5 years ago, an event transpired that forever changed the face of not just one artist, but for EDM as a whole. This event created a sonic boom that began a domino effect of incredible success for one artist, cemented his name in EDM lore forever, and most importantly brought the subgenre of dubstep to the forefront of the American EDM and created a pioneer and a face for the brand.
5 years ago this month, the man known as Skrillex unleashed the “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites” EP onto an unsuspecting public, and the world hasn’t been the same since. This EP introduced many people to the musical genius that is Sonny Moore and for the first time introduced dubstep to the masses.
To many before this EP, dubstep was not enjoyable and too intense on the eardrums. However, this historic EP brought a new relatable, enjoyable, and magnificent dubstep style to the table. This EP was also the first major release for Skrillex and subsequently started a meteoric ascent to the top of the EDM universe.
The title track, “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites”, has become a classic amongst most all EDM followers. It is one of the most recognizable tracks ever released, due in most part to the infamous “yes, oh my god!” line, and is not only still dropped regularly at many shows and festivals, but is also still revered and loved all across the globe despite so much play time. This track is legendary and is a true summarization of Skrillex’s musical genius from the melodic opening to the face-melting drop, it shows the infinite range he possesses.
The following tracks are equally as impressive as the title track. “Rock and Roll” is a fun upbeat track that is equal parts melodic and hard hitting as well, with a repeated phrase of “hello again, to all my friends, together we can play some rock and roll” that sticks with you hours after hearing it. There’s the song “Kill Everybody” which features eerie and spine-chilling vocals that transition into what has become Skrillex’s signature sounds in the drop.
Rounding out the original tracks on this EP are the rap-infused “Scatta”, the light and airy “All I Ask Of You”, and “With You, Friends”, which seems to borrow a page out of Deadmau5’s playbook with an epic lengthy and soothing buildup to a fun drop toward the end.
The EP also features a few remixes from then-up-and-coming names. There’s an up-tempo and hard-hitting “Kill Everybody” remix from Bare Noize, and two “Scary Monsters” remixes; one from Noisa, and the other from a now-familiar name: Zedd. His remix truly shines on this EP and masterfully infuses some of his more house-inspired sounds to the heavy dubstep signature to create a hydrating and cleansing sound unlike anything else on the EP.
As for life after this iconic EP, the rest as they say is history. Skrillex has gone on to become one of the most well-known figures not only in EDM but in music as a whole, and continues to amaze with his unique sounds. He has since released a couple of wildly successful EP’s and albums both solo (“Bangarang” and “Recess”) and in joint efforts (Jack U), as well as a bevy of exalted tracks both on his own and producing for other acts across all genres.
(Author’s note: check out my article “Skrillex: The Embodiment of Versatility” for more on all of that)
5 years ago, the EDM landscape changed forever and a new king was exalted. Skrillex broke new ground with his “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites” EP, and continues to do just that with everything he does. He has become an icon, an enigma, and a legend in just 5 short years, and as we have seen the best is yet to come.
“Scary Monsters” changed the game, and Skrillex has taken the reigns as the quarterback of it.
From my first festival experience at Buku 2013 I have been a nonstop part of the EDM community and love every aspect of it. I have been writing for as long as I can remember and it's what I love to do, so music + writing is the perfect combination for me.