Keys N Krates continue their live bass revolution with ‘Every Nite’ [EP Review]
To refer to Keys N Krates as Canada’s first trap band is to try and simplify a welcomingly complicated equation in modern dance terms. Fostered by Dim Mak, approved by Diplo and racking a daring live edge to the urban dance landscape, the imperfection of bringing real instrumental composure into the equation has been the Toronto outfit’s greatest weapon to date. Where 2013’s SOLOW marked an outright explosion of their intuitive urban sound, Every Nite hones it to a fine art, opening a defining hour for an act immediately imitable, but frankly untouched within the modern market.
Despite packing two more tracks than its predecessor, Every Nite does not let its audience get too comfortable or familiar. “Understand Why” warms the triplets and tightly-pitched samples up nicely, switching at the click of a finger to the juxtaposing 808-kicks and delicate melodic swells of “Hypnotik.” This is just the first of many signs of life from an EP with little evident interest in playing into any sub-genre’s comfort zones. Hold initial hooky vocal single “Are We Faded” alongside interlude movement “Yes We Faded” and you see a transition from futuristic trap to traditional sluggish hip-hop armed with manipulated big room leads. “Your Love” and “She’s So High” test the textures of a supposedly limited musical space with similar success, showing where the perfection of percussive stamina and customization of familiar dance floor sounds can open the creative capacity without bowing to tired concepts often subscribed to by the short-player format.
The overall theme here is intuitive bass music that dares to open the door to unpredictability. As easily accessible on the dance floor as it is digestible as an essential hip-hop hybrid for the 21st century market, these six tracks speak of a vision still being perfected, but no less impressive in the hands of the unprecedented Canadian heavyweights. If SOLOW is to be remembered as the trio’s curtain raiser for Dim Mak then Every Nite is sure to go down as the short player that set the stage for Keys N Krate’s outright live reckoning of the urban dance landscape.