September 21, 2012

In Defense Of Skrillex

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John Cage, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Luc Ferrari, and Morton Feldman changed the way we listened to music forever. Without them, we would still be alone in the wilderness unable to acknowledge that beautiful music surrounds wherever we go. Music took a turn for the complacent with Philip Glass’s discovery of the arpeggio. After people heard Philip Glass’s one arpeggio repeated over several hundred pieces humanity thought to itself, “This bro totally nailed it.” Nothing happened for a few decades.

Skrillex is the most subtle composer of our generation. James Blake has nothing on Skrillex’s technical mastery. Composers previously employed things like ‘talent’ in their work to their detriment. Audiences applauded when John Cage’s orchestras gave up his instructions and played ‘normal music.’ Nobody to this day understands why Karlheinz Stockhausen needed several helicopters for one of his compositions or why it has gotten multiple performances. Luc Ferrari’s work offered a romantic view of beautiful quiet times on the Adriatic seaside shore with ‘Presque Rien.’ Nobody listened to ‘Presque Rien.’ Morton Feldman engaged his listeners with ‘Rothko Chapel’ an achingly beautiful, near-silent work. Few could hear the beauty of Rothko Chapel, however. It just wasn’t loud enough.

Skrillex’s talent extends beyond mere music. Skrillex’s compositions, while varied in terms of exactly when the bass drops, have created a new community. Combining both the alt of the dubstep with the bro-like fascination of loud, stupid dance music has formed the genre named ‘Brostep.’ Few see this as a positive development. Most see it negatively. However, few acknowledge that bringing the bros and alts together is no easy task. Remember the Broman Empire and the Vandalts?

Allow me to remind you: by the time the Vandalts had gotten powerful, the Broman Empire was crumbling. For too long, they had misappropriated funds and generally ‘bro-ed too hard.’ Orgies, staring blankly at walls recovering from hangovers, and flip cup lead to the eventual sacking of Brome in 455. All this time the Vandalts wanted to help the Bromans, to help them see the beauty of the world. They vandalized property; spray painting ‘YEOLO’ across the city (Latin for ‘Your Empire Only Lives Once.’) Bromans were unable to see the writing on the wall, as bros dislike reading. Eventually the Broman Empire succumbed to the Vandalts. The Bros and the Alts never forgave each other. Instead they created an everlasting hatred of each other’s way of life.

Centuries passed with bros beings bros and alts being alts. Bros and alts were rarely found in the same place. Fortifications came up. Bros created fraternities based around their ancient Broman heritage. Alts ran local college radio stations. Each group remained separate from one another. Pitchfork was erected as the ultimate bastion of alt culture hating everything non-alt. Yet there would be a person, a musician skilled at bringing together the aggression bros craved with the electronic flair the alts loved.

Skrillex is the bro and alt savior. From humble origins as a failed poseur EMO kid, Skrillex has built up music ready to stand the test of time. To improve on his ‘alt’ cred he often mentions Aphex Twin as a major influence. To improve on his ‘bro’ cred his music is endlessly obnoxious and loud. Millions flock to Skrillex as if he has all the answers to life’s questions. Thankfully, he does. Skrillex’s hair is majestic; it soars like the eagle soars over America. Bass drops like the eagle drops when it is hunting its prey. No other composer has ever brought multiple cultures like Skrillex; indeed he may be the savior of the music world.

When people put down Skrillex’s music, point out the everlasting peace he’s responsible for. Mention how he ranks up there with the greatest composers of the 20th century. The Skrillex haters will see the error of their ways and learn to love the drop. TC Mark

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Erik Baker

Twenty-something writer yo-yoing up and down the East Coast.

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