Skrillex takes us on a ‘Quest For Fire’ in long-awaited new album: Listen
All unveiled in a 15-track album, Skrillex takes us on a ‘Quest For Fire‘ in his most personal body of work yet.
“Skrillex” and “album” are two words that are extremely exciting to hear in the same sentence, and today those words take on a whole new meaning with the long-awaited (a phrase that is certainly an understatement) release of his second studio album, ‘Quest For Fire.’ Following up from 2014’s ‘Recess,’ the two albums are a world apart from each other, in the best way possible. As all eyes are on ‘Quest For Fire’ as a strong contender for electronic album of the year, Skrillex has taken the chance to showcase not only his personal growth but artistic growth. The music industry is witnessing the metamorphosis of Skrillex, which couldn’t be more evident as it is now.
Leave Me Like This (with Bobby Raps)
‘Leave Me Like This,’ one of the many singles that were given to us ahead of the full release, takes the bass house route giving us yet another different genre from his multi-faceted production skills. For the original fans, this is perhaps the most nostalgic and exciting release yet, all due to the fact that his most famous “Yes! Oh my god!” sample from ‘Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites‘ is worked into the track, nodding to his roots whilst also acknowledging how far his signature sound and skills have come since then.
RATATA (with Missy Elliott & Mr Oizo)
One of the more high-profile collaborations on ‘Quest For Fire’ and one that had seen a lot of hype from all different communities online, ‘RATATA’ takes the indisputably iconic vocals and flow of Missy Elliott, with Skrillex expertly keeping up with Elliott’s high energy with a soundscape that is equal parts mindblowing and expertly crafted.
Tears (with Joker & Sleepnet)
Taking two of the most established and influential artists in the form of UK bass pioneer Joker and Sleepnet, the alias of Noisia‘s Nik Roos, there’s no surprise as to why ‘Tears’ is as big as it is. Ethereal and otherworldly in its sonics, it almost feels as if all three artists have managed to conjure up some completely new world. Going from gritty to delicate and much more in between, ‘Tears’ creates its own rules, breaking free from any boundaries of genre.
Rumble (with Fred again.. & Flowdan)
By now, we’ve all heard and become accustomed to ‘Rumble,’ partly due to its hype on socials (especially TikTok), it being played out in many sets of Skrillex’s and Fred again..’s and it also being the first single of 2023. ‘Rumble’ packs an earth-shattering punch in not just its addictive soundscape but also with Flowdan’s vocals, a priceless addition. Flowing and cutting through the beats laid out by Skrillex and Fred again.. perfectly, you can expect to hear crowds in their masses chanting along to the lyrics at festivals all over the world this year.
Butterflies (with Starrah & Four Tet)
Although part of a collective of singles that were released back in 2021, ‘Butterflies’ is still in rotation on many Skrillex fans’ playlists. Back then, it was nicknamed as the track that welcomed ‘the return of Skrillex,’ breaking his radio silence that had been going on for multiple years (excluding production and co-production credits on other artists tracks). Armed with his vocal chops, a familiar and beloved staple in the producer’s productions, Starrah’s haunting and unique vocals welcome us into this new and exciting world, wrapped in a blanket of Skrillex and Four Tet’s expertly crafted and irresistible soundscape. What is so striking about this track is the clear divide between Four Tet’s signature, dream-like and atmospheric sound and Skrillex’s updated sound that has been sharpened and refined.
Inhale Exhale (with Aluna & Kito)
Right from the get go, ‘Inhale Exhale’ wastes no time in getting the energy going. In a drop that could only be described as wildly deep and dramatic, complete with wobbly synths, this track takes on yet another different genre, going into trap territory whilst remaining to be something unique to itself, unlike anything we’ve heard before. Although the track may be called ‘Inhale Exhale,’ all the breath is knocked out of us when the drops hit.
A Street I Know (with Eli Keszler)
Offering a moment of serenity, ‘A Street I Know’ is the track to put listeners completely in a trance if we had to pick just one. Both meditative and subtly tribal in its arrangements, Eli Keszler’s drums come into their own towards the end of the track, all culminating in a beautiful track where fans can zone out to.
XENA (with Nai Barghouti)
‘XENA’ is yet another one of the Skrillex IDs with a big history behind it. In its nearly 6 years of existence floating around online and in sets by Skrillex and fellow producers like JOYRYDE, fans have seen many different iterations of it and have also seen how its taken shape the closer it had gotten to an official release. On this final version, we’re treated to the hypnotic vocals of influential Palestinian artist Nai Barghouti which offer the perfect opening to what can only be described as an insane concoction of hard-hitting drums and striking sub kicks.
Too Bizarre (juked) [with Swae Lee, Siiickbrain & Posij]
‘Too Bizarre’ was a single release that took listeners way back to his From First to Last days, thanks to its punk rock-type nature and screamo vocals, but the ‘juked’ version, updated especially for the album, brings it back into dance territory and allows it to fit especially well with the overall theme and nature of ‘Quest For Fire.’ A wildly different version than the one that had already dominated playlists worldwide, this is yet another shining example of how truly versatile Skrillex’s skills are.
Hydrate (with Flowdan, BEAM & PEEKABOO)
It’s not hard to see that ‘Hydrate,’ much like ‘Rumble’ in which Flowdan also features, draws influence from the raw unfiltered energy that is the UK grime scene, largely due to the unmatchable flow that Flowdan marks on the soundscape (he’s not called Flowdan for no reason) which BEAM adds a priceless aspect to. Of course, ‘Hydrate’ wouldn’t be as charming without the shape-shifting skills of Skrillex, who hits back just as hard with a simple yet effective soundscape, and the additional wubbs of dubstep producer PEEKABOO place the cherry on top of this addictive musical cake. In the words of Flowdan, “it’s simple, not complicated.”
Warped Tour ’05 (with Pete Wentz)
Although not a track in the typical sense and rather just a vocal sample that acts as an interlude, ‘Warped Tour ’05’ is a nostalgic little easter egg which allows for a moment of reflection for both Skrillex and his fans. The sample in question was taken directly from an interview which a then 17-year-old Sonny Moore and Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy spoke to Eric Blair at the 2005 edition of Warped Tour. In a sense, Skrillex has encapsulated his entire musical journey in this short track, going from a teenager in a popular alternative rock band to one of the most influential artists of our time.
Good Space (with Starrah)
If you’ve been trawling through the r/skrillex community or any other fan communities online, there’s a high chance you’ve also been eagerly awaiting the official release of this ID, ‘Good Space.’ Starrah’s second appearance on the album following ‘Butterflies,’ this track once again puts the typical Skrillex vocal chop style at the forefront. One best listened to with headphones or powerful speakers, the vocal chops glide around the space it takes up, almost echoing and ricocheting. As any Skrillex fan that has been keeping an eye on this ID for years will tell you, it was well worth the wait.
Supersonic (my existence) [with Noisia, josh pan & Dylan Brady]
Another fan favourite that Skrillex blessed fans with in 2021, ‘Supersonic (my existence)’ garnered somewhat of a cult following, perhaps in part due to the dubstep-led soundscape, which Moore had ‘distanced’ himself in recent releases before this one. Cleverly enticing listeners in with its slow and haunting vibe for its build-up, it then cuts through all expectations, shattering the earth with searing synths and eye-watering inducing bass in true Skrillex & Noisia fashion.
Image credit: Coughs
‘Hazel Theme’ is a way to bridge the gap between the earth-shattering ‘Supersonic (my existence)’ and the track to follow. Orchestral in its arrangement, it serves as an extension to ‘Still Here (with the ones that i came with)’ and blends seamlessly and satisfyingly with the aforementioned track, so much so that you wouldn’t know where ‘Still Here’ starts and ‘Hazel Theme’ ends.
Still Here (with the ones that i came with) [with Porter Robinson & Bibi Bourelly]
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A love letter to those that he started out in the industry with, ‘Still Here (with the ones that i came with)’ is the perfect closer to what is an emotional and evolving journey of an album. Acting as a reassurance that he’s still the same person even though his popularity and musical style has grown exponentially, he’s remained close to those that he came up with, a heartwarming fact to shed light on. Featuring Porter Robinson and using a sample from his hit ‘Language,’ this only feels appropriate given the song’s themings and both artists’ long years of friendship. In a 5 minute runtime, the track manages to beautifully sum up years upon years of an outstanding career that Skrillex has had, whilst also highlighting his producer friends’ achievements in such a stunning way.
From reminding us to stay hydrated to telling us he’s still here (with the ones that he came with), each track on the album is its own unique gem, waiting to be discovered. ‘Quest For Fire’ by Skrillex has finally dropped, and you can stream it here or below.
Featured Image Credit: Marilyn Hue / Provided by Warner Music Group