Camo and Krooked
Cross The Line


4.0
excellent

Review

by Will Robinson STAFF
October 2nd, 2013 | 14 replies | 1,258 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Case For Commercial Electronic Music: Part 1

Cross The Line will always be a formative album for me, regardless of how I would view it if I first heard it now. I’ve played the whole thing through at least thirty times, and it remains fresh and entertaining even today. While some would scoff at the copious amounts of cheese, the album holds a special place in my heart as the first drum & bass album I could really call my own. I love TC’s heavily edited vocals, I love the way the toy piano dissipates into utter madness on “Run Riot,” and I love the meshing of classic roller vibes and big-room jump-up on “Anubis.” Though it’s true the album only cuts about skin-deep, it’ll always paint wonderful images of florid DnB and simplistic glory whenever I hit play on my iPod.

Taking a step back, though, why shouldn’t it? Of all producers to represent the burgeoning market of new-school jump-up and liquid funk, Camo & Krooked form the best face I can think of. Their sound, at once quintessentially representative of the movement towards the dancefloor and the idea that the best DnB doesn’t have to be the stuff that apes what’s already been done by Goldie, Photek, and Dillinja, is aural caramel: the stuff slides sweetly and easily into the head in a way that few producers nowadays can match. Though it’s difficult to tell initially, the production is spotless: every washed-out breakbeat, every thumping kick, every distorted power chord is tuned to perfection. And while some would ignore the point of quality production to say that the LP lacks character, Cross The Line still makes a compelling argument for the fate and future of maximalist DnB. Standout track “Far Away” is one of the best examples of this, with a fantastically euphoric buildup which leads right into some of the best driving, distorted, simplistic melody riffs since the inception of the duo’s signature style.

The album doesn’t stop there, though: everything from the adrenaline-junkie raw energy of “Watch It Burn” to the grimy, brosteppy brilliance of “The Lesson” screams charisma and vibrancy into the listener’s ear. Camo & Krooked have created a beautiful lesson in the art of the quote-unquote “mainstream success,” and it’s great to see the successes they’ve achieved here. Though it’s difficult for me to look at Cross The Line completely objectively, it’s difficult to find fault with the album - the seamless tracks exemplify how commercial drum & bass should sound. The album is a compelling case for the legitimacy of the liquid cheese so many complain about, and while many would find fault with the album simply because there is a lot of cheese present, in the context of pushing the DnB sound forward Cross The Line is a major success.



Recent reviews by this author
Rustie Green LanguageThe Bug Angels and Devils
Venetian Snares My Love Is A BulldozerSeven Lions Worlds Apart
Big Freedia Just Be FreeSam Smith In the Lonely Hour
user ratings (19)
Chart.
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Brostep
Staff Reviewer
October 2nd 2013



3413 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Starting a new series based on quote-unquote "EDM" albums I enjoy in order to destigmatize dance music just because it's dance music. Let me know how it comes off.

mindleviticus
October 2nd 2013



8200 Comments


this is so bland

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
October 2nd 2013



3413 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Disagree, in terms of this style this is actually pretty interesting

Acanthus
October 2nd 2013



9537 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah never thought anyone had any real issues with this group, they never struck me as polarizing (just solid).

Digging: The Cure - The Head on the Door

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
October 2nd 2013



3413 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Dev's giving this a 2 suggests otherwise I guess, but I agree that they're really solid

Acanthus
October 2nd 2013



9537 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

He likes their debut more is all.

mindleviticus
October 2nd 2013



8200 Comments


i'd give it like a 2.5 if i cared more to listen to the whole thing

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
October 3rd 2013



31050 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

This album just pisses me off because they had a nice little thing going on their debut and they slaughtered it in exchange for stock-standard edm-ready jump-up nonsense

There's also barely any liquid on here

Digging: Marcel Dettmann - Fabric 77

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
October 3rd 2013



31050 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Their new album is ass as well

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
October 3rd 2013



31050 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Also, (third post I know), but I don't know how I feel about you "making a case" for "commercial dance music" (and by you I mean anyone). Like the fact that you feel the need to make a case for it kind of says it all - wouldn't the albums you're planning on using as evidence fare better if you instead reviewed them with no other pretense?

Eloriaz
October 3rd 2013



686 Comments


Listening to their first album right now and it's tasty so far. I will soon give a listen to this! Curious to know if I'll like it or not seeing how opinions are mixed.

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
October 3rd 2013



6390 Comments


the album holds a special place in my heart as the first drum & bass album I could really call my own.

How so?

Good review. Used to really like some tracks from these guys.

Digging: Vessel - Punish, Honey

Hep Kat
October 3rd 2013



15247 Comments


i told you not to do this jitbag


Digging: Botany Boyz - Forever Botany

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
October 3rd 2013



3413 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I'm really just reviewing the albums as I'd normally go about them, but justifying the reviews with a "case for commercial dance" or whatever lets me basically review whatever I want. And yes, I realize there's nothing stopping me from reviewing whatever I want, but this kind of "limitation" on what I review helps focus me in the direction of some albums I've wanted to talk about (like this one, for example). So essentially I'm just gonna be reviewing some of my favorite quote-unquote "EDM" albums and say the common summary (kind of like the recent "Guide to british contemporary music" one of the users is doing right now). And given the kind of automatic gut response people give to phrases like "commercial electronic" and "EDM" on the site, I feel it is indeed necessary to highlight some of the albums which are actually worthwhile.

As for the whole "liquid" piece, I'm pretty sure people have bastardized the term "liquid funk" to refer to guys like the new Hospital crowd. It's not really liquid, it's not really jump-up, and therefore since there's not really a defining term I figured using phrases like "liquid cheese" is all right. Kind of like my treatment of the term "glitch hop" to refer to swung, midtempo dubstep-influenced breaks - I realize there's nothing "glitch" or "hop" about it but because the term's almost universally used at this point there's no real reason I see to get caught up in semantics.

Plus, I actually am seriously enjoying the new album. Really nice mainstream cheese, just like what I love about the duo.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy