Skrillex Signee Dillon Francis Releases Rambunctious EP
A mash-up of moombahton, 'jump up,' Schaffel, et al.
If you thought the slow-motion moombahton craze was over, think again. The latest signing to Skrillex’s OWSLA imprint is 24-year-old Los Angeles producer Dillon Francis, and his Something, Something, Awesome EP is a love letter to the woozy world of 112 beats per minute — scrawled in neon crayon and dusted with DMT.
Francis says that “Falling Up” (no relation to Theo Parrish and Carl Craig’s 2005 anthem) was inspired by Skrillex’s “Ruffneck Full Flex,” with the idea of making a “jump up” song at 112 BPM, and it’s as garish and as lumbering as his description would lead you to believe. “Now Hear This” riffs on a similar idea, and it’s even more forceful, with rock-inspired drumbeats strafed by jagged FM synths and egged on by a steady chorus of, “Go! Go!” There are plangent melodies straight out of Aphex Twin, and the breakdown even morphs into a swinging, T. Rex groove reminiscent of Kompakt Schaffel. (It ain’t Superpitcher, though, that’s for sure.) “Dill the Noise,” a collaboration with Kill the Noise, is the EP’s most purist take on moombahton, with its syncopated snares and pitch-bent bleeps. What’s impressive is how much mileage they get out of the trope, jumping back and forth between slow-motion mosh, airy trance passages, hyperactive G-funk, and melodies as bubbly as Raymond Scott’s.
Where Francis really shows off his talents, though, is with a remix of Sinden’s “Pull Up Wheel Up,” which he’s currently offering as a free download. This time, he picks up the pace, dialing up the tempo to dubstep’s requisite 140 BPM. This isn’t dubstep, though: the snapping 4/4 groove has more in common with the punchy, soca-influenced cadences of U.K. funky, and his rhythmic bridges even delve into the kind of dizzying polyrhythms you find in Mexico’s tribal guarachero. Proceeding along a harrowing path of hairpin turns, it’s a white-knuckled ride.