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Keys N Krates

Keys N Krates make hybrid dance music that has moved festival crowds on a global scale for well over a decade. The Canadian trio has synthesized club-oriented hip-hop, house, and trap, along with U.K. bass -- not without referencing root styles such as drum'n'bass and dubstep -- and other sounds ranging from classic breakbeats to samba rhythms have likewise filled their tracks. Established in the early 2010s with releases on Steve Aoki's Dim Mak label, Keys N Krates' catalog is highlighted by the RIAA-certified gold single "Dum Dee Dum" (2013) and the Juno Award-winning Katy B collaboration "Save Me" (2015), tracks that coincidentally exemplify their knack for both integrating vocal samples and working with singers. The full-length projects Cura (2018) and Original Classic (2021) are among their subsequent releases. Turntablist Jr. Flo, keyboardist Matisse, and drummer Adam Tune formed Keys N Krates in their native Toronto. The production trio took shape in 2008 and sought to combine their wide range of inspirations, from early house music to a strain of Southern U.S. rap production that got them tagged as a trap act. Putting their own club spin on the latter with booming bass, double- and triple-time hi-hats, thick synthesizer lines, and samples, they released an EP on YYZ in 2012 and then issued a series of singles and EPs for Steve Aoki's Dim Mak label. Among the most popular was 2013's frantic, hard-hitting "Dum Dee Dum," which reached number 17 on Billboard's Dance/Electronic Digital Songs chart, and eventually went gold. Over the next several years, Keys N Krates continued to enhance their reputation as a live act with performances at the Electric Zoo, Lollapalooza, TomorrowWorld, and Sónar festivals, as well as headlining tours. Their 2014 collaboration with DJ/producer Grandtheft, "Keep It 100," arrived on Diplo's Mad Decent label, and they followed up later that year with the Every Nite EP, again on Dim Mak. "Save Me," a 2015 single featuring singer and co-writer Katy B, was met with widespread acclaim and won a Juno Award for Dance Recording of the Year in 2016. The "U Already Know" single preceded the January 2016 release of their third Dim Mak EP, Midnite Mass. The band spent the better part of the year on tour in support of the release. In early 2018, they released their debut full-length, Cura. Diverting from their early sound, the trio teamed with the likes of Ambre Perkins ("Glitter"), 070 Shake ("My Night"), and Tory Lanez ("Music to My Ears") to deliver a more pop-flavored set of songs. Before the end of the year, they issued Live in Toronto. Between albums, Keys N Krates released the summery and descriptively titled A Beat Tape for Your Friends, and continued in 2020 and 2021 with singles such as "Double Dutch" and "Take It Off." The latter, a collaboration with Bibi Bourelly, became the lead single from Original Classic, released in November 2021. The trio's debut for Last Gang Records, Original Classic integrated Brazilian and Indian influences and was further promoted with the title song featuring Juicy J, Chip, and Marbl. A deluxe edition assembled in 2022 added remixes from Byron the Aquarius, Soul Clap, and Justin Martin. The trio remained prolific with "Get Up," "What Girls Do," and "Say You Love Me" appearing into 2023.
© Andy Kellman /TiVo


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