A couple of days ago we were lucky enough to get dibs on Klax's 'Hotline', one of the tracks lifted from their Critical Systems EP (which was released today). The release dropped a mere week before they link up with Critical here in Farringdon, when the mighty drum & bass collective return to pilot our Room One space. The Brighton based trio have been bubbling up for a while now, having previously tested out some of their wares in Rooms Two and Three over the last couple years so we thought it prudent to get them answering a few of our probing questions, as we introduce you properly to Brighton's burgeoning production triad.
Klax: Since finishing the EP we've been getting down sounds and ideas, collaborating, playing a few shows and just generally keeping busy. We've just recently moved into a new studio so we'll be spending some time getting that all set-up nice.
You’re playing in Room One later this month. How do you like to execute your sets? Do you mould your sets around the vibe of the lineup you’re playing or just go with what feels right on the night?
Usually we will partly plan our sets around what kind of crowd we are playing for or which kind of night/label, but still leave room for improvising so we can react to the crowd. We've been playing with a variety of artists recently so we can't be too rigid!
So take us back to the beginning, how did you guys meet and come to work together?
Joel and Benny G have know each other for years through friends and music circles in Brighton. Joel and Benny P met through a local record shop (RIP Rounder!) and started Klax as a dubstep duo. The two Bens then met through Joel and started making 170bpm style stuff. We all knew each other and just seemed right to bring it all together. We've all come from quite different musical backgrounds which has definitely given us some broad scope and contacts.
As a trio, do you have a specific process when it comes to working together in the studio?
We all have home set ups as well so we will usually work on projects individually during the week and start ideas and then pass them around and then all come together at the studio to work on the best ideas and then finish them off together. Since finishing the EP we've started a new approach to getting ideas and sounds down through making our own sample packs and having one big online drive that's shared between us and people we collaborate with. It certainly cuts down on snare tweaking while your just trying to get a vibe down.
How would you say you complement each other sonically and how does that resonate throughout your music?
Each of us has quite a different musical background but we've all gravitated around drum and bass, even though we tend stray quite far from that classic sound. Benny G has been in the scene for a while and really brings the dance-floor sensibilities, Joel has produced under numerous alias's in house to dubstep giving him a lot of production knowledge and Ben P has experimented with many styles, bringing new sounds and pulling influences from a lot of genres. Between the three of us we cover quite a broad spectrum of music for inspiration so when we hear each other's ideas there's usually something one of us can draw from and bring to the table which is the bonus of having 3 sets of ears yet ultimately we all have a similar vision in what we want the end product to be so it works well.
Looking back, what have been the biggest moments and the greatest challenges so far?
Writing an EP that we we're all happy with for Critical has been a challenge, especially as Critical was a goalpost for us when we first started. There's often an element of uncertainty when sitting back and listening to your material but this time we've gone a bit farther afield sound-wise so just knowing when to send that final version can be a challenge in itself and waiting to see how its received. Being asked to play Room one at fabric is a big moment for us having played all the other rooms previously its good to see the progression. As far as biggest moments this past year we've had loads of names we never expected to support and play our material really get behind our tunes from Sub Focus, Chase and Status to Noisia, its pretty good motivation!
What else is going on with you at the moment?
We are going to hibernate for the cold months in the new studio, get our heads down and finish off some projects. We've also been looking for vocalists to work with as we haven't done much vocal material yet so we're collating some ideas for when we find the right artist.
What other aspirations have you laid for 2016?
Nothing specific really. We'd like to work with some other artists outside of d&b and try bring something different to the table. Its a really interesting time for drum and bass at the moment, everyone's trying to bring that next sound, its fun to see what you can add to the melting pot!