Skrillex and Habstrakt aim for zooming propulsion on “Chicken Soup,” their contribution to HOWSLA, which is a new, house music-themed compilation released by Skrillex’s OWSLA label.
The two producers set up a lithe, syncopated rhythm immediately on “Chicken Soup.” This is the song’s engine; the lyrics are simple and intensify the track’s breathless momentum. Since Skrillex became famous for making tracks with massive drops, “Chicken Soup” moves adeptly between the forward march of house music and the type of build-and-release progressions: long, buzzing climbs followed by vicious nosedives.
Though Skrillex was initially known for the shuddering power of his productions, his palette has become increasingly wide in recent years – most notably, he co-produced Justin Bieber’s Number 1 single, “Sorry.” His label, OWSLA, has frequently shown far-reaching taste with introspective music from acts like Hundred Waters and Mark Johns alongside the big-room electronic music of Porter Robinson and Marshmello.
OWSLA’s house music compilation shows the genre is becoming mainstream. House music used to be an underground form, but now its variations are all over pop radio like Ariana Grande (“Into You”), Kanye West (“Fade”), Zara Larsson (“Never Forget You”) and Drake (“Get It Together”).
Skrillex curated the HOWSLA compilation, which features songs from multiple artists. The label explained that it hopes to honor “electronic music’s most foundational genre … while also highlighting a newer generation.” OWSLA will build on its new public commitment to house by hosting a series of nights devoted to the genre at the Los Angeles club Le Jardin this summer.