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REVIEW: 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.

KluteKlute, 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: Lame!

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, or Calyx.

Bass Score: 8

BPM 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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