The heart and mind of hip-hop may rest in its lyrics (with the right emcee behind the mic, of course), but the beats remain the spine and soul. Keys N Krates highlight this fact more than ever with seven sample-ridden romps on their first release of original music, the Blackout EP. Coming off the heels of collaborating and remixing some big names in the business, the group rips through fat bass lines, synth chords, and live instrumentation with just the right amount of electro finesse and hip-hop sneer.
The previously featured “Uncle Otis” samples the similarly titled cut from Watch The Throne, retaining the boldness of the Jay/Ye track from earlier this year, but KNK morph their approach into an electro-house frolic more reminiscent of Justice than a Brooklyn street corner. “Ring The Alarm” and “Luv To Luv You” also bear that distinct hip-hop feel of clapping percussion and soulful vocal samples but steadily transform into driving dance numbers. Cunningly taking the aggressiveness of hip-hop and molding it into a sexy, inviting set of songs, keyboardist Matisse, drummer Adam Tune, and DJ Jr-Flo show on their first offering that even the clever hip-hopper wants to rave once in a while.
Essential tracks: “Oh Baby”, “Luv To Luv You”