Klax return with their sophomore EP on Critical Music
With their debut EP dropping over a year ago on Critical Music, followed by a string of remixes as well as that Bowie remix, it was about time Klax laid down a sophomore EP, and their latest outing on the label was certainly worth the wait.
The Brighton-based trio return with The Lucid EP; 5 tracks deep, it exhibits a more dancefloor-focused vibe to their production, and features weighty collaborations with Kyrist, Charli Brix and Hyroglifics.
The title track alone is a sheer masterclass in how to elicit furious nodding, yet again showcasing a broad artistic range, as well as a swift reminder their sound and approach to production continues to evolve with every release.
We caught up to find out more about the EP and what else is on the agenda for 2018 and beyond…
Ez fellas! Where have we caught you today?
In the bat cave AKA the studio…
The Lucid EP – what a trip! It’s been over a year since your full-length EP debut on Critical; how did you approach this EP? Has your mindset changed significantly since Rekanize?
With this EP we wanted to apply our experimental sound to a traditional formula, but believe it or not, ear-catching straight drum and bass rollers are hard to write, and I think our previous EP’s have been a bit more on the fringes of drum and bass…
Well your sound certainly continues to evolve with each release and there’s real progression there rather than getting bogged down in the same styles/ sounds. Do you think that’s the huge advantage of having 3 heads working together?
There are definite advantages and disadvantages of working as a trio as we all have different ideas to bring to the table and all listen to very varied music outside of drum and bass.
The disadvantage is that sometimes it’s hard to get three people to agree on things, especially when sculpting a sound at the beginning if a tune could go either way.
Are you quite honest with each other when it comes to feedback? You’ve known each other for over 10 years so no doubt makes it easier to be quite brutal with your feedback as opposed to someone you’re perhaps not as comfortable with?
Yes this is totally true, you have to be critical 😉 And honest because it can really prevent the tunes reaching their full potential.
Lucid is an absolute persy. Love the progression throughout and the depth the vocal brings to the arrangement. What’s the story behind this one, was it the catalyst for the EP as a whole?
No Lucid had been sitting around for ages and started out as a liquid tune, which then turned into about 5 tunes before we actually nailed it and glued it all together. It certainly wasn’t one of those ones we just rolled out.
Seems to be a Bristol connection happening here with collabs on the EP with both Charli Brix & Kyrist. Let’s touch on Become first – was the tune written around Charli’s vocals or did she bring those in once the tune was already finished?
We had a rough sketch idea floating about that Charli was vibing off of when she came down for a social, so we took it to the studio and threw out some melody ideas for the vocal.
Charli then took it away and wrote the lyrics and laid them down at Sam Binga’s studio in Bristol. We always knew we wanted to write a full vocal song with Charli rather than a 16 bar vocal hook, so it was the perfect time for it.
Regulus with Kyrist is an absolute beast, too. Love the syncopated rhythm and all the different layers to it. How did the link with Kirsty come about? Were you guys able to jam in the studio together? Must get crowded! 😉
We’ve been friends with Kirsty for a long time and always spoke about making a tune together, and after sending a few different versions back and forth we had a half-finished track that she played out, and it went off.
Kas was really into it so we rolled it out and there you go! It was more of an online collab, but yeah it would have been a tad crowded that one! haha
Regulus is one of the brightest stars in the night sky… I’m getting quite a dreamy pattern from the track names here – How do you guys decide on the titles?
Mainly tripping out at squat raves… Haha, also we often name the tune once it’s finished and we’ve had a chance to ruminate on it and listen to it as listeners, rather than producers.
Lucid is maybe in reference to the fact a lot of our other tunes have been quite experimental and trippy, whereas with Lucid we took all those elements and combined them into a formula that works for the dance floor.
Who’re the brightest stars in D&B for you at the moment?
Perez needs to pull his socks up and start writing rollers… (Only joking Alix! :p ) 1985 has been smashing it!
Monty, obviously coming with consistent rollers, as well as QZB & Synth Ethics. There’s a lot of potential in the scene at the moment, we think there’s gonna be a fare few breakthrough artists this year!
Agreed! Back to the EP – Love the industrial vibes to Boogieboard with Hyroglifics. Like an angle grinder gone rogue. Is there a story behind this one?
We had been messing about with the main synth sound for a while but hadn’t found a home for it in a tune yet. Matt came down and we got in the studio, and after showing him the sound we just decided to lay down some straight D&B drums and it just snowballed after that. We managed to catch the vibe quick and get it done in pretty much two days.
What’s your personal fave off the EP, and why?
Each track suits a different mood. We’d say Lucid sits nicely between all of them, but vibe-wise Become takes the biscuit.
Were any tracks particularly difficult to complete?
Yep, Lucid took fucking ages just because it went through so many different forms and we all had very different ideas about where it should go, but it was worth the toil in the end!
Indeed! The past year has been an intriguing one for you guys, with the Bowie remix as well as a few other stellar remixes in the bag – What’s in store for the rest of 2018?
Yeah the Bowie remix was a weird one wasn’t it?
We’re working on tunes for our next Critical EP at the moment, got a load of new collabs on the go with some of our favourite producers and a remix or two on the way, keep your ears to the ground 😉
Any final shouts?
Big up the Critical fam, Kas, Badge, maybe Jos, and everyone supporting our music!
The Lucid EP is out now on Critical – get it here.