For better or worse, I’ve always lumped Bonobo in with the ongoing legions of fluffy, post-club chillout artists who manage to piece together tracks with a wonderful list of contributing influences and absolutely no real substance or originality. It might have been an unfair judgement, as his new single ‘Eyesdown’ is a pretty nice little thing. Yes, it drifts by almost unnoticed on a cloud of downtempo warmth, and it’s got the requisite smooth female vocal, but Andreya Triana’s honeyed tones are the same that graced the astral glide of Flying Lotus’ ‘Tea Leaf Dancers’. The line she treads between passion and aloof detachment, along with an airy two-step bounce, just manages to elevate the original mix above the surrounding hordes.
However, all this having been said, there’s always a risk of being outshone when you draft in some of the most exciting operators around to remix your music. This is certainly one such moment, although perhaps not entirely to Bonobo’s discredit, as it would be tough to better Floating Points’ delectable refix. Applying his stargazing fusion of styles to Triana’s untouched vocal, he wraps her in fast-paced currents of synth that layer up then peel away in a deep house/UK garage hybrid reminiscent of his Planet Mu release ‘J&W Beat’.
Warrior One takes ‘Eyesdown’ into funky/bashment territory, all sliced vocals and perpetual dancefloor motion, but Appleblim & Komonazmuk pull a similar trick to Floating Points in far bettering the original. Sticking to the precedent set with their previous collaborations – stunning reworks of Sideshow’s ‘If Alone’ and Harmonia & Eno’s ‘By The Riverside’ – they stretch the original into a dubbed-out house session a world away from either producer’s solo work. Even if it’s not quite as fascinating or compulsively listenable as either of those remixes, it’s largely to do with the simplicity of the source material, and carries its own charm – a blissful bit of vocal house for a chilly Sunday.
And in a standard 'swap your details for tunes' move, they're giving away Warrior One's remix for free at Bonobo's website - might be worth that little bit of extra spam in your inbox.