Skrillex ‘s label OWSLA just celebrated its first birthday! And as dubstep’s American revolutionary and DJ goblin of mystery continues to expand his loaded bass-driven empire, he unleashes MONSTA, the latest electronic trio to join the OWSLA family. This might be the first time you have heard of producers Rocky and Rufio, and lead vocalist Bryn Christopher (a.k.a “Skaar”) who bring a uniquely brilliant sound to what we call dubstep, but after listening to this infectious as shingles (only less itchey and far more bass-driven) compilation, it certainly won’t be the last. The London-based trio has already notable mixes under their belt, including their remix treatmentn featured on Zedd’s hyper-successful, “Spectrum” EP.
MONSTA’s debut EP, simply titled “MONSTA,” includes three original MONSTA tracks and boasts a solid list of remixes from some of Electronic Dance Music’s finest, including Alvin Risk, Dillon Francis, Kill Paris, Nero and Sonny Moore himself. This is not your typical “womp wub womp wobble wooble ” dubstep record – the EP is a welcomed change of pace, featuring amazing bass-driven tunes from the softer, chiller side of dubstep, to the filthy and the grimy.
Orginal track, “Holdin’ On” is a soulful aria with instrument-based elements with a line of growling Borgore-esque bass that rips straight through Skaar’s formidable and androgynous vocal hook. When Skrillex first heard the tune at South By South West; he thought MONSTA was using Aretha Franklin samples. Cut the remix of “Holdin’ On,” which become one of the hottest unreleased tracks to explode across the Internet. After Skrill’s work together with London’s dub pioneers Nero’s track “Promises,” the track is full loaded like TNT, and the explosion is just as exciting. Their remix is a high-energy sub-bass collaboration that serves as big fat beat saying, “Hello, MONSTA,” from the Grammy-winning artist to the new trio. Taking the smooth vocals from the original and infusing a fast and vicious drum and bass flavor that blends both Nero’s old school sound and Skrill’s bouncy creative magic – press play and rage on my friends.
“Messiah” offers a new sound altogether, which is somewhat ethereal and uplifting, one could categorize as “soulstep.” It is brimming will raw energy while a grinding bass rhythm chugs along in the background with an overlay of powerfully deep vocals. You will hardly recognize the absolutely lethal new version that Alvin Risk concocts from the original. His signature head-banging sounds are laced in the remix, and indeed “take it higher”– and light-years harder beyond the original. Throwing down a filthy surge of bass and shooting high-powered lasers in every direction, he has a slinky dubstep masterpiece on his hands.
Skaar’s superb vocals shine as bright as L.E.D. lights in “Where Did I Go,” and are futher enhanced by the glitchy electronic rhythm and crunchy bassline. This number is able to satisfy multiple musical palates. The remix curated by Dillon Francis and Kill Paris adds a level of funk that the original tightly coiled production lacks, while still keeping the heart of the vocals intact.
Here’s a taste: