Illustrator: Akkiko Stehrenberger.
Hotties and homicidal maniacs come together in Harmony Korine's film Spring Breakers, and when you tell that story with a "liquid narrative" -- according to the director -- names like Skrillex (dubstep superstar and master of creating brain-warping basslines) and Gucci Mane (major-label rap weirdo, great with both the wackadoo hook and freaky, funny punch lines) must be considered. Both land on this druggy pool party of a soundtrack, with Skrillex giving up his half acid trip, half roller coaster ride hit "Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites." He's contributed some new material as well, with "With You, Friends (Long Drive)" sounding somewhere between Daft Punk and a glitchy summer, while his "Park Smoke" is a dark, abstract sound piece, echoing and stretching into the distance as unsettling roars of dissonance crumble toward the listener. It's an effective surprise from the usually garish producer, as are his smart collaborations with composer Cliff Martinez. He's the man who scored Drive, but he deserves his place here because he understands the landscape, having worked with both the California funky Red Hot Chili Peppers (party on!) and aggressively eccentric Captain Beefheart (bongo fury!). Meek Mill's booming team-up with Rick Ross, "Big Bank," makes the ski mask way sound seductive and like solid advice for players, while "Hangin' with da Dopeboys" with Dangeruss and an in-character James Franco is as loud, over the top, and reckless as the Gucci and Wacka Flocka Flame team-up dropped here, which was lifted from their 2011 set Ferrari Boyz. Add it all up and it's a weird and wonderful set, as hyped-up, hallucinatory, and hot as the film that either oozed or sweated it out. ~ David Jeffries