On Tuesday, September 23rd, a brand new EP, “Every Nite,” was released by a fairly new electronic music act called Keys N Krates. This 808-advocate group consists of drummer Adam Tune, synth/keyboardist David Matisse and DJ/turntablist Jr. Flo. The trio first gained traction and capitalized massively on 2013’s trap music stint. Their sophomore release “SOLOW,” on Steve Aoki’s Dim
Mak Records consisted of two huge festival anthems, including the incredibly catchy and demanding “Treat Me Right” as well as the tune that got its fair share of remixes “Dum Dee Dum.”
Dubbed as one of the only trap bands well-known, the group occasionally releases videos via Youtube and Facebook from their humble studio based in Toronto. These videos are equivalent to deejays in the electronic scene releasing podcasts or mixes for their fans to listen in on. It is what separates Keys N Krates from an overwhelming majority of producers. They are the necessary outlier, and have unintentionally, but quite successfully created their own sub-genre.
As for their live act, the band’s fans are able to indulge in percussion-esque vinyl scratching, live sampling and formulaic trap drums. The combination of these elements, fused with light melodic synths give off a vibrant urban sound, one that Keys N Krates has adopted.
Catching fire from “All the Time,” their hip-hop remake of Tove Lo’s “Habits,” the group kept its flame burning with the release of “Every Nite.”
The first song off the EP revisits their signature high-pitched, repetitious vocal manipulation. When “Understand Why” breaks, an eerie aura is produced by samples of heavy breathing and a lead vampiric melody before dropping back into its bass roots.
“Hypnotik” is more bass-heavy and fuses exotic instrumentation with twerk elements. The break beat serves as a build up and highlights Adam Tune’s ability to vary his drum patterns.
Their lead single “Are We Faded” almost immediately begins with a break beat, setting the stage for the energized track. The vocal sample, doubling as the lead melody, leads into a head-banging staggered drop. The break is outlined by a single-note, plucked-bass synth and is nicely complemented with harmonizing modulation.
The response track “Yes We Faded” tastes like ache and utter regret. It yells “told you so” to its childish, mischievous counterpart. The song’s vocal sample is dazed and groggy, while its melody falls short of triumph. The pair of tunes cleverly depicts a young generation of binge drinking and morning-after tales.
“Your Love” holds elements of a jam band song, with off beat rhythms and varied drum fills. While Keys N Krates does not actually incorporate a lyrical ingredient, the intent of the song is clear; Falling in love is never conventional, but rather unpredictable and hard to adjust to. Thus, improvisation is necessary, and is reiterated through a frustrated display of music.
Capping off their EP with “She’s So High,” the release comes full circle. A short clip of muffled dialogue introduces the track, which signals the last call for sonic alcohol. A laid-back beat sets vibes for the end of the night and allows listeners to recall the range of emotional anxiety they have experienced during “Every Nite.” This roller coaster of love, regret, and misunderstanding ends with contentment.
But aside from giving the EP a full listen, fans cannot sustain their contentment without seeing a live show on the band’s “Every Nite” tour. Catch Keys N Krates as they will be playing cities all across the US and of course, their homeland Canada, throughout the next two seasons.