Clean Bandit - New Eyes

By Scott Birnie

Released June 6th, 2014 - Warner Music

What do you get when you cross classical composition with EDM? If you're unsure don't despair, I have no idea either.  Chatto quartet, as the name states, were a four piece classically trained string combination, playing bizarre 2 step remixes at the end of their performances. After teaming up with 2 local UK producers, Clean Bandit hit the studio to develop a distinct and somewhat confusing sound.

While they may already have two top 5 hits, everything and rather be, all that is left on the record is sound mixed with a beat. There is no flow from track to track, no feel to what they are trying to convey and in turn the record as a whole is utterly underwhelming. Hip-hop meets classical meets house is a combination that most would label as a shot in the dark and this is seemingly what they have produced. At times you can drift away in the beauty of a string quartet only to be abruptly shaken awake by a drop that fits outside of the realm of reason. While listening to ‘New Eyes' I was unsure if I should be sipping a single malt scotch, smoking a distinctive Cuban or thrashing around in a relentless frenzy in some grimy underground club.

I am not sure where Clean Bandit fit in the musical landscape, obviously with their mild success to date they may have something to work with, or work on, but in this case ‘New Eyes' fails to inspire my thinking that this style will have any place outside of a niche group of hipsters.