The Path of Totality
In Stores 5 December
‘The Path of Totality’ is an experimental album which finds Korn shifting gears and exploring new territory. The band have collaborated with some of the world’s leading dubstep and electronic producers, including Skrillex, Excision, Downlink, Datsik, Noisia, Kill the Noise and 12th Planet. Leave it to a band like Korn to continue to reinvent itself two decades deep into its career.
"We're mixing metal and electro music” states frontman Jonathan Davis,”and you're not supposed to do that. Since day one, Korn has always been all about going against the grain, experimenting, and trying to take music different places." In 2009, Davis began to envision the place where Korn would venture next. A lifelong electronic music fan and DJ, he'd cruise Beatport and fervently download the latest tracks from various underground dubstep artists.
Last year, his obsession intensified. Speaking to his band mates, James ‘Munky’ Shaffer (guitar), Reggie "Fieldy" Arvizu (bass), and Ray Luzier (drums), the four agreed to tread new ground and incorporate dubstep into a couple of tracks. Davis called longtime Korn fan and rising electronic music star Skrillex to join the band at his studio for a collaboration. After merely three hours, "Get Up!" was born. A staggering deluge of wobbling synths, bludgeoning riffs and propulsive hooks, the song instantly became a 21st century arena-ready anthem in the vein of "Blind". The buzz began in Coachella's dance tent in April, when Jonathan and Munky joined Skrillex on stage for a show-stealing unannounced performance of the song. Korn released the track in May and it caught fire online, selling over 200k digital downloads and became the surprise rock hit of the summer in the US. There was no question. Korn knew they needed to do an entire album following this muse. The band would record with dubstep DJs back in Davis's home studio in Bakersfield during inspired sessions. Vocals were actually tracked in the singer's home theater or in closets and hotels everywhere from Korea to Japan. The record came together at light speed. Before they knew it, the eleven songs comprising The Path of Totality were complete.
"Get Up" started as a bit of an experiment,” states Munky "but we had such an amazing response from our fans and had such a great time collaborating, that a full album of tracks came together in a couple of months. We couldn't wait to get to the studio every day to finish the next song. You need to be pushed out of your comfort zone to take chances. We were able to do that by collaborating with all of these brilliant writers and challenging ourselves. We're still pushing ourselves to grow."
"I went to their studio for two days and we wrote, we did, three tracks together and it was all written on the fly, right there. Jon did vocals out in the main room, in front of us, wrote ‘em right there, I had bits and parts and stuff that were flown over, so we were there in the studio together and wrote everything right on the fly…I didn’t want it to sound like a Skrillex remix or some Skrillex tracks or some Skrillex sounds or whatever, if we’re going to do a collaboration, let’s do a collaboration, become a band for these two songs and make music together.
"I hooked them up with Noisia, Feed Me, Kill The Noise, 12th Planet, you know, all of those guys, and Downlink even, too, Excision, Datsik, so basically it’s a real tasteful, awesome album. They really did a great job of…they retained Korn, and they retained their sort of sound, you can hear Fieldy on the bass, you can hear everybody, it’s pretty great, man."
"I’ve been deep into electronic music my entire life. The first records I ever owned were ‘Fat of Land’ by the Prodigy and ‘Come To Daddy’ by Aphex Twin,” raves Sonny Moore, better known as emerging electronic visionary SKRILLEX. "Marilyn Manson and Nine Inch Nails were also early influences. I’ve been dabbling in making electronic tracks on programs like Fruity Loops since I was 14 years old.”
SKRILLEX is part of a new generation of artists that refuse to be restricted by preconceived notions or outside expectations. "Genre has never been important to me,” he insists. "I’ve never thought about music that way.”
Describing his current sound as "a mix of dubstep, electro and glitch all thrown together,” new SKRILLEX release "SCARY MONSTERS AND NICE SPRITES” reflects all of the above and beyond. The uplifting post-trance synth melodies of "ALL I ASK OF YOU” (featuring the soaring vocals of Penny) stands in stark contrast to the face-melting electro bass blasts of the massive electro-dubstep hybrid "ROCK N’ ROLL (WILL TAKE YOU TO THE MOUNTAIN).”
"I’ve listened to so much music for so long, it’s more about instinct than influence,” Moore explains about his sonic inspirations. "Coming up, I was into a lot of artists on the Warp record label like Autechre, Squarepusher, and Aphex Twin, so SKRILLEX tracks are inclined to have more changes than most dance tracks normally have. I can draw influences from almost anything. I just like to mess around and create cool new sounds and noises. I just go where the music takes me.”
After just one hugely successful independent release, "SCARY MONSTERS AND NICE SPRITES” is the first SKRILLEX release on Big Beat Records, in conjunction with fellow electronic revolutionary Deadmau5’s freshly minted Mau5trap record label.
"For years, the artists needed the record labels. I don’t feel that way at all,” Moore stresses. "SKRILLEX has been 100% independent until now. I think it’s so important to be self-sufficient as an artist. Working with Atlantic / Big Beat, and cooperating with Mau5trap, allows us all to work as a team and expand on what’s already been built.”
Following its release on Beatport, the 9-song EP dominated the charts on the site, with the title track claiming the site's #1 slot (the first time a dubstep track has ever done so), 8 songs breaking into the top 10, and multiple tracks claiming the #1 slots on several of the site’s subgenre charts, including Dubstep, Electro House, Progressive House.
Aside from the immediate success of "SCARY MONSTERS AND NICE SPRITES,” SKRILLEX has also made a name for himself as a highly sought-after remixer. He’s already produced officially commissioned remixes for such A-list artists as the Black Eyed Peas ("Rock That Body”), Lady Gaga ("Bad Romance” and "Alejandro”), and La Roux ("In For The Kill”).
SKRILLEX stands not only at the vanguard of electronic dance music, but the perpetually evolving new music industry as a whole.
"For me, it’s important to believe in and love the music you’re making. I gave away my first EP on my manager’s website, just so people could hear the music,” he enthuses. "It was downloaded by the thousands in just a couple of months, and it hasn’t let up since. That’s all the inspiration I need to keep making music.
"SKRILLEX can be anything I want it to be,” he continues hopefully. "There are so many different avenues for music now. Video games, movie scores — the possibilities are endless, and I’m excited to be a part of it.”
NOISIA (who took their name from the word VISION inverted on an upside down VHS tape) are Nik Roos, Thijs de Vlieger and Martijn van Sonderen, hailing from Groningen, The Netherlands. Influenced by an eclectic range of artists, from The Prodigy to James Brown, Miles Davis to Konflict, Tipper to Fatboy Slim, Noisia make music for DJs and dance-floors that is interesting enough to cross over from the clubs to your MP3 player.
Releasing their first record in 2003 on SLR and releasing on every major drum&bass label in the following years, 2005 saw Noisia establish their own label, Vision Recordings to put out their drum&bass productions and collaborations and retain creative control of their music. Nik designs almost all of the artwork for the releases on their labels, and the guys love the challenges and rewards that come with running a label. In 2007 they established Division Recordings, a label for electro, house, breaks and dubstep. They then went on to establish Invisible Recordings in 2010, catering for the deeper and more experimental side of drum&bass.
Over the past few years, accolades for Noisia have included Best Tech DJ in the UK National D&B Awards in 2009 and 2010, Best Producers at the 2010 D&BArena Awards and Best Drum&Bass Artist on Beatport in both 2009 and 2010.
The guys have worked with, and remixed a number of diverse artists, with notable tracks including, ‘Alice’ by Moby, ‘Omen’ by The Prodigy, ‘E.T.’ by Katy Perry, ‘Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites’ by Skrillex, ‘Raise your Weapon’ by Deadmau5, and Hadouken, whose entire second album ‘For The Masses’ was produced by Noisia. They have collaborated on a number of tracks with Foreign Beggars, the most successful being ‘Contact’, which has garnered over 3 million views on YouTube and become an influential underground hit. Another Noisia video that has been a big hit on YouTube is ‘Exodus’ which took 3 years to make and features KRS One.
Noisia have been Dj’ing every weekend since 2004. They have played in major cities all over the world, from Sydney to Moscow, Tokyo to Berlin, Los Angeles to Johannesburg and have DJ’ed in some of the world’s biggest clubs. They have reduced their DJ’ing commitments recently in order to focus on production.
Noisia’s music lends itself perfectly to videogames; their track ‘Groundhog’ is the hardest track to beat in the first DJ Hero, ‘Machine Gun’ and 'Seven Stitches' feature in three editions of the game WipeOut, and ‘Stigma’ and 'Yellow Brick' were picked up by Playstation to be featured on GranTurismo. They were commissioned to make 8 remixes especially for Motorstorm Apocalypse, a triple-A racing game that was released in March 2011.
2011 will see the release of a Special Edition of their successful debut album ‘Split The Atom’. The original was released in April 2010 and showcases a wide variety of styles; from electro to drum&bass to dubstep. Having signed to Jay-Z's Roc Nation publishing company, working on new videogame soundtracks and producing for a number of artists, Noisia are expanding into exciting new areas whilst continuing to make the ‘bangers’ they are known and loved for!
"Making tracks with Korn was insane, I didn't really know what to expect flying down to make tracks with my favorite band. I didn't have much time to prepare but when I got down to working with Munky and JD things just seemed to mesh together. I'm looking forward to the next time we work together and really take things to the next level."
The name itself presents a terrifying image- a mangled, forced extraction, quite literally "removal by cutting”. It should come as no surprise that the sounds behind this name are just as filthy, brutal, and unforgiving as the namesake suggests.
Excision shows are like no other- a virtual apocalypse of twisting and morphing sounds turn massive crowds into a frenzy, as virtual walls of bass are relentlessly impaled time and time again upon their fragile bodies and ears. Your ears will ring and your eyes will roll into the back of your head as you are suspended in what can only be called a true sensory overload. Bass will rain down from above for hours as Excision’s skills as a DJ and producer shine like an unholy light from the underworld.
The true champion of bass music, Excision hails from Kelowna, British Columbia. The founder of the ROTTUN label, a bass music conglomerate that has shaped the sound of modern Bass music, Excision has created a vast roster of allies that has only bolstered his spot as a warrior of bass music. Armed with a library of destruction and filth, Excision has time and time again tested the limits of electronic music with vastly different sets that encompass a full range of genres.
The things you see and hear during the precious time you are engaged by Excision’s sounds will eclipse your mind for a lifetime, as you are constantly enlightened by the true fervor and energy that only an Excision set can provide.
"Working with Korn is definitely one of the greatest opportunities I've had to date. I grew up listening to a lot of metal so I've been a Korn fan since i was in junior high school. Skrillex showed Jonathan Davis a few tracks of mine and thats how I ended up in the studio with these guys. It wasn't as much of a challenge as I thought it could be to bridge our worlds together.
"We all shared a similar vision of what we wanted these records to sound like, and we executed it relatively quickly. I was in the studio with Korn for about 3 or 4 days, and worked on 2 songs. I don't consider myself a dubstep producer, or a metal producer for that matter so Its really nice to see how well the songs are being received by both of those scenes all over the world. Regardless of any of the success, we all had a lot of fun working on this project, it has really inspired me personally to work on things that bridge the rock/metal world with electronic music.
"It has been a milestone in my career working with both Korn and Skrillex, above all i'm very grateful for the experience it's helped me grow as an artist and given me more confidence to blur the lines between genre in all of my work."
From Los Angeles, California, Jake Stanczak - better known as Kill The Noise - has exploded into the Electro House scene, since he launched the project in January of ‘08. His productions have earned him recognition from both house music fanatics and world class DJ’s alike. Success in the studio has created many interesting opportunities for the young producer. Most notably a busy worldwide touring schedule, a record label partnership with the infamous DJ Craze, and most recently an invitation to perform on Tiesto’s Kaleidoscope World Tour in North America.
It seems that whatever sector of electronic music Kill The Noise draws influence from, it is executed with the same level of quality and production mastery that has become expected from him. His sound has resonated around the world and has been embraced by both veterans and newer generations of artists and enthusiasts.
You can sense from the productions that there is a mission to learn and explore what can be done with sound, and how to push the envelope in electronic music, making this an even more exciting project to watch unfold.
This year is already shaping up to be huge for Kill The Noise with a truckload of new material in the pipelines including a debut album in the works. Perhaps the most ambitious and exciting plan for this year is the announcement of Kill The Noise and DJ Craze’s joint venture: "Slow Roast Records”. The label will feature long awaited original works from Kill The Noise, DJ Craze, DJ Klever and many others. The label will highlight the diversity of the artists involved and continue the trend of evolution that they are known for.
When all is said and done, the music and the brand speaks for itself. It’s obvious that Kill The Noise is on a mission to prove the name to be true: Kill the noise, kill the production, kill the scene, and become one of the most influential names in the game.