Bayonne – Primitives (City Slang)
Austin-based Bayonne transcend your everyday electronica with his new album Primitives. Louder Than War’s Dave Beech reviews.
At a time when the world seems hell bent on regressing back towards the dark ages one giant step at a time, there’s a lot to be said for music that says something, that harbours political sentiment or a message of positivity. For that very same reason, there’s a lot to be said for music that provides a sense of escapism; that affords listeners the chance to forget their particular troubles, however briefly.
Primitives, the debut album from Austin-based solo artist Bayonne undoubtedly falls in to the latter category. Steeped in melodic complexities and rife with subtle nuance, it’s a record best taken in its entirety. The intricate loops and patterns of one track seamlessly lead in to the next without the transitions ever once feeling anything but natural.
It’s rare for an electronic album to feel as organic as Primitives does, and therein lies its appeal. From the progressive ebb and flow of the fitting titled Waves, to the shimmering Scandi-pop of Lates, nothing on the record feels contrived, programmed, the way electronic music so often does. And while repetitive loops are still very much at the heart of Primitives, there’s enough variation and subtle changes that even repeat listens reveal something different almost every time, allowing the record to reach far beyond that of your everyday electronica and to tap in to something transcendental.
Indeed, such is the quality of the record, that even the bonus tracks, which so often feel like nothing more than afterthoughts, offer one of the album’s standout moments. Living Room, much like the aforementioned Waves, is propulsive, heady and wistfully nostalgic and sees Bayonne at his poppiest and most accessible yet.
Though painstakingly pieced together by Bayonne from a collection of loops he’d built up over the course of six years, Primitives feels perfectly organic, animate even; an ever-evolving sonic tapestry you owe it yourself to listen to. Seriously.