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Aug092007

Klute – The Emperor’s New Clothes – Album Review

Label: Commercial Suicide

by: Neil McCullough

Klute - The Emperor's New Clothes

Klute hits us with his fifth album project, the third to be released on his own imprint ‘Commercial Suicide’ and also the third album in a row where he has treated us to two albums in one. Yes folks its buy one get one free time here as Klute lands a double CD monster in your local music shop. Whilst Klute has been a stable part of the Drum & Bass scene for years, he has always stood out on his own, unwilling to follow trends and as well as dabbling in many styles of drum and bass he also revels in producing other genres of music, most notably Techno. His first album on Commercial Suicide contained a CD of DnB and a CD of Techno, his second album was accompanied by a CD full of more downtempo, breakbeat work and this time he comes back with a second CD full of his own original Techno compositions.

So, the first CD as ever is Klute’s current take on his Drum and Bass personality. As ever these are musical and techno influenced tracks and he covers a range of styles across the CD from vocal tracks to harder techno influenced dancefloor tracks to mellower numbers and even a Punk style track. Before becoming a Drum and Bass don Klute (real name Tom Withers) was in a punk band called ‘The Stupids’, we have heard this influence sporadically in track before, most notably on last years single release ‘Learning Curve’ but the track ‘Toiler’ from this album is much more like a full on punk / Drum & Bass crossover track, with vocals guitar and a jumping, bouncy pace and rhythm. There are pure Drum and Bass rollers with the quality ‘We Control The Vertical’, with it’s techno vibes flowing in and out of a superbly built track that builds up and down beautifully and ‘174 BPM’ with it’s awesome bass and a hint of a certain Amit’s style.

Klute

Once again there is also a collaboration with one of the best Drum and Bass producers around, the genius that is Calibre, and as expected the results are wonderful. The track ‘Freedom Come’ is quite different to a Calibre track, but you can hear his influence all over it, with superbly chosen and placed samples. Other tracks include ‘Our Leader’ with eerie and subtle female vocals, ‘Never Never’ and ‘Property is Theft’ continue in the musical rolling style that Klute does so well and are two of the albums highlights with great depth and subtlety yet and different to the other tracks. As well as the previously mentioned ‘Toiler’ there are other steppier tracks adding to the variety of this release, such as ‘Shirtless’ with its quirky vibes.

Also included on the CD version are two tracks previously released on vinyl singles. There’s Revolution from Klute’s recent release on Shogun Audio. Then there is the absolutely stunning Hell Hath No Fury, one of the best tracks of 2005, and a great addition to this release despite its age.

Moving on to the second CD, full of Klute’s Techno compositions, and there are some strange names here, with track titles including ‘Pissed Jeans’ and Tight Black Pants. Once again it’s a varied affair with some harder dancefloor bashing tracks and some more minimal atmospheric affairs. There’s the beautiful ‘Only Memory is a Good One’, the funky and bleepy ‘Maintain’, ‘Tight Black Pants’ with the harder and darker vibe. ‘TSA’ and ‘Sexy Party’ are two of the other more dancefloor orientated Techno tracks.

Klute

There are also more musical and atmospheric, laid back Techno tracks here, such as ‘There is a Point’, ‘Sold Out’ and ‘Outside’ which close off the album. The vibe on this second CD, although not Drum & Bass, is very reminiscent of older music release by Klute and others on the Certificate 18 label and once again Klutes creativity and diversity strike you.

Klute delivers once again a diverse, melodic and forward thinking Drum & Bass album, which has not only a variety of sounds and style but also moods and emotions, with the bonus of a second CD of quality, diverse Techno. It’s a testament to him that he can hold his head high with his productions in Drum & Bass and Techno, two of dance music’s more ‘purist’ filled genres.

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