A pair of 19-year-olds from a historic British town attempting to resurrect the soulful garage-pop sound that dominated dance music at the turn of the century – the comparisons between Adam Kaye and George Townsend, aka Bondax, and equally youthful chart-toppers Disclosure are unavoidable.
Hailing from Lancaster, an area of North West England not exactly renowned for its thriving club scene, the duo undoubtedly share a similar love of all things 90s as the Lawrence brothers. Indeed, the pair recently whipped the blogosphere into a frenzy with an inspired remix of Blackstreet’s New Jack Swing classic, “No Diggity.” But by deliberately setting their effortlessly sleek production below the usual 125bpm rate, Bondax are a slightly more chilled proposition.
The childhood friends, who regularly used to sneak into several of nearby Manchester’s nightspots using fake IDs, first became inspired to start working on their own melodic tunes after witnessing a life-affirming set from Canadian bass-house producer Jacques Greene.
Championed by the likes of Radio 1 DJs Annie Mac and Nick Grimshaw, Kaye and Townsend soon began to build a strong presence on the Hype Machine Most Popular Chart, and following remixes of tracks by AlunaGeorge, Chromeo and Rudimental and a small tour across the US, landed their biggest gig when they supported Basement Jaxx at Somerset House earlier this year.
The handful of tracks Bondax have unveiled so far suggest that the pair should get used to playing such big audiences. Sampling The Gap Band’s “All Of My Love,” “Baby I Got That” is an infectious fusion of filtered house loops and slow-motion beats, which, like many of this year’s poolside-friendly anthems, suggests the marimba is the hottest instrument of 2013.
“Gold” is an equally laid-back slice of kaleidoscopic funk containing an uncredited lead vocal that is frustratingly familiar, likewise the glossy Jessie Ware-esque electro of “Giving It All.” Elsewhere, the ominous bass wobbles, sci-fi bleeps and glitchy nocturnal percussion of “Just Smile For Me” suggest, rather intriguingly, that Bondax’s forthcoming debut album might not be an entirely sun-kissed affair.