Jack U. The most popular track on the project is probably the Keisza-featured Take U There, a track itching to be dropped in every club from Australia to Greenland. Holla Out is also a great reminder of how good dubstep can be, especially with that added dancehall injection from Diplo. Justin Bieber’s appearance towards the latter of the album on Where Are U Now also bleeds into the regions of house which is a nice added dash of diversity. While loud, brash and crowded in some occasions, and with an incredible amount going on in others, Jack U’s first full length project is certainly not one to write off.
Verdict – WWW