Music trends come and go. Artists come and go, too. Some stay for a while, some stay for months. And some stay… well, for a very long time. I recently had to ask myself which self-discovered artist I had kept in my music library for the longest period. By self-discovered, I exclude artists which have been following me since forever, artists such as Pink Floyd and Rammstein.
So, speaking of an artist that is indisputably the best survivor of my self-discovered artists thus far; the only one who is still holding the fort, I can only think of one man.
Grand survivor, dweller of cells; I present to you, the multi-instrumentalist, genre-crosser, kick ass musician: Klayton aka Celldweller.
Detroit-based musician Klayton has been making music since the nineties and adopted the Celldweller moniker at the end of the previous century. He has a self-titled debut album out, and just recently released his sophomore record, entitled “Wish Upon A Blackstar” – which I am blasting out of my speakers in this very moment. Other than that, he has tonnes of remix albums and two collection albums consisting of short, instrumental tracks.
But how long has it been since I first fell in love with Klaytons sound?
It was back then when I was playing the Most Wanted installment of the Need for Speed series (Amazing soundtrack in that game overall). As I remember, Klayton had two songs featured in that game, these being Shapeshifter and One Good Reason. These songs were real headbangers, and I went on the internet to see if I could find more. I found, to my great delight, the track Switchback. Those of you who know the song will probably know why this cemented me as a new fan of Celldweller. And now, 7 years later, Klayton still maintains a high position on my own charts which has seen the rise and fall of countless artists.
How to describe Klaytons sound? Well, since Klayton incorporates so many different styles and instruments into his music, I wouldn’t say that there is a specific sound attached to his music. There is, however, another thing to note about his music: his passion for details. I would say that this is strongly connected to his style in the big picture, because Klayton certainly has the characteristics of a perfectionist. While writing this I am listening to a song from his newly released album, and it has probably been in the making for at least a year. At least I could imagine so, since he dropped the first track off Wish Upon A Blackstar back in 2009. Hell, I was only starting in high school back then, now I am a few weeks from graduation!
Klayton could definitely be labeled as a fine digital craftsman with a sense for beautiful details. Moreover, I also really enjoy the energetic feel to his music, and at times it can also appeal catchy. A pre-Blackstar track of his that I was going nuts about was actually a remix of Morgan Page’s The Longest Road, which was featured in his “Klash-Up” (full title is “Klash-Up Cinco de Mayo 2009 – Cellmate Mix”). Another great track was actually not by Klayton, but by the artist Drop and his remix of Celldweller’s track Eon, featured on the Groupees Exclusive Unreleased EP. That track is a real bone crusher!
But Celldweller also has more calm and down tempo tracks, and among these I have an all-time favourite. The song is the closing track from his debut album, entitled Welcome to the End. It is without doubt one of the best down tempo/ambient/calm/relaxing songs I have heard. This also proves that Klayton can do both killer tracks loaded with energy, but also turn to the more smooth and relaxing styles. Variety is an attribute that I value a lot in a musician. An attribute that Klayton possesses, no doubt.
I am getting towards the end of the new album, and so far I like what I am hearing. I might write a post about the album if I feel like, if I can find the time and creativity.