UKFis5 #05: Skrillex – Scary Monsters & Nice Sprites (Dirtyphonics Remix)

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To celebrate this hallmark anniversary we’re running a whole series of features dedicated to exclusive insight and reflections from some of the most creative, influential forces that UKF has ever been home to.

Right now we’re looking back over the highest ever viewed uploads on UKF Drum & Bass. And this massive Dirtyphonics remix of Skrillex’s era-defining Scary Monsters & Nice Sprites is the second most ever checked track. Currently weighing in at almost 15 million views, it arrived in 2011… The same year the Dirtyphonics first appeared on Steve Aoki’s Dim Mak and began representing the creative fusion of dubstep, drum & bass and electro at a whole new level. Looking back, this track marked the start of a series of explosive, career-changing moments for the French bass crew which continue to this day. We called them up and ask them look back themselves. It turns out Skrillex gave them no more than two days to turn in this now-legendary remix! Rewind!

We only had 48 hours to deliver the remix! We bought a lot of munchies and studio essentials and locked ourselves in the studio for whole 48 hours and worked straight through.

“It’s funny to think back to those times… We had no idea where we’d be at today. Steve Jobs once said that it’s impossible to connect the dots forward but easy to do it backwards. And he’s totally right. When we think of what we’re doing right now everything makes perfect sense. But back then we never could have predicted the things that were happening.

The Skrillex remix was one of the many big things happening at that time. We’d been watching what Sonny did from the get go. Seeing the incredible career he is having is amazing! We’re so proud of him and what he did for the bass scene. So this offer came through one night, we were all in the studio working on some songs and he called us out of the blue and asked us if we were game to remix Scary Monsters & Nice Sprites.

We obviously said yes right away. He sent the stems within the hour after the phone call! We actually said yes without thinking too much about what we’d do. Then after hanging up the phone we realised that it had already been remixed in lots of different genres by the likes of Zedd, Noisia and Kaskade. It took us a minute to figure out how we’d do something that wasn’t already done.

Plus another challenge was that we only had 48 hours to deliver the remix! We bought a lot of munchies and studio essentials and locked ourselves in the studio for whole 48 hours and worked straight through. We worked on it faster than any of our other songs and remixes and by the 47th hour we were still fixing lots of things. 10 minutes before the deadline we were finally bouncing the last version of the remix you all now know today!

We’re really pleased to say he loved it right away! He didn’t ask for any changes. To this day we still play it – especially our own DIRTY edit that starts at 140 bpm and rises to 175 – and the crowd still go crazy. It still has a special energy that affects them! Four years later we’re still very proud of it. It remains one of our most famous works and the remix came to life so fast and naturally that we’d probably do the same thing if the same call landed again.

We created a monster!”

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