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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Review: "Lick It" - Kaskade & Skrillex

Hey everyone, I don't write long posts very often, but today I present to you a review written by yours truly. It is true, that this song has been out for a while, and it's not a mashup, but it's my blog so I can post whatever I want. I also need to post this online because I am required to do so for one of my classes. Without further ado, here is my review of "Lick It":

One of my favorite tracks to listen to lately has been “Lick It” by Kaskade and Skrillex from Kaskade’s latest album, “Fire & Ice.” What is brilliant about this song is that it is the result of collaboration between two producers who generally work with different genres. Most of Kaskade’s previous work has been in progressive house, while Skrillex primarily produces dubstep and electro house. With “Lick It”, these two have managed to synthesize elements from each producer’s respective musical background to create a track that is difficult to define with simply one genre.

There are parts of this track that are particularly reflective of each producer’s style, but taken as a whole “Lick It” does not sound like something one would typically expect either Kaskade or Skrillex to produce individually. The intro to this “Lick It”, to me, sounds most like the work of Kaskade. In the first twenty seconds, the drums and bass line gradually increase in volume in order to build anticipation for when the beat drops. Kaskade’s “Dynasty” begins in a similar fashion. Another segment of “Lick It” that sounds like the work of Kaskade is the bridge section beginning at 1:40. This section reminds me of Kaskade because it softer and less energetic than the parts by Skrillex. In my opinion, Kaskade’s work seems more atmospheric and romantic than Skrillex. For example, consider the difference in mood and range of sounds in Kaskade’s “Eyes” and Skrillex’s “Ruffneck (FULL Flex)”.

At 0:21 in “Lick It”, the hook is first introduced and then the beat drops. The hook and the rest of the vocals in this track can be recognized as the work of Skrillex because he is known for his complex vocal effects. Later in the song, at 1:38, you can hear a brief vocal phrase that is unintelligible because it has been altered with effects. This snippet is reminiscent of digitally-altered vocals in some of Skrillex’s other tracks such as: “Ruffneck (FULL Flex)” (2:15), “First Of The Year (Equinox)” (0:14), and “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites” (0:27). Another reason why I am sure that the vocals in “Lick It” are Skrillex’s handiwork is because this vocal technique is different from how Kaskade typically implements vocals in his tracks. In a majority of Kaskade’s tracks that contain vocals, a recurring theme is his employment of female vocalists. Female vocalists appear on numerous tracks by Kaskade, including; “Dynasty (ft. Haley)”, “Eyes (ft. Mindy Gledhill)”, and “Room For Happiness (ft. Skylar Grey)” to name a few.

In light of the contributions from Kaskade and Skrillex, how can this track be defined? “Lick It” is simultaneously influenced by the distinct styles of both producers. This track can broadly be identified under the genre of house music because it has a four-on-the-floor beat and has a tempo of 128 bpm which is typical of many house tracks. Kaskade’s contributions to this track are more like progressive house, while Skrillex’s parts are more like electro house. I believe that while it is difficult to categorize this track, what is important to its merit is not a label, but the sound itself. As a whole, “Lick It” is an incredible piece that transcends explanation.

Works Cited

Gledhill, Mindy. "Eyes." Fire & Ice. Kaskade. Ultra Records, 2011. YouTube. Web. 30 Nov. 2011. <>.

Grey, Skylar. "Room For Happiness." Fire & Ice. Kaskade. Ultra Records, 2011. YouTube. Web. 30 Nov. 2011. <>.

Haley. "Dynasty." Dynasty. Kaskade. Ultra Records, 2010. YouTube. Web. 30 Nov. 2011. <>.

Skrillex. "First of the Year (Equinox)." 2011. YouTube. Web. 30 Nov. 2011. <>.

Skrillex, perf. "Lick It." Fire & Ice. Kaskade. Ultra Records, 2011. YouTube. Web. 30 Nov. 2011. <>.

Skrillex. "Ruffneck (FULL Flex)." 2011. YouTube. Web. 30 Nov. 2011. <>.

Skrillex. "Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites." 2010. YouTube. Web. 30 Nov. 2011. <>.

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