In a quick six-song EP, the world’s only “trap band” manages to create a completely unique listening experience. Almost every single track exceeds expectations. The EP as a whole is difficult to succinctly describe as anything but a carefully crafted electronic set that is recommended to anyone who is a fan of any EDM-related genre.

Each of the widely varied influences is used to great effect to add a great deal of originality to their songs. The opening track, “Understand Why,” begins with a quick buildup with vocals to the main section of the song that wastes no time. The main beat of the song constantly changes and shifts under repeated vocals that never feel like they overstay their welcome. This also applies into the short time of every song as each one clocks in at between two and four minutes, which is just enough time to get the point across and move on. “Hypnotik” has these same tendencies, but with dramatically different results as different influences are combined together. This strips away the clutter while taking it slower in pace and shifts, which unfortunately makes it a relatively poor point on an otherwise impressive EP. Keys N Krates seems to work most effectively with constant clutter, more levels, and many layers to change and craft together.

“Are We Faded” and “Yes We Faded” represent complete mirrors of one another as progressive house types of buildups and lulls with spurts of glitch production give way to steady snare and bass with plenty of layering on top. This manages to climax in an odd combination of influences from the two that on paper simply should not work, but absolutely does on the track. “Your Love” provides a change of pace with light melodies and synths with a larger amount of noticeable sampling. The last track, “She’s So High,” takes the glitch influence that represented a backdrop to the EP previously and puts it right into the forefront. Crisp treble, deep bass, and uncluttered midrange are tendencies throughout all of the songs to demonstrate fantastic mixing and mastering in using all audio ranges effectively.

All in all, your enjoyment of any one song will most likely depend on your current take on all the different forms of EDM. This EP represents the best collaboration of these subgenres and how they can be used to amplify one another, even if they are adjusted based on Keys N Krates’ own stylistic choices. It is highly recommended, and you should be continuously hearing bits and pieces in popular sets throughout the rest of the year.

We live in an unusual age. It wasn’t so very long ago that to make it in the music world – to make it big – typically required several prerequisite years of unacknowledged shows in local bars and a few mediocre albums out of the way before a record label paved the path to fortune and fame. Nowadays, all it takes is one song to make a star, and two up-and-coming DJs set to hit Hamilton on Thursday night, are a testament to this phenomenon.

Sak Noel and DJ Rhiannon, despite division by their gender, nationality, style, and intent, share the necessary keys to the world of stardom: a few songs apiece that have garnered enough attention to have them touring around the world. In an interview on Sunday, Sak Noel and DJ Rhiannon opened up about their surprising musical intentions.

If you’ve been to Hess over the past few months, then you’ve probably heard Sak Noel’s popular dance hit “Loca People,” which is one of only three original tracks the Spanish artist has released. This trio, found on Sak Noel’s Crazy Society Trilogy LP, has rocketed the club-owner-turned-DJ to the international stage.

While these songs may be familiar to you, the Spanish artist’s political intent behind them probably isn’t. “The economic crisis [in Spain] is really hard right now and people are unemployed, and there are a lot of sad things going on. So my Crazy Society Trilogy is about that. I try and use that context to make dancefloor songs to make the people forget about that, but at the same time make them aware of what’s going on in Spain,” he explained. Sak Noel believes that there is room in electronic music for communicating messages of substance. “If you want, you can add some subtext to the music. Why not use dance music to share your opinions with the world?”

Fans of Sak Noel can expect more material to be released over the course of this year as a follow-up to Crazy Society Trilogy. “I have three or four projects [on the go]. I want to start to show my music more regularly… I want to spread my music throughout 2013,” he enthused, and hinted that an album is on the way.

DJ Rhiannon also has an album in the works, to be released some time this year. A well-established DJ who has spun with heavyweights such as Tiesto and Deadmau5 (as well as celebrities such as Paris Hilton and Snoop Dogg), this University of British Columbia graduate has begun recording her own tracks. Her rap music, which marks a departure from the EDM that she DJ’s in clubs, is aggressively provocative. The three original songs she has released so far – “Like a Slut,” “Nasty Bitch” and “All the Girls Do It” – are extremely sexually explicit. With lyrics like “Eat that shit, grind that clit / Don’t fuckin stop until she spits across the room / Pussy go boom!” it’s unsurprising that Rhiannon has been garnering attention.

In a rap scene dominated by arguably misogynistic male voices, Rhiannon hopes to offer an alternative female voice. “Whenever women talk about explicit subjects, it’s considered more shocking than when men talk about. If you listen to lyrics by Tyga or Lil Wayne, or name a male rapper, they’re usually talking about crazy explicit things,” she said. “I can’t really relate to drugs, I can’t relate to wanting to drive flashy cars, I can’t relate to violence… People talk about what they know. I’d be posing if I talked about anything other than [sex].”

Unlike her colleague Sak Noel’s politicized motivations, Rhiannon is markedly nonpolitical in her approach to the issue of female presence in rap music. “I wouldn’t necessarily say that I’m doing it to feel empowered. I just feel inclined to do it,” she explained. “Ever since I was a kid, I loved getting reactions out of people. I was a jokester, I liked to shock people and do crazy things to get people to laugh or just react. [Producing this kind of music] seemed like the next natural thing to do.”

Both Sak Noel and DJ Rhiannon are eagerly awaiting their upcoming performance and the chance to spread their unique sounds in Southern Ontario. “I’ve never been to Hamilton before but I’m very excited,” Sak Noel professed.

Sak Noel and DJ Rhiannon are performing on Thursday, Jan. 24 at Sizzle in Hess Village as part of VOLV’s BIG ROOM EDM SERIES, which aims to bring big names in the scene to an eager Hamilton audience. Tickets are available from VOLV online at http://volvsaknoel.eventbrite.com/ and at the door, starting at 10 p.m.

Sak Noel's popular hit "Loca People":

[youtube id="-d6b1yn-YhQ" width="620" height="360"]

DJ Rhiannon's song "All the Girls Do It":

[youtube id="rHH-hMSGGjc" width="620" height="360"]

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