By some weird stroke of coincidence, I decided to listen to Skrillex & Diplo present Jack Ü last week. It’s not like there was anything that had happened that influenced my decision; it was just one of those “Oh I haven’t listened to this in a while” feelings you get. By another stroke of luck, I went for a walk earlier this week and continued listening to it and mentioned that fact to my coworker, who remarked it had been a while for him, too. Urged on by curiosity, I Googled when the album came out, and discovered its 5-year anniversary was actually coming up on Thursday, today, February 27.
It has been five years since Skrillex and Diplo teamed up to release their seminal debut Jack Ü album. Both artists, in the past five years, have gone on to have wildly illustrious careers. Skrillex has released a smattering of singles here and there, working behind the scenes to produce a ton of tracks and releasing some bangers on the way. Diplo has gone crazy with projects, teaming up with Mark Ronson on Silk City, Labrinth and Sia on LSD, starting a country side project under his own name, and continuing his work with Major Lazer, all while running his Mad Decent label.
Looking back on everything, Skrillex & Diplo present Jack Ü more than likely has a large part to do with both of their continued successes. The album came at a time when EDM was beginning to be featured on the global stage. Electric Daisy Carnival hit 5 years in Las Vegas, Ultra Music Festival was thriving, Tomorrowland was growing, TomorrowWorld was hotly anticipated (though it later ended up crumbling), and DJs around the world were beginning to command higher fees and more attention. Hell, in 2015, Calvin Harris and Taylor Swift started dating… if that isn’t high profile, I don’t know what is.
And at the time, Skrillex and Diplo were two of the most prominent names in the culture. Both already had established pedigrees of original productions and productions on pop hits, and the fact that they were now performing together shook the music world to its core. The debut single from the project, “Take Ü There” featuring then-unknown singer Kiesza, was an instant hit.
The second single from the project was “Where Are Ü Now” with Justin Bieber, the teen pop singer’s first foray into dance music. The move was widely regarded with a “what the f*ck are you serious?” mentality. Not to mention that snare… But it was eventually responsible for one of the arguably biggest moments in dance music history, when Bieber came out on stage during the duo’s set at Ultra Music Festival in 2015, with Diddy already on stage. He would later come out for their set at HARD Summer later that same year.
Although his dance moves were awkward at best at the EDM festival, it was a watershed moment for dance music. Big stars like Bieber coming out as special guests for DJs was no longer an unheard-of concept, and it opened the doors for so many more DJs to explore a wider range of sound in their works.
While Skrillex & Diplo present Jack Ü has become somewhat of a footnote in dance music’s history with everything that has happened in the five years since, it can’t be denied that it was also a major catalyst in making dance music culture what it is today.
Listen to the album again below, and refresh your memory on tracks like “Febreze,” “Mind,” and more.
Photo via Rukes.com