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Skrillex and Diplo Presents ‘Jack Ü’ | Album Review

Are Jack Ü set to be the next big EDM super-group? Find out more inside!

Source: Official Artwork

It’s not every day that two of the biggest names in EDM come together to form an entirely new collaboration. Previous examples of this rare happening, such as 3 Are Legend (Like Mike, Dimitri Vegas and Steve Aoki) and Swedish House Mafia (Axwell, Sebastian Ingrosso and Steve Angello), have been responsible for some of the biggest tunes and live shows in recent memory so Skrillex and Diplo’s collaboration project Jack Ü was surrounded by talk as to whether this would be the next big EDM partnership.

With an album full of trap, moombahton and occasional electro moments, the Jack Ü sound seems to be pre-dominantly Skrillex esque, with plenty of his instantly recognisable filthy ‘Wubs’ and heavily auto-tuned, rhythmic vocals. ‘Jungle Bae’ wouldn’t have felt out-of-place on his 2014 début album Recess.

The more Diplo-esque ‘Beats Knocking’ though, has a sound so alike to tunes such as DJ Fresh’s ‘Dibby Sound’ and a handful of Dillon Francis tracks, that it just feels flat and unoriginal. A common feeling throughout the EP is that, aside from the tempo, Diplo doesn’t really bring a huge amount to the table. With this track being the opening number  (without counting the out-of-place, ambient electronica that makes up the actual opening) it just doesn’t have the explosive power it needed to immediately engage the listener.

Throughout the rest of the album, it is noticeable that Jack Ü seem to be at their best when they take their foot off the petrol a little. ‘To Ü’ (featuring AlunaGeorge) is an excellent lesson in how bringing some softer sounds into the mix can often sound far bigger than constant roaring bass lines and glitchy samples. Most surprisingly, later track ‘Where Are Ü Now’ (yes, they did over-use the Ü a little in their track names) featuring none other than pop legend/complete pratt (delete as you feel appropriate) Justin Bieber is one of the best tracks found here. Yes, it would have been so much nicer to see ANY other vocalist than him here, but there’s no denying that the almost ballad-like feel he lends to the mix is pretty damn good!

So to summarise, are Jack Ü going to set the world alight like Swedish House Mafia did? Probably not. Not with this release at least. There are moments of excellence on here, but too often things fall into the cliché of More = Better. It’d be nice to hear more of the softer edged productions coming from these guys to bring a fresher sound to the table. Not a bad album at all, but nothing that hasn’t been done before.

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