A Chat in the Doghouse: Kayzo on his breakthrough new EP
“Relieved” is the single word Kayzo, the American bass monster, used to describe the release of his latest EP. The project has been a long time in the making, and the five-song package finally saw a full-fledged release this month. This project marks a big step in Kayzo’s career: he now has his own record imprint, appropriately named Doghouse Recordings, and as the festival season picks up, we’re beginning to see much more of his harder music around the world. Described by Kayzo as an “addition to the colorful collection of music [he’s] put out,” the entire EP displays a wide variety of sounds and styles from the LA-native, and is one of the best projects released on the bass music scene in 2016. “The EP lets me guide the listener down a variations of feelings and emotions I’ve been able to convey so far with my music,” Kayzo says. “I want to say from now on The Doghouse EP will just serve as a platform to an even more diverse direction musically.”
Kayzo’s recent success is no secret. He contributes some of his popular recognition to bass music mainstays Carnage and Adventure Club. When discussing Carnage’s support of his “Bricks” remix, Kayzo stated that since his track’s big debut on the EDC stage, “nothing has been the same.” Now, with his highly-anticipated EP finally hitting the public, Kayzo has a chance to stand out from the crowd and no longer be defined by those that contributed to his rise.
With new his new EP, Hayden delivers his notoriously filthy sound right out of the gate. “Can’t Stop” is a relentless, hard hitting hybrid track that blends his signature hardstyle sound with a sort of half-time and electro-inspired section. The track opens up and closes rather quickly — coming in at under three minutes, the track becomes quite a wild ride with each listen. “Cant Stop” serves as a nice sampler of what is to come — you get your classic thumping hard bass on this EP, but you’ll also hear some new delights from young Kayzo.”Hardstyle is a big passion of mine, but at the same time music in general is my passion,” Kayzo writes. This statement speaks volumes, and certainly gives some valuable insight into what went into the creation of The Doghouse EP.
Continuing, the EP gives us “Smack,” a no-nonsense dubstep tune with enough wobbles to satisfy any basshead. When you talk modernized dubstep, you’ll have a hard time finding a more pure form than “Smack”; the track begins with an overly-delicate melodic section before a no-holds-barred section of grime and spectacular synth work.
Next up is “Welcome To The Doghouse,” a track that Kayzo himself had a lot to say about, and he described the track in a way we never could: “Yea, when I said I was relived to get the EP out, I’m basically talking about that specific song. ‘Welcome to the Doghouse’ was initially started around Christmas-time 2014 as a 128 [beats-per-minute] song. [It was a] completely different key too. I ended up getting the vocals for it done early on from my friend Sullivan King, so I had the song name direction down from the start, but as the Doghouse brand grew, I knew this would be more of statement track or testament to the brand, so I knew it had to be big. This is why I think in the ended up rewriting the song about four times over before finalizing. I wanted a song that could be for a long time sort of a statement to my live sets too. Like ‘you’re now entering the doghouse, get ready for a intense hour and a half.'” What Kayzo says is no lie or gimmick; having been following the development of “Welcome to the Doghouse” for a while now, and it has certainly gone under multiple operations to be what it is now. You may be able to find some of the older versions in various Kayzo sets, but this rendition of his theme song feels the most appropriate.
Following “Welcome to the Doghouse,” Kayzo introduces us to “The Dogs.” With a repetitive catch phrase pinned throughout the tune, this track seems perfectly suited for Kayzo’s upcoming performances. The track takes an electro-house style and adds that extra bit of Kayzo flair. As we get our last taste of Kayzo’s ruggedness from the EP, “The Dogs” is a highly enjoyable electro-house venture without crossing the dangerous line of being considered “big room.”
The Doghouse EP comes to a close with “Born Again.” Don’t put too much thought into the title of the song: Kayzo insists that he is hardly trying to reinvent his brand or style. Regardless, “Born Again” is a highly appealing vocal venture into the future bass genre. Glistening synths float above thick basslines as Kayzo paves an easy listening path out of his latest project — that is, after teasing us with some hardstyle kicks. Vocal chops are thrown in for some good genre-appropriate measure, of course. “Born Again” may not be the track you were expecting to close Kayzo’s new project, but we are certainly happy that it does.
Ultimately, Kayzo’s The Doghouse EP is a well-wrought bass project. Truth be told, it’s difficult to nail down a genre that classifies Kayzo, but that’s deliberate: “I just go out there and play what I really enjoy, no gimmicks. No matter what genre is it, I more or less would call what I’m pushing as Kayzo music. I wan’t people to come to my shows and listen to my records and be like ‘yo that’s Kayzo music, that’s his own style/sound.'” Goal accomplished, Kayzo.