In the wake of Porter Robinson’s very strong release of his debut album Worlds yesterday lies a hidden gem. This group hasn’t released an album for two years, and (not that I was actively looking for them) has been relatively quiet. Johnny Atar, Mark Emmanuel and Alan Notkin together make up Klaypex. You might not know the name, but I’m nearly positive that you know the reason why they’re famous.
“DUBSTEP GUNS” currently has nearly 16m views and essentially launched Klaypex to stardom. They soon-after released their first album Loose Dirt which received rave reviews. A year later they followed up with sophomore attempt Ready To Go. Unfortunately, the second album did not live up to the hype. Personally, I felt that it was trying too hard to ride on the coattails of their first release and didn’t expand their sound enough. Others might have been happy that it was so similar, but I expected a bit more. And so I haven’t really kept up with them for the past two years… until I suddenly discovered they had just released a third album. And, wow, they made up for lost time.
It’s really a shame that Anything Goes was released on the same day as Worlds, because it’s quite a heavy shadow to be under. Fortunately, I think the album can speak for itself. Where the second album lacked diversity and maturity in sound, Anything Goes shines brilliantly. Experimentations in trap, melbourne bounce, big room, deep house, electroswing, and their own classic style of dubstep all coalesce to create a unique album experience.
The intro is a bouncy, summertime track with some awesome indie vocals that proves to be a great start to the album. And the album itself has a very parabolic feel to it; by that, I mean that does a great job of working with the rise and fall of expectations, in a near symmetrical fashion. As an album, it is very well-constructed and Klaypex must have worked tirelessly to achieve this level of excellence.
All of the tracks on the album work wonderfully as singles, but there are a few that are true stand-outs. ‘Follow Me’ is a wonderfully warm tune, no doubt in part thanks to Anne Nguyen’s wonderful voice. The uplifting synths and constant 4×4 beat serve to lull you into a hypnotic groove that is quite difficult to deny. ‘1941’ on the other hand is a powerfully fun electroswing number. I really wish that more producers experimented with the style, because I have yet to find a genre that can so universally reach people and get them dancing. Virian’s vocals are sultry sweet and fit perfectly with the old-style swing of the track.
And then there’s ‘Hava’… ohhhh, ‘Hava’. For anyone who has ever been to a Bar Mitzvah, you’re going to immediately recognize the track as a “remix” of Hava Nagila, a festive Jewish song usually heard at celebrations. I have no earthly idea where Klaypex got the idea to turn it into a melbourne bounce track, but they did. And somehow it came out sounding pretty damn awesome. This kind of out-of-the-box thinking is what I’ve come to expect from Klaypex but I mean just… wow. Finally, there’s the PSA-esque track ‘Informative Broadcast’ that seemlessly blends melbourne bounce, big room house and trap into an educational three minutes, forty seconds. Attributing their reasoning to the fact that “the amount of EDM genres has gotten somewhat out of hand,” the track goes from one drop to another highlighting the typical properties associated with each genre. They do it quite masterfully, I might add.
Anything Goes came as quite a surprise but I’m glad that I stumbled onto it, and now I’m quite excited to see if Klaypex will be doing a tour to accompany the release. I’d really like to pick the guys’ brains on their influences. They’ve certainly put it a great deal of effort for this, their third release. It’s actually quite inspiring to see a group understand their limitations, and understand the changing landscape of EDM, and use it as a platform to showcase how much they’ve matured.
Purchase Anything Goes HERE and check out the album stream below.