The Lucid is a fitting title for Klax’s latest release on Critical Music, out this Friday May 25. The Brighton trio is known for their ability to combine dark, heavy, neuro-tinged beats and bass with beautiful, spine-tingling melodies like no one else in the game right now can. While most of The Lucid definitely fits this description, today’s Bassrush premiere track off the EP called “Boogieboard,” a collab with Hyroglifics, is quite another matter.
The Lucid features an interesting fusion of liquid melodies and vocals with its opener and title track as well as second track “Become” with Charli Brix. Once the EP lands on “Boogieboard,” however, the release takes on a completely different tone, which extends to the last two tracks, “Regulus” and “Phased Out.” “Boogieboard” is steppy, heavy and ravey all at once. It’s likely the most primetime dancefloor-ready banger drum & bass has yet seen from Klax and really showcases the trio’s fun side and capacity for jump-up fusion.
Less emotive and dark than some other tracks on The Lucid, “Boogieboard” is more like a precision aneurism where the only emotion is an urge to dance. The drums are pitched quite high for a drum & bass track, contributing to the steppy vibe, while the main synth is comprised of a Gigantor-level airhorn that runs pretty much the entire length of the track. In these two elements it where Hyroglific’s input can probably be seen as well. The prevalence of this synth would normally be too much even for the raviest of ravers but it’s composed as a sine wave that swells and recedes. This track is thus somehow not only tolerable but almost relaxing despite its danceability. It may be reaching a bit far, but perhaps this waveform synth is why Klax named this track “Boogieboard.” More likely it’s just because they like silly names and come from Brighton.
Since their last EP on Critical over a year ago, Klax’s sound seems to have changed and evolved, especially if The Lucid EP and “Boogieboard” are anything to go by. They’ve made a conscious effort to fold in more styles with a significant nod to D&B classics on this release. That said, the high quality and laser precision with which Klax compose and produce all their tracks is still there in spades on The Lucid, and it’s likely that’s not going anywhere soon.
The Lucid by Klax is out tomorrow, May 25 on Critical Music. Check out Critical’s website for pre-ordering options and a Spotify preview.