In the world of house music, Bondax are one of the biggest names going. Regularly packing out raves across the globe, the duo, aka Lancaster boys Adam Kaye and George Townsend, and their selections are widely revered. Having come up in the post-dubstep years with a sound somewhere between deep house and what was being called "future garage" at the time, they quickly found a lot of love in the house scene, gradually shifting away from the UKG influences, but never entirely.
You could, however, be forgiven for thinking that Bondax are straight-up ravers. But when we tapped them up for the latest edition of Complex Sessions, the boys surprised us with something a little unexpected. Don't get us wrong, this is still dance music, but in a much looser sense. From the ultra-cool hip-hop of NxWorries to the soothing tones of Bon Iver, this one's a true journey and shows us a DJ and production duo adept at getting your feet moving, no matter the setting.
Tell us a bit about your selections in this mix.
Adam: For this mix, we really wanted to show people the records we truly love outside of house music. The majority of our time spent listening to music is rarely spent listening to house/club records, as for us, there's a time and a place for dance music. Over the past few years, we've spent a lot of time digging and surrounding ourselves with different genres of music from the past to the present as an attempt to educate and inspire ourselves creatively. The selection in this mix is a snippet into the music we know and love that we can't play in clubs. Many of the tracks are modern songs that reference, develop and evolve from classic jazz and soul records.
What was the one track you absolutely had to include?
George: This is a really hard question to answer because we really do love all these artists. If we had to choose, it's probably most important for us to mention Mammal Hands. Our friends Maribou State turned us onto them a few months back and we've since discovered some of our favourite music of the past few years. They're a trio signed to Matthew Halsall's Gondwana Records who, we feel, haven't had the full recognition they deserve yet, considering their great talent. Hopefully, including them in this mix should turn anyone who listens to the track into a fan. The sound they create from just three instruments is really quite extraordinary and moving, and we felt "Hourglass" is a powerful example and introduction into their modern brand of jazz.
Any tracks that narrowly missed the cut?
George: One track we desperately wanted to include but proved too difficult, is "Remember The Rain" by Khadja Bonet. It's one of those records we both fell in love with instantly. It's a very classic-sounding track that evokes a serious amount of nostalgia and melancholy. The songwriting by Marvin Smith is impeccable and Khadja's voice is so beautiful, you believe every word she sings. Like Mammal Hands, in our opinion, she hasn't seen anything like the degree of acknowledgement we believe she deserves. Khadja's music really transcends time, to the point where you forget she's a modern artist.
What's the first single or album you ever bought?
Adam: I think the first single I ever bought was "Who Let the Dogs Out?" by Baha Men when I was 6. Definitely a wise purchase and a track that, in hindsight, seems to stem from classic jazz. A groundbreaking record that will most definitely be remembered in 500+ years from now. In fact, it's safe to say it will be the single decade-defining record people will think of when they think of the 2000s. The best quality of the song is its ineffable sincerity, a quality this answer sadly does not have.
What's the last physical record you bought?
Adam: The last record I bought was either "Global Erosion" by Chaos In The CBD or Y Su Taller De Musica by Juan Carlos Calderon. The former being one of our favourite dance tunes of this year and the latter being one of our favourite Spanish funk albums.
What do you want to see happen musically over the next 12 months?
George: Over the past few years there have been some incredible artists emerging, and there have also been amazing albums released by preexisting artists maturing their sound, like Hiatus Kaiyote, Tame Impala, Gold Panda etc. We both think it's a very exciting time for music. Genres are being blurred and interesting sonic combinations are being made that haven't been done before. Our dreams for the future of music, would be for tools like the internet to be used by more people to find all this amazing music themselves and not just take what they are fed by the radio. The best example of what we'd like to see happen is have an incredible and forward-thinking band such as BADBADNOTGOOD have a top ten hit. That would be the day we can all go home and pat ourselves on the back.
What trend or scene absolutely needs to die right now?
Adam: We're not sure how to answer this question without sounding hateful and snobby. We both love music and we have our own subjective view on what we enjoy to listen to. Undeniably, there may obviously be more technical skill involved to play the trumpet like Miles Davis, than to make some of the generic EDM that is played on the radio all day, but unfortunately Miles Davis isn't everyone's cup of tea. We both feel like, despite having a strong distaste for most banal, mainstream music that is currently popular, a lot of people clearly do enjoy it and take solace in it. Who are we to say their scene needs to die, when maybe they feel the same way we do listening to Matthew Halsall's "Fletcher Moss Park" when they hear "I Took A Pill In Ibiza".
Catch Bondax at Manchester's Warehouse Project on November. 2. Get your tickets here.
01. Brian Bennett - Image
02. BADBADNOTGOOD f/ Charlotte Day Wilson - In Your Eyes
03. Khruangbin - Mr. White
04. Oddisee - The Carter Barron
05. Mammal Hands - Hourglass
06. HOMESHAKE - Love Is Only A Feeling
07. NxWorries - Khadijah
08. Flamingosis - Breakfast Poutine
09. Bastien Keb - Chicken Stomp
10. Quantic & His Combo Barbaro - The Dreaming Mind Pt. 2
11. Bon Iver - ___45___