On Monday night, the collective EDM Internets was focused on one thing: Skrillex’s Recess. Instead of a normal listening session or even some kind of drawn-out album launch, Skrillex did the unthinkable, aka releasing a free app that was not just a game, but the hub for releasing full previews of an album that we had been hearing about, but had no idea was going to be released a week later. In a conversation with Dazed, Skrillex let’s the world know that this was exactly how he wanted to present this project: “I don’t want to hype my record, I don’t want to slowly tease it out. I want to just present it as it’s supposed to be. This is my first fully-formed album, I’ve done EPs and other projects, but for this record, I wanted to just put this out there. Putting a free app out, having a countdown to the release, it’s just a fun way to do it.”
We respect that. In an age where “hype” is what people want to do, you can get teasers of tunes that won’t be out for weeks, and months-long promotions for albums. Not to mention the fact that, once the project’s out, you then get a subsequent tour to support the album. If it’s successful, that can be a year (or more) spent conceptualizing, hyping, promoting, then supporting an album… at a time when most artists might be over and done with the actual music and on to the next idea. While most artists in the electronic scene can go just set up a Bandcamp and release music whenever they feel like it (hi, Mr. Carmack), many of them don’t have the pull that a Skrillex has to get an awesome app set up, then get the album up for iTunes sale the next week. I won’t speculate if this is part of Apple’s initiative to get more exclusive content in their iTunes store, but it is an interesting time for the sale of music in general, and how artists can take the power back.
You should check out the full interview on Dazed as well, as Skrillex discusses everything from the stereotypes people apply to his sound to how he got around to working with Chance The Rapper.