Review Summary: In his own unique style, Klute captures a spirit laced with stunning melodies and diverse ideas. It doesn't take much effort to see where Klute is coming from, each song providing unique and rewarding rides.
It seems that if any songs on Klute’s latest album The Emperor’s New Clothes
were to be described as self-inspired, Toiler
would be the most appropriate fit. It is with amazement that Klute’s third straight double-album should be greeted, and further shock at the ever-increasing amount and range of sounds that he crams into each creation. Yet this seemingly laid back British chap seems to love pushing himself until each album offers listeners a palette rich and dynamic in sound. Typically Klute’s albums have been categorized into one disc of more straightforward Drum & Bass, with the other being more ambient inspired techno. Yet such classifications do not do justice the spirit which his albums possess, teeming with life, beauty and killer beats.
Many Drum & Bass artists harness styles packed with power, their albums showcasing heavy breakbeats together with melodies matching the volume and strength of the beat. Pendulum
and London Elektricity
often push out songs high in action and pacing, as if each instrument tries to match and then outdo each other. Klute however often seems more reserved, not to the point where his music lacks punch and excitement in clubs. Rather his music is less willing to take the obvious, more willing to just go with what works for him. This makes the album quite endearing, in that Klute does not come off as pretentious or subject to other’s opinions on Drum & Bass. His music merely reflects what sounds good to him, and it seems his deft touch always takes songs just where they need to go.
balances each segment of the song nicely, and although the vocalist may have an accent that comes off slightly cheesy, the layering of the vocals over hollow electronic flute-like noises provides a superb combination. The vocals also seem to follow their own pace, somewhat unconcerned with the quick and bass-laden breakbeats underneath it. The attention to detail is obvious, with each aspect of the song feeling purposeful, yet as mentioned before completely in going with what sounds good. *** Minimal
serves as another example, this time focused more on the higher ranges. A nice steady humming bass line provides the lining to squeaky and bouncy synth notes. Though not a highlight on the album, *** Minimal
does highlight the diversity of the album, and the detail with which Klute focuses on each song.
In the past Klute has been a master at combining innocent airy melodies with strong breakbeats that only serve to accentuate the beauty of the hair-raising melody. Though his past efforts such as Saviour
have set high standards, Our Leader
proves that Klute is still growing as an artist. It may seem a criticism that the actual drum and bass is secondary, yet it is clearly to the benefit of the song. The high-paced beat gives the utterly compelling melody free rein, yet gives it direction all the same. The pace never lets up, and though one may at times wish to just let the melody carry on, the unrelenting beat pushes on through more and more beautiful segments. The mix of pure melody over light-weight and high-tempo beat seems one Klute is incredibly adept at utilizing, and never before has the result been so alluring.
Quite often though, Klute does not seem to push so hard at the songs, he seems more intent on giving himself more room to play with the melody. Hell Hath No Fury
again features a fast beat, but unlike Our leader
the melody this time seems to not be guided by the beat. The hand with which he controls the song seems much softer, yet the precision with which he controls the layering and the transitions is once again impeccable. 174 BPM
seems to dawdle about a lot, with Klute focusing in on the sustained bass as the main feature of the song. While other songs push forward intensely, songs such as 174 BPM
show a willingness to merely play around with a melody or a beat. The album suffers slightly from this, not always able to maintain attention. It does however balance the album nicely between action and rest.
Most refreshing of all though is the accessibility of the album. Drum & Bass is always a genre hard to penetrate for those outside it. The Emperor’s New Clothes
is as ready to be devoured as any album, the joys of the album not hidden under layers of pretension. The irresistible melodies come straight to the surface, and with a strong motor the album covers them all in a ride that ends far too quickly. Those unfamiliar with Drum & Bass may not know where to look, yet those who turn to Klute are unlikely to turn away with a feeling of disappointment.
Categories prove useless in describing The Emperor’s New Clothes
. While one disc is up-tempo, the other laid back. The two discs expand upon their boundaries whenever the need arises. The culmination of Klute’s hard work sees not an album rigid and trapped to the confines of what should be. Taking little note of the direction of his contemporaries, Klute takes listeners on an exploratory journey; covering pure untarnished melodies, brooding bass lines and tight breakbeats. His ideas are laid out on the line, and what he presents seems only to reflect what sounds good to him. His previous efforts set high standards to match, yet The Emperor’s New Clothes
in its vibrancy and energy provides an engrossing experience, one indicative of passion and hard work.