Skrillex & Eli Keszler, 'A Street I Know'
Despite his reputation as a figurehead of festival EDM, a genre notorious for its heavy-handedness, Skrillex's light touch remains highly underrated. At his best, the producer's command of dance music is fluid and dynamic, shot through with messy but considered rivulets of lurching bass to make a kind of Pollock canvas in sound. On one of the most successful and genuinely unexpected collaborations off his sophomore album, Quest for Fire, Skrillex links up with Eli Keszler for "A Street I Know."
Keszler, a composer whose solo work pads out improvisatory drumming with live electronic effects, is an ideal collaborator, a musician equally suited to creating tone poems at breakneck speeds. The mood here is nostalgic and haunted, constructed from glassy synths and distended vocal samples that seem to be circling the lost plot of a cherished memory. Building and collapsing in real time, Skrillex forgoes detonating easy drops to give way to Keszler's spidery, almost ASMR-in-their-tactility drum flourishes and, in doing so, creates one of his most evocative and mournful works to date.
Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.