With a turbulent journey so far, between high praise and false-start, Bondax are attempting to redefine themselves with ‘Revolve’. Taking broad strides away from their shimmering, club-orientated sound, it displays a newfound flair and maturity.
It would come as no surprise that Bondax are avid listeners of jazz. ‘Last Light’ employs brass sections and rich, soulful vocals. It comes across effortlessly; refreshingly uncontrived. ‘Mind Love’ uses choral choices to the same advantage, but its hi-fi instrumental tapers off. There’s a sense that Bondax know how to bring out the best in each element of their mix.
‘Real Thing’ featuring Izzy Bizu, has a lightness to it with glittering disco panache. The pace later slows with ‘All Inside’; subtle eastern influences brushing against the electronic beats like wind tinkling through a chime. Rather than crafting beats with commercial appeal, Bondax now seem a little braver to experiment with more nuanced sounds that are as much skilful as they are sensitive.
However, what could be truly interesting instead often proves an inseparable mush of predictable sounds. ‘Horizon’ is safe, while ‘Air’ is a unimaginative attempt at drawing rap into the record, which comes off as insincere. For something that has the promise of hitting bullseye, too many of the darts miss the board entirely.