Skrillex's OWSLA Label's New Compilation: We Rank the Tracks
Today, Skrillex's record label OWSLA unleashes Free Treats Vol. II, 18 tracks from this year's up-and-comers in the EDM world, plus one remix of Skrillex's hit "Ruffneck (FULL Flex)." Free music is always good by us, but some tracks are better than others. Here we ranked all 19 tunes from the album from worst to best.
19. Porter Robinson
"Vandalism (12th Planet Remix)"
As much as I normally dig both Porter Robinson and 12th Planet's work, I just can't get into this song. The vocals are standard pretty-but-anonymous club girl fare and the lyric "I'm a victim of vandalism/Since you left your mark on me" sounds like a bad pick-up line.
"Glowing Owl" has all the trance-y marks of a mega-club hit. I'm not really feeling it, but undoubtedly many more people will.
"All for This"
"All for This" has more than one of those mini-epic rave breakdowns that I think is supposed to prompt everyone to scream for the DJ, though I can never figure out what to do with myself during those moments. I like the slightly 8-bit sound of the synths, though.
16. Bare Noize and Zardonic
"Kill the Silence"
I can see a dance floor starting to resemble a mosh pit when I listen to "Kill the Silence." It's that bombastic. While this is probably a really great festival track, it might be a little too much when you're simply listening to music at home.
15. Topher Jones
The build-up in this track is massive. Over a minute-and-a-half passes before you hear "Drop the Brohammer," indicating the point where everyone will throw their hands in the air. This is certainly a track that will make the bros freak out on the dance floor, but I might do that too, so don't take that as an insult.
14. The Juggernaut
The Juggernaut is a dubstep two-piece from Orange County with a lot of potential. "Chess Fight" is far more introspective than the dubstep tracks we hear at clubs. It's almost reminiscent of '90s IDM.
13. Nick Thayer
"Wake up Call"
Australian producer Nick Thayer has a real party-starter here with "Wake up Call." It's like he wrote a melody for a horror movie and then turned it into a monster festival jam.
12. Alvin Risk
Alvin Risk has been popping up on L.A. bills a lot lately. With good reason -- he can get the dance floor going. With "Cities," though, he plays around with dance floor-unfriendly beats, sweeping synths and hints of video game melodies for a track that will last after the party is finished.
11. Two Fresh
Occasionally, I feel like I have to strain my ears to listen to "Leaving Here." It's unusually quiet. But, the closer you listen, the more you discover hidden inside the track.
10. Child in Disguise
I'm currently geeking out over Child in Disguise's SoundCloud because he remixed J-pop viral hit "PonPonPon" and a track from the anime Samurai Champloo. As for his contribution to this compilation, it got me dancing. "The Drifter" probably isn't a banger, but that's alright. It's funky, slick and everything you need to keep the night going.
9. Flinch feat. Jamtech Foundation
L.A. dubstep fans are probably already familiar with Flinch. He's worked extensively with SMOG and 12th Planet. This time around, he joined forces with Jamtech Foundation and the result is a superb track that puts the "dub" back into dubstep.
8. J. Rabbit
"A Shot of Bruschotti"
Southern California's J. Rabbit contribution, "A Shot of Bruschotti," is a clever slab of EDM. It sounds like he cut up some disco tracks, layered them with electronic squeaks and let the beat go crazy. I can't help but think it's a bit difficult to dance to this, but I like the sound of it.
British dubstep artist Plastician heads for the chill out room on "Alone Time." This song may be too mellow to pack the festival dance floor, but it's gorgeous. Listen to this when you need something mellow.
6. Style of Eye
This is a really unusual track and I love it. Style of Eye changes things up repeatedly throughout the course of the song. There's a subtle, bouncy part, a progressive house sort of build-up and a weird noise that sounds like the car horns of the future.
5. The M Machine
"No Fun Intended"
"No Fun Intended" works because it doesn't sound like it's trying to be the next big party anthem. Frankly, we need more tracks like this. It's consistent in the ebb and flow of its rhythm. It will make you dance or keep you dancing without the flash of a lot of the hits of the moment.
4. KOAN Sound featuring Foreign Beggars
"Look Who's Back"
KOAN Sound is the duo to watch this year. They're from Bristol, UK, and opened for Skrillex in L.A. not too long ago. With its solid, bouncy beat and vocals from British hip-hop group Foreign Beggars, "Look Who's Back" doesn't disappoint, but make sure you get their EP, Funk Blaster.
3. Sazon Booya feat. Anna Yvette
If moombahton becomes the next big thing, then Sazon Booya should be a name everyone recognizes. "Secret Heart" does a really good job of twisting the new genre into something else. Anna Yvette's vocals have an ethereal quality that's really lovely.
"Ruffneck (Full Flex) (Munchi Anonymous Revolution Remix)"
This remix of "Ruffneck (Full Flex)" is hot. Remixer Munchi gives the track a moombahton edge, merging reggaeton with Skrillex's club sound in a way that's all the rage right now.
1. Ghastly! feat. Arielle Williams
Ghastly! is young (only 22), but has an amazing knack for creating unusual dance tracks. I love the way he manipulates Arielle Williams' vocals on "Funky Flex." It's weird, but it works with the beat, and it makes the song all the more compelling.
Download Free Treats Vol. II at Beatport.
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