Canada’s riddim renaissance team Bonjay have given us an abundance of good things in the past year – in addition to live sets that absolutely rupture the presumed divide between genres of r&b, dancehall, electroclash, indie and bass music, they’ve given us last autumn’s debut EP “Broughtupsy” and a unique single released on UK imprint One Bird Records that was a limited-edition handcrafted notebook with a USB stick containing the tracks inside.
Now they’ve provided a deeply satisfying mix for British Columbia’s Sub|Div bass movement, as well as a thoughtful explanation of the tracks.
Read on from Bonjay:
â€œIn recent months, a lot of the best new dance music has reminded us of turn-of-the century BET gems â€“ the futuristic R&B, dancehall, and rap that ruled urban radio from the mid-90s through mid-00s. It was a producer-led era, ruled by those who paired tough, syncopated drums with glossy soul hooks. The kings â€“ like Timbaland, Lenky, The Neptunes, Dr. Dre, Black Chiney, and Just Blaze â€“ were hired guns who added one or two slugs of their sound to dozens of albums and film soundtracks every year.
Weâ€™ve been listening to a lot of this stuff â€“ old and new â€“ while we work on our forthcoming album. In our music, these sonics are filtered through a lot of other influences and come out much less targeted at the dance. But while we donâ€™t make strictly hype tunes, we love DJing and listening to the new stuff. Especially the ones that add fresh ideas to take these sounds to new places. So we put together a mix of our favourites.
Youâ€™ll hear tracks that conjure up specific Hype Williams videos alongside much more oblique references to the likes of â€œWhatâ€™s Your Fantasyâ€ and â€œGet Ur Freak Onâ€. Some of the artists featured here stick to leftfield sounds, while others are inspiring Toronto cheerleaders to perform halftime dance routines. Thereâ€™s no city or region that serves as a focal point â€“ itâ€™s a pretty even split between UK and North American producers. The common thread is that these tunes havenâ€™t coalesced into a scene or a sound â€“ their future lies ahead.
While itâ€™s too early to call a revival, if you think about it these sonics are ripe for re-discovery and reinvention. North American rap and R&B donâ€™t share the culture of UK music, where everyone joins in at the same tempo once a new sound is invented. So unlike some dance music revivals, thereâ€™s a lot of new ground to be broken â€“ the rhythmic ideas here arenâ€™t yet in danger of being burned out by thousands of copycat tunes. And if producers continue to stretch out like this, that wonâ€™t happen for a long time.â€
Tracklist after the jump.