Friday 15 November 2013


Taking cues from typically urban music like R&B, garage, bassline and even dubstep in the halftime swing of the beat, this is 'Blank Field' by Paris band Backbone. Having formed in August (the 15th, specifically) of 2012, Backbone is a five-piece band that mixes female and male vocals; organic, "real" sounds and synthetic, mechanical noises. They describe their sound as "feutré, absorbant, rythmé" - that's hushed, absorbing and rhythmic. Certainly there could have been a little bit of inspiration here from The xx, especially in the dual vocals, the sub-bass and the general atmospheric feeling of the songs. But that's not a bad thing at all.

'Blank Field' begins as a relatively quiet foray into a world of rich, low attack synth chords and drips of electronic percussion - in the background, samples of what sounds like a crowded room pan from left to right. Smooth columns of sub-bass gleam beneath the chords. Each vocal sounds unaffected, clear, pure even, with just the right amount of big room reverb tailing from each. The beat grows busier with hi-hat rolls and the addition of snapping snares; beautiful guitar licks like flecks of sunshine appear from the chill of the song for a lovely euphoric flavour.

By the end, that guitar lick sinks into the background, the volume on everything coming to a crescendo, a rising tide of synth and a violently bubbling collection of random synth bleeps, which is all we're left with at the end. The slow nature and smooth vocals of the song give it a sense of laid-back yet passionate R&B, a slow jam direct from Paris complete all the delicate trappings and trimmings of experimental electronic music. It's always nice to hear people doing something different and Backbone are no exception; their mix of electronic and live instruments supports their gentle yet intense sound as much as the flighty vocals do. Lovely stuff.

I don't think there are any releases as yet but their SoundCloud definitely hints towards an EP in 2014. It could be a long time, it could be a short time. But here's hoping that it will actually materialise. You can download this, and past songs, on their SoundCloud so deffo check it out ya.

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