Back in 2013, Diplo and Skrillex shocked the world by announcing that they would be performing live sets together under the moniker of Jack U. Given prior history between Skrillex and Diplo on their production of the track Amplifier, the announcement wasn’t that much of a surprise for some. But for many, a collaboration between two of dance music’s most popular tastemakers seemed like something out of an EDM storybook. Jack U’s debut set at the 2013 Mad Decent Block Party was the ultimate coming out party for the group, as Diplo and Skrillex showcased incredible chemistry on the decks.
Since their breakout performance at Mad Decent Block Party, Skrillex and Diplo have had their hands full with their own separate projects. Touring has been sporadic at best for the group, but the two producers found the time to perform a massive set at Ultra 2014. Stylistically, Diplo and Skrillex cover a lot of ground, so the mix incorporated a little bit of everything. Despite its fluctuation of pace and styles, Jack U’s Ultra set gave great insight into the direction of their sound. A couple ID tracks were peppered into the mix and were rightly speculated to be upcoming Jack U songs. This led us to the conclusion that Diplo and Skrillex would be making some sort of weird jungle and trap hybrid. We weren’t entirely wrong.
In July, Diplo stated on his Reddit AMA that Jack U would be releasing a mixtape in the upcoming months. Soon after, the duo released their first lead single Take U There with vocalist Kiesza then headed to Black Rock City to perform nightly at Burning Man. This caused speculation that the two were beginning to focus more on the Jack U project. Luckily, that speculation has proved true, as Diplo and Skrillex recently got together this weekend for a huge two hour mix on Diplo’s BBC Radio 1 Extra segment ‘Diplo and Friends’.
Jack U’s ‘Diplo and Friends’ mix is a high-octane party mix. It’s two hours of no holds barred trap bangers with an eclectic mix of reggae, dancehall, moombahton, deep house and hip hop. This mix features a slew of unreleased music that will leave you repeatedly studying the tracklist (so we’ll give it to you!). New Jack U track Beats Steady Knockin presents an epic introduction. Also early in the mix is Jack U’s new collaboration with 2 Chainz titled Febreeze. We might be needing to cop the instrumental version of that one. Jungle Bae and Cumbia Maluca were the next two original tracks premiered and both have a moombahton feel. Collaborations with Snails and vocalist Aluna have us incredibly excited for the full versions here at Dance Music Northwest.
A couple of new Skrillex songs were also featured in the mix. One of the songs is unknown but the other is called Big Room UK. Both songs showcase an ambient deep dub kind of style. Several remixes of Recess song surfaced, including a heavy trap remix of Dirty Vibe by DJ Snake. Maybe a Recess Remix EP is in store soon?
Jack U’s production style can be hard to entirely pinpoint. Some of their sounds are a perfect balance of Diplo and Skrillex’s individual production. With some of their other sounds, it seems as if they are almost trying to be deliberately annoying. Their mixes thus far have been incredible though, and it’s rare to see two superstar producers DJ together so effortlessly. With new tunes, danceable tracks and extreme spontaneity, Jack U’s Diplo and Friends mix is a huge win for dance music fans everywhere. Enjoy the mix by clicking on the SoundCloud link below.
Jack U is currently slated to headline a show on New Year’s Eve at Madison Square Garden. Although Jack U is not yet actively touring, us at Dance Music Northwest will be sure to let you know as soon as the supergroup is booked for a local stop.
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