It’s true; this kind of music is all over the place right now. An intersection of the jittery drum breaks of British 2-step and dub brought to the fore by SBTRKT and Zomby last year and the downtempo, blissed-out sampling that’s everywhere from Ifan Daffyd to New Look to Elizabeth Rose, it’s gaining currency faster than the our own, and every day another shadowy collective pops up with a slice of heaven to tantalise us with. Bondax, who were first brought to my attention by the same man who alerted me to the presence of Sinjin Hawke, are the perfect opener to any conversation of closer to any evening. I’ve only heard two or three of their tracks so far, and I love them all. But ‘You’re So’ has to be my favourite by a country mile.
Obviously with their skittering beats and spliced vocals, these guys are the perfect kind of fodder for the two favourite bloggers in our network, Holly (East To West) and Jarred (Life Aquatic), who are far more immersed in this kind of shit than I am. What amazes me about everything is how fast this underground movement happens. Both the lads in Bondax are seventeen, but are already touring around Europe, presumably on their weekend off while they’re finishing up their A0-levels or something. I was actually having this conversation with Holly the other night about how there’s now a huge spectrum of people you can viably ‘know from the Internet.’ Bondax, who are tight with this massive community of likeminded indivuals (while researching them, I came across a photo of them hanging out in Vienna with Starslinger, for instance – it turns out he personally selected them to play a festival with them this year) are powering ahead with the kind of software we’ve all had on our Macs for years but never had the nous to use. The sounds and the aesthetic is at their fingertips, but they’ve got that crucial spark of genius to carry it all off. They’re also serious crate-diggers, referencing tunes from twenty or thirty years ago in their mixes that I’ve never even heard of. Perhaps Sydney needs a bit more rain and I’ll be well on my way to being a solid bedroom producer.
‘You’re So’, then. I’m sure there’s another word to end that sentence, but we’re not going to find it. Starts off way chill and builds up until the drop that I sort of knew was coming but I was so wrapped in those layered I’m looking for you’ vocal swirls that it’s sort of slid off on some totally different vibes. Then at thirty seconds you’re suddenly into serious Destiny’s Child late-era/Kelly Rowland solo material shit, all neo-soul and caramel and sex and then BOOM, it’s a bass drop and those subsonic 808s and splicing and new-age shit that you never know the name of. I have a sneaking suspicion that this is where all electronic music that isn’t techno or house is going, which is great because it means you can have a dance party in your own home without having to listen to dumb music. Yeah, it’s hard to sing along to cut-up vocals, but most people can’t rap either and that didn’t stop us all singing ‘Now I ain’t saying she a gold digger,’ now, did it? And the sections move so quickly that Bondax are kind of putting all my eggs into one basket over and over again. It means that I now have a musical omelette of epic proportions, part R&B, part-dubstep and all soul. Now stop overachieving, teenagers. You’re making the rest of us look bad.
Bondax – ‘You’re So’