Track Review: Nero, 'Promises (Skrillex Remix)'

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NERO
Promises (Skrillex Remix) (4:28)
Producers: Joe Ray, Dan Stephens, Alana Watson, Sonny Moore
Writers: Joe Ray, Dan Stephens, Alana Watson, Sonny Moore
Publishers: EMI / EMI / Copyright Control
MTA Records

For those unfamiliar with the format, the "Promises" remix is a bit of a head-butt: after one verse and chorus, a sweet, unsuspecting vocal gets attacked by the sonic equivalent of dinosaurs with laser beams attached to their heads. That's the essential effect when Skrillex gets his hands on a track like "Promises," by U.K. electronic outfit Nero. Skrillex strips the original "Promises" of its turbo-charged breakbeats, isolates the vocal, and allows it to fly almost a cappella for a spell. Then he unloads an explosive bass drop on top, complete with harmonic synths, machine drones and high-pitched screeches that have become signatures of his aggressive dubstep style. Out of context, the shift sounds abrupt -- but on a nightclub dance floor or under a tent at a festival, it's pure adrenaline.

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