CAMO & KROOKED
The Austrian DnB merchants share their tips and philosophies on crafting hard-hitting drops
Computer Music: The all-important drop is the climactic moment of any DnB track. How do you approach the track-writing process to ensure that the drop hits hard enough? C&K:
“The most detailed, creative and emotional parts of a tune are often not to be found within the drop itself, but it’s still the most important ingredient for a DnB tune, as lots of it is designed to work in the club. We try to approach the drop in different ways – sometimes it’s the more ‘classic’ drop, with all the energy within the drop moment; but what we really enjoy is to play more with it in a kind of anticlimatic way. So the most energy and euphoria in the breakdown, and a drop that hits deeper with more emphasis on the lower frequencies.”
: Most drops are a process of tension and release. How do you like to build anticipation, and then unleash that built tension?
C&K: “Its very easy to create a drop that works on the dancefloor when you follow the known recipe of risers, kick or snare rolls and impacts. When it really gets interesting, though, is when you try to create tension while avoiding those elements – maybe by building up a chord progression or by having the elements start distorting, creating confusion that gets resolved in the drop.”
: Sound effects like crashes, rises, sweeps and falls are all clichéd FX that producers use to build towards a drop. How do you like to use (and subvert) these kinds of clichés? C&K:
“We try to avoid regular swooshes in our buildups, although we do mostly end up having at least a synth with some white noise opening up before the drop. As far as white noise swooshes go, we try to keep them simple, giving them a vintage feel rather than ‘lasers in space’.”
: Can you think of any standout tracks that have the perfect drop, in your opinion? C&K: Helix bit.ly/FlumeHelix)
“Flume’s ( really does it for us, because the tension in it builds over such a long time. The moment when the bass finally does kick in is very intense, and the groove is surprising without being confusing.”
: How does your experience of DJing to huge crowds around the world influence the way you create earth-shattering drops in your own tracks? C&K:
“If you have longer studio breaks, you tend to make music you want to chill to, and when playing loads of big festivals, you tend to write more floor-orientated material as you want to please the crowds and make them go crazy. So it’s very important to have a good balance between gigs and studio time to keep the music diverse.
“Music for the club is very different to music we listen to in our spare time, so we want to make music that ticks both boxes. When you can listen to a tune on the plane back home – one that went off in the club the night before – without being annoyed, you know you’re onto a winner.”
: Finally, can you give us any more cool tips or tricks for maximising a drop’s dancefloor impact when crafting an arrangement? C&K:
“Try to think outside the box and create drops that leave the crowd surprised in a good way. Its only half as fun if you already know what you’re about to be served before it hits you.”