The British invasion may have started in the 60s, but it continues today with a striking fervor that breathes fiery sonic dexterity into a space that is confined in a cold digital sphere. Bonobo and Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs are two of the new aged British invaders that have set their sights on and quite effectively influenced the electronic sphere, rebuffing any sort of designation that could place them in a box. They have been behind some of the most magical songs and albums of the past decade including Bonobo’s The North Borders and the Grammy-nominated Migration; and TEED’s Trouble, which includes the critically acclaimed single, “Garden“, and — one of my favorite singles — 2018’s “Don’t You Forget About Me“. The duo is unrivaled in terms of a proclivity for ingenious sound design with rich textures and bold swaths of unique melodies. They come together to collaborate on “Heartbreak”, the debut single and launch of Bonobo’s OUTLIER label.
As expected from two masters of aural mesmerization, “Heartbreak” is astonishing and brings forward an array of striking sounds that build a decedent break-beat dance record. It ignites passionate feelings of warmth, connectivity, and boundless happiness that paints the air, building an atmosphere reminiscent of an underground rave or a well-designed event that isn’t about “the ‘Gram”. That feeling comes from Bonobo and TEED’s successful homage to the famed dancefloors of yesteryear like Chicago’s Warehouse, NYC’s The Tunnel, and London’s Four Aces where nobody had cell phones and were truly there to connect with a scene of inclusivity and pure joy.
At the heart of “Heartbreak”, is the sample of Christine Wiltshire’s iconic vocal line “I can’t take the heartbreak” from the ‘83 disco anthem “Weekend” by Class Action. It provides the backdrop that allows Bonobo and TEED to weave a sound design that radiates a classic and timeless vibe, yet ushers a freshness to contemporary times that is often lost to those that chase the wave of trendiness that digital landscapes feed to the masses at dizzying speeds. While “Heartbreak” won’t be a Tiktok hit, it will be a club burner and will bring true, unabated feelings that make certain records special.
In conjunction with the release, Bonobo and TEED bring us a visceral visual experience. Directed by Tom Andrew, the video focuses on a single dancer with oscillations between the dancer and psychedelic barbs of color that he utilizes to bubble to life the visual feeling of the record. He expertly brings forth the exact raw emotion that conjures memories of jubilance as you dance without a care at a rave or dancefloor anywhere in this world. It’s the perfect visual embodiment of “Heartbreak”
Bonobo and Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs are each incredibly talented artists. Their abilities come together to bring us a sensational record that is bold, fresh, and carves through the noise from those that chase the trend. “Heartbreak” is the perfect ode to the originators of dance music and deserves our attention.