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On 'Key' with the 'Krates': Trap Band performs at Avalon Hollywood

Being a DJ within the electronic dance music scene can appear as easy as following a simple three-step recipe:

Trap Music Artists, Keys N Krates, perform at Avalon Hollywood-slide0
Oh Dag Yo Photo
 Keys N Krates and Wax Motif at Avalon in Hollywood on June 13 2014
Oh Dag Yo Photo

First, hide behind your turntables.
Second, play premixed tracks.
Finally, electrify the crowd into a frenzy.
Think you’re done? Not so with Keys N Krates.

The trio from Toronto is bringing an element to the table that has long since expired within the EDM genre - they play instruments – yes, instruments -- live on stage. While cut from the same cloth as The Chainsmokers and Borgore, the musical fabric of Keys N Krates' has the feel of a different texture.

They are known as the first and only "trap band," a style of music that typically uses re-sampled rap or hip-hop vocals, an 808 Roland drum machine and gangsta synth leads. While they don't like to be pigeonholed to just Trap music, Keys N Krates claims, "We like to say we just make weird rap beats."

Keys N Krates', formed in 2008, is a tripod of rhythmic talent: drummer Adam Tune, synth/keyboard cognoscente, David Matisse, and the internationally award-winning turntablist Jr. Flo.

Although, the “trap” style originated years ago, Keys N Krates percolates with a bubbling force of musical proportion by going as a live band. This gives Keys N Krates a feel that is uncommon for most major genres within the EDM landscape.

"We attack it (combining live instruments with pre-mixed sound) similar to a way a typical band would. We can start with a guitar or keyboard riff, then put a beat to it and chop the vocals up. Therefore, it is not two separate entities of band and DJ. We operate as just a full band," Adam says.

In September 2013, Steve Aoki's Dim Mak Records produced Keys N Krates, SOLOW EP. The second single, "Dum Dee Dum", has been featured in the iTunes Dance 100 Singles chart three times at Nos. 26, 74 and 85. As for new material forthcoming, all they would say is, "We've been working on the new EP for the past six to eight months and it is about 85 percent done. On the upcoming EP, we are coming into our own a little bit more," Matisse explained.

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