“I really like the fact that people are loving this album or they’re like, ‘This is trash!’,” says producer/engineer Noah Goldstein says in a new Pitchfork feature, ‘The Yeezus Sessions’. “I don’t really like up-the-middle music, because where’s the opinion in that? I’d rather have people hate it than be in the middle.” That’s a pretty accurate assessment of the new Kanye West album, which has been as polarising as expected.
As inthemix wrote in our ‘Five reasons dance fans shouldn’t dismiss Kanye West’s Yeezus, the LP is significant for its electronic influence, recruiting the likes of Daft Punk, Hudson Mohawke and Gesaffelstein. There was, however, one rumoured collaborator missing from the final product: L.A. bass-bender Skrillex. The pairing of two highly-divisive personalities would’ve been fascinating to hear, but according to Pitchfork’s panel, the Skrillex collab is still on hold.
“We met up with Skrillex, but he never made any contributions to the album,” engineer Mike Dean reveals to Pitchfork. “Actually, there’s one song that’s sitting around that’s pretty good – it’ll be on something eventually. It had been in the running since last year. It’s a work in progress.”
As producer and mix engineer Anthony Kilhoffer adds: “We want to set ourselves apart from what is currently in rotation. A lot of times, Kanye sets parameters of sounds and styles that we can and can’t use. For instance: You’ll find there’s no bass wobbles on this album. Dubstep is really big right now, but it’s not something we could use in our production styles. He’s always trying to not take the easy way out. So it’s about achieving clubby, contemporary sounds while setting yourself apart from Skrillex or RedOne. We don’t want to follow, we want to lead.”
He might not be featured on the most-debated LP since Random Access Memories, but Skrillex has enough on the go: projects with Diplo and Boys Noize, an ever-expanding OWSLA to run and this entry to Pete Tong’s Essential Mix, which had one ITMer commenting: “Sicker than I thought it would be!”