In 2007 Klaxons did what pretty much no band have done since: arrive with a fully fledged ideology – new rave. It might be hard to remember now, but back then it was strange seeing a high street normally shifting outfits in various hews of bland flooded with weird neon clothing.
On 16nd June 2014, Love Frequency, Klaxons’ third album drops. While their second record was perceived as a rejection of their dance influenced past, this is a return to it. Once again they’ve leapt to the front of a queue of none as the only group of people blending the euphoria of today’s dance scene with the aesthetics, experimentation and instrumentation of post-punk.
“I think we are still a subversive pop band who don’t make straight up pop,” says Simon. “We’re still pretty out there with the music we make but we’ve always succeeded in making something that is still digestible for large numbers of people.”
It’s a fantastic record, exploring the double lead falsetto and relaxed rave synth that have always been their trademark, but through the prism of NYC RnB (“Show Me a Miracle”), British synth pop (“Out of the Dark”), and straight up 90s Corona chart house (“Invisible Forces”).
Three years in the making, Love Frequency reasserts the most basic principles of Klaxons; that it is possible to make bizarre, transformative pop music which can conquer stadiums just as well as backward, tub thumping rock or gumboot American EDM DJs. This is a record where RnB production, prog and dance music sensibilities collide somewhere near the summit of Hit Parade.
”We always claimed that we were making contemporary dance music and now that’s exactly what we’re doing.” Says Jamie
One thing that Jamie Reynolds, Simon Taylor-Davies and James Righton are clearly still doing, is giving a shit. They have always had, and retain, a blind unrepentant enthusiasm. Since they first burst through, have any group come along who so clearly love being in a band? While today bands shrug off the joys of being paid to write and perform music for a living, Klaxons screamed about it. They thought they were doing something important and they wanted to drag their audience along with them on a wave of pop music, hype, drugs, and sci-fi polemics. Now they’re doing it again.
“I think that wide-eyed enthusiasm is the reason we make pop music” says James
“From day one of the band,” continues Jamie, “We actually enjoy what we do, we have a good time and we want other people to have a good time”
Recorded in bursts with a regular rotation of their friends, before finishing it themselves. Time was spent with James Murphy, Tom Rowlands of the Chemical Brothers, Erol Alkan and electro duo, Gorgon City. Input from all remains, but with tracks being revisited many times, the final record is a mélange of all producers, fed through the filter of the three Klaxons.
“People were happy with us to cross pollinate different sessions with each other which is a way we’ve never worked before” says James.
Back when they started, Klaxons claimed they would make a trilogy of records. One based in the future, one in the past, and one in the present. In that way Love Frequency is fulfilling the promise, because while Myths… exploded from the future, and Surfing The Void moved back to guitar music of the past, Love Frequency is in step with the more fascinating sounds buzzing about at the moment, from Yeezus to Jon Hopkins to Dixon and Ame.
The general perception is that Klaxons second record was a misstep. Despite good reviews, the band admit that it failed to resonate with the planet at large. And though the band have been recently playing the biggest shows of their career (a killer first album will take you a long way) they think this record is superior. A giant leap back in the right direction.
“We have arrived” says Jamie “On the first two albums, we were taking off and this one is us flying. We are there.”
“Yeah,” says James. “The dream for Klaxons still is to play music we love and to play it well to people who lose their minds on music and have the greatest time of their lives.”