Label: Dim Mak Records
Released on: April 24th, 2012
Grade: 3.5 out of 5 meatballs
Reviewed by: Neil Miller, Jr.
Few artists in electronic music have skyrocketed into popularity as quickly as Alvin Risk has. Although it might not be intentional, his name is rather appropriate as he’s no stranger to taking risks. With each remix and original track he drops, we’re opened up to another sect of his seemingly ever evolving sound. To call him dubstep or electro house or whatever other genres he may flirt with would be selling him short. Like his partner in crime, Skrillex, he manages to get away with doing a little bit of everything. All the while, he happens to be moving towards coining his own sound. His most recent EP, Infinity, consists of four tracks that sound nothing like each other yet all sound very much like Alvin Risk - for better or for worse.
Traversing chasms of big beat oriented electro house that would make The Prodigy’s mastermind Liam Howlett wish he’d thought of it for their Invaders Must Die album, “Psychotic” opens the EP on an earnestly bombastic note. But it’s with “Survival,” though, that things really kick into high gear. Featuring Skrillex protégé Sirah’s trademark don’t-give-a-fuck vocals, this track trudges along with squelched synths, funky moombahton-esque beats, and bassy horn stabs that would fit in well to any ‘fresh out the box’ Skrill-dog track. Fitting then, that Mr. Sonny Moore was dropping this into his sets last year (albeit with a cranked tempo) typically alongside “Reptile,” one of his own cuts. Try as he may, and as good as this song mostly is - Alvin is going to have to dig a little deeper to get out from under that Skrillex wing and really be taken seriously.
He does break out into something considerably different by Infinity’s closer, “Pray,” which is a trance synth driven, one two punch dirge which finds itself diverging from the rest of the EP through its screamed metalcore vocals. It’s not every day that you hear a hybrid like this and thanks to some tightly wound production, it’s pulled off almost flawlessly. By the time the EP is over, two things apparent: the first being that Alvin Risk is most certainly under a heavy Skrillex influence and the other is that in spite of the parallels, there is promise here. A skilled producer at best, a carbon copy at his worst, Alvin Risk is capable of breaking the mold with his defiance of genre borderlines. He’s surely poised to take off if he continues in a more distinct direction of his own…but something tells me that won’t happen as long as he’s on Skrillex’s record label, OWSLA.