Review Summary: Well, fuck
Ladies and gentlemen, Knife Party has done it. The house duo has managed to take a floundering EDM world and sucked whatever life it had left out of its spirit. The Haunted House
EP is an example of everything wrong with an already controversial market of music, and everything contained within is on principle abhorrent. Though at one point Knife Party was acceptable (their 100% No Modern Talking
EP was at least decent), their style of “sounds-like-everyone-else” electro house has started to wear thin, as evidenced by their second release, Rage Valley
. The solution? Apparently, the duo consisting of Rob Swire and Gareth McGrillen has decided to produce four shameless ripoffs of many electro house songs released recently - and it’s a rather poor solution.
Now, these songs individually aren’t necessarily the worst things in the world. “Power Glove” sounds like something a relative producer newbie would come out with after hearing “Internet Friends” a couple times, and LRAD is pretty much any “let’s f**king rage” progressive house anthem which’ll shoot to the top of the charts on Beatport for a week and then abruptly fall off. Rather, it’s the idea of the EP that’s so horrific. The mere thought that these men who at one point turned the drum & bass world on its head would become practitioners of the so-called “EDM corporate bulls**t” which detracts so much from genres so fraught with stagnation as electro and progressive house would have been inconceivable some time ago. However, it’s clear that times have changed. I have to tip my hat to Knife Party at this point for releasing something which is so dumbed-down and machine-produced that there’s legitimately no life whatsoever left within. The songs themselves aren’t so much abominations in that they reach crunk-core levels of terrible, but rather they take an incredibly safe sound that’s guaranteed to sell, especially under a big name like Knife Party, and run with it over four songs. The approach here is so soulless and profit-hungry that the end result is almost terrifying to listen to. Every song here sounds so much like every single electro house song on the main radio rotations that it’s virtually impossible to look at the EP as anything other than a flagrant derivative of everything “marketable” in the EDM world, and as a result it embodies everything wrong with the market.
So, here’s to Knife Party. They have utterly destroyed any last vestige of respectability with Haunted House
, both in terms of their own reputation for decent house and in terms of the hope they brought to the EDM community only a year or two ago. They’ve gone out with a whimper, and will most likely continue to whimper for some time, maybe with more fetid EPs, maybe with popular live shows. Whatever they do, though, they most likely won’t be able to top the abhorrence of this EP. Finally succumbing to the commercialization of electro and progressive house, Knife Party have gone down quite a ways. Here’s to hoping that status will change soon.