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Digital Subscriptions > MusicTech > Jun-18 > GOING UNDERGROUND


The mastermind behind cyberpunk act Celldweller, Detroit-based Klayton has helped drag electronic rock kicking and screaming into the future. MusicTech enters the Celldweller spaceship…
Klayton at work in his enviable subterranean studio
© Kyle Danley


As a teenager, Celldweller’s Klayton could barely afford to purchase the hardware that would allow him to indulge his love of European new wave music. Instead, he adopted the guitar in a bid to emulate his favourite metal bands and as the ‘80s evolved, embraced the rudimentary technology that would allow him to amalgamate rock and electronic elements. Since then Klayton has risen left of centre to become a highly skilled and accomplished producer, responsible for a raft of pseudonyms that also include FreqGen, Circle of Dust and Scandroid.

Through these distinct identities, the Detroit-based innovator has combined elements of metal, electronic rock, EDM, drum and bass, trance and new wave with staggering assurance.

Beside his own output, Klayton has produced music for multimedia, film, TV and video games. Meanwhile, his production skills, predicated on an enduring passion for technology and detailed sound design, are brought to life in his stunning multi-room studio, featuring a litany of hardware pedals, synths and the latest modular gear.

MusicTech You grew up listening to ‘80s new wave. Which artists most stood out for you?

Klayton I listened more to metal than new wave. I was into new wave in the ‘80s, but I grew up on Metallica and Slayer. But even before that, I remember hearing the vocoder on things like Mr Roboto.from Styx and being fascinated by how a human voice could sound like that. My first real project, Circle of Dust, was an industrial metal thing. I started fusing electronics and metal because I knew both of those worlds and it made sense in my head to amalgamate them.

MT You picked up a guitar rather than a synthesiser due to affordability?

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About MusicTech

Though it was only a few issues ago that we contemplated the future of music, we came to the realisation that the future is now! With more effects at our disposal than ever before, we tour the modern arsenal of plug-in effects, tools and software that you might not even realise existed! Elsewhere, we speak to the legendary DJ Jazzy Jeff about his production and DJing ethos, and join Detroit-based artist Klayton, whose love of 80s electronic and metal bands has borne many fruitful projects, not to mention an amazing studio. We put Hans Zimmer Strings to the test, as well as a slew of new pieces of gear and software in our expanded reviews section. Additionally, there’s 4 new tutorials for Live, Logic, Cubase and Pro Tools, brand-new tips, retrospectives and our Essential Guide series draws to a close with a 101 to recording. We hope you enjoy the issue!