To many it can seem all-too-obvious that the music industry has become deadened by corporate control. The art has become shrink-wrapped in plastic, and seemingly impenetrable from the outside. It is rare that a group can place themselves within this mega store of musical mimesis without losing a part of themselves. It seems, however, that Clean Bandit, with their revolutionary ‘genre-bending’ sound, have managed to do just this, unscathed. The band expertly brings together elements of their classical background, having been part of a string quartet in university, and trap-influenced synth and percussion styles; the result being one of the rare acts in the mainstream music scene whom are truly breaking the mold.
Clean Bandit are more than just an aural experience, however. The band regularly claim to be just as concerned with their visual releases, as their sonic. If one were to search online for any of the bands singles, one would be met by a plethora of cinematographic mastery; truly, the band – having self-directed every one of their music videos – have vision so strong it breaches two sensory mediums. Additionally, alongside the beautiful camerawork comes the stories behind each shot. The band are passionate about giving their fans an insight into how they operate.
Only having formed in 2009, the Cambridge-founded classico/techno amalgamate have torn the UK underground scene apart, and in just five years placed themselves at the top spot of the UK charts with their single Rather Be. The now internationally recognised tune features Jess Glynne, one of the many vocalists to work with Clean Bandit, and remained at No.1 for over a month this year. One must bear in mind that the outfit have yet to release their debut album, it being scheduled for release on June 2nd, and yet they have already travelled the world shooting their videos, playing their music, and the band’s reputation is creeping across Europe too.
The incoming release, ‘New Eyes’, will, I assume, be brimming with beauty; both aural, and visual; and, like the name suggests, change the way we see music. Clean Bandit are definitely one to watch, and if you are not a fan of their chart-topping tunes, a further exploration into their discography will reveal some gems that stretch musical-conventions to their breaking points; something extraordinary.
Words by Oisin Fogarty-Graveson