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Albums: March 28, 2014

Reviews of new records from Skrillex and YG

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Skrillex, Recess
Five EPs and six Grammys in, the punky architect of “brostep” has finally put out his first full-length album. Recorded around the world and surprise-released through a free app, Recess prunes the wub-wub and bass drops, and drives in contributions from K-poppers, rave pioneers, and, of course, the ubiquitous DJ/producer Diplo. It’s spectacular, almost exhaustingly so, from the jacked-up “Dirty Vibe” (featuring Diplo with Korean stars G-Dragon and CL) to the soul-spurting “Coast Is Clear” (with a sex-crazed Chance the Rapper). Skrillex loves head rushes and obsessively calibrated sound collisions too much to ever truly go pop, but it’s an indelible experience hearing him make the attempt. B+

YG, My Krazy Life
On his major-label debut, the Jeezy-mentored Compton rapper comes off as hip-hop’s Rust Cohle: resigned to life’s dark turns. He cuts into the chantlike chorus of “I Just Wanna Party” with a savage beatdown threat, and on “1Am” sneaks out of his mom’s place to wreak gunshot-punctuated havoc. But with his highly detailed, deadpan rhymes — the housebreaking instructional “Meet the Flockers” puns on a term for burglars — and rich G-funk-meets-ratchet beats, YG’s storm cloud is more inviting than most rappers’ clear skies. A-