News & Reviews
Klute’s fifth D&B album ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’ has another
dose of melody
Review by BPM Smith
After launching a fifth Drum & Bass album last month in the UK
through his record label Commercial Suicide, Klute’s
latest is now set for release in record stores across the US. ‘The
Emperor’s New Clothes,’ coming on the heels of his memorable 2005
release ‘No One’s Listening Anymore,’ has everything you’d expect from
a Klute D&B release: bountiful melodies, varied drum lines and the
occasional bass bomb.
Klute, whose birthname is Tom Withers, as usual spins some
melodic yarns that are more introspective and cerebral than many of his
D&B counterparts. Klute is at his best when he goes fast and fluid,
and tracks like ‘Freedom Come’ and ‘Flight’ fit nicely early in a DJ
set, when the BPMs are full throttle but the bass has yet to peak.
But there’s some heavy bass in The Emperor’s New Clothes as well --
check out ‘Toiler’ and ‘Shirtless’ when it’s time to rumble -- and DJs
and remixers will without a doubt hone in on the obligatory sweet spots
perfectly suited for rewinds that we’ve come to expect from Klute.
Klute’s work is equally enjoyable in the living room, in a night club
or on the turntables. Longtime Klute fans will enjoy the vocals and
crisp snares in ‘Our Leader’ and ‘Property is Theft,’ which bring to
mind his all-time classic album ‘Lie, Cheat & Steal’ that should
have a place in any Drum & Bass-head’s library.
This latest album also includes a second disc with ambient techno
that’s ideal for chilling out after the night ends. Check out the Commercial
Suicide website for audio samples of each track.
Scale: 5 stars: Incredible!...
4 stars: Excellent... 3 stars: Good... 2 stars: Mediocre... 1 star:
Rating: 5 stars
The Bass Test: Every
album faces a severe test in BPM Smith’s car, where Pioneer woofers and
amps regularly out-ball the Hip Hop loving homeboys of Oakland,
California. The Emperor’s New Clothes continues Klute’s tradition of
fusing melodic beats with a more Techno flavor than most contemporary
D&B. If you’re looking for a head-bouncing album to fuel road trips
and fast drives through the city, this is your album. But if you want
each and every track to rattle the rear view mirror you’re better off
going for the standard D&B hell raisers like Commercial Suicide
stablemate SKC, DJ Fresh,
Bass Score: 8
Smith is a Drum & Bass DJ, novelist and editor of
WORD'N'BASS.com. He has more pairs of Prada sunglasses than No Limit
Hold ’Em tournament victories, but wants to challenge Greg Raymer
to a fried chicken eating contest. You can contact him by e-mail at
editor (at) word bass (dot) com
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