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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Track of the Moment: Lights by Klaypex

Remember when I said that I would post some good “modern” dubstep? And I did? Well, because I’m lazy and don’t want to discover a new artist good enough for this well-read and popular song/artist spotlight, I’m going to post another dubstep artist who I believe is great for this spot.

If you remember from my top 42 albums, I picked a band that, according to Elliott, doesn’t exist according to Wikipedia. But trust me, Klaypex exists. And they’re doing some good things in the dubstep genre.

As I said in my previous article, I’m a huge fan of the open beat and relying on the strength of the sample to carry a song, especially in dubstep. And while I may rail against Skrillex (expect a post about how I heard of Skrillex before "Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites"), his influence on electronic music as a whole is easy to see. It’s arguable that he’s what brought dubstep into the mainstream, and now every electronic song needs to have a drop, and many use an LFO, although very quietly and as a base for what they’re focusing on. I don’t want to say Klaypex studied in the school of Skrillex, but they definitely took a few courses there (which isn't a bad thing).

Their wobble, much like Skrillex’s, hangs out a lot in the mid-range, and comes at you fairly hard. But it’s not overwhelming; it’s very neat and organized and well-thought out. While it’s not the Chrispy level of organized chaos, it’s enough to get you moving like an idiot (unless you’re part of the .00000001% who got the moves like Jagger) and sounds fantastic. Also, they rely on the sample to not only create the tone, but also the track. Unlike most modern dubstep DJs, they throw in fragments of the sample throughout the song, and use a variety of other electronic noises to make their tracks, although the wobble is still at the forefront.
One thing I like is variety in my wobble. Not a Skrillex level of variety (which is too much), but enough to keep the track interesting. It also shows off the skill of the guy making the song. See, DJing is just as hard as learning to play guitar (and many other instruments). Once you learn the basic fingering and strumming of a guitar, you can learn how to play power chords in half a day. Similarly, once you figure out what each button on the digital controller does, you can learn how to make dubstep songs within a day. Hell, this guy makes a simple one in 5 minutes. However, when you add complexity to it, with a variety of tones, lengths, and samples, it shows the skill of the DJ, and a dedication to making it “music”, not just "noise", and that’s what Klaypex does. They vary the wobble frequently, but don’t try to over-vary and over-layer the track with it.

Also, they get big ups for using a sped up and pitch shifted “Yellow!” from Monty Python and the Holy Grail on the track “Not Getting Any Better” (if they don’t, I apologize for the gross misinformation). Also they’re pretty cool guys, judging by their Facebook page (and this is in no way an attempt to get them to share this article, because I totally wouldn’t whore myself like that).

Unfortunately, they aren’t giving out Loose Dirt for free anymore (I got mine free, suckers), but they have a few of the songs for free on their website, and their Soundcloud page has free streaming of Loose Dirt, and their new album Ready to Go.

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