It’s been a long time since I’ve come across a worth-while DJ-set in the city, but it wasn’t surprising to see the curated groove that Bondax put together last Friday at Wicker Park’s Chop Shop.
For those of you who don’t know Bondax (Adam Kayne and George Townsend), the duo began their journey from Lancaster, England in 2010. For them, it was a side project the two would work on after a day of classes (studying in London) from a group of friends they joined together.For those who are familiar with the ‘blog house’ movement, this is only about a year after it’s three-year span (2006-2009). Their rise came from several plays on the BBC Radio 1 out of England through DJs Annie Mac and Nic Grimshaw. Since the group’s early beginnings, these two gentlemen shared quite a journey with starting into music, pursuing it, moving away from a record label and then creating their own. The ride has not been easy – but Kanye and Townsend are always full of smiles when it comes to showtime.
In a recent interview with CreativeDisk, the two gents explain that they “take a lot of time away from each other to maintain their creative spirits. We get together, put our work in and then go off and enjoy our freedoms away from work.” This contrasts the way the group used to function as they lived together, created together, and toured together. When you think about it, that’s a lot of time spent, side by side, day by day. It adds up, and it makes your personal life scarce. In time the two realized this and made the switch to their living styles, on their terms. And it would make sense, when they join on stage, on tour, it’s two creative minds that are there to bring a pleasant and dancing experience reminiscing of a discotheque.
Chop Shop is a restaurant-concert venue that has numerous tables and booths, a full bar, and the very back end if an open concert-room (similar to that of Lincoln Hall, except on a smaller scale). It’s the perfect venue that suited what these guys aim for, “souly, melodic, hip-hop like music.” You’ll find that their sets encapsulate this, but draw it out to a disco fever of the modern era.
Let’s cut to the chase, what’s the show all about?
When first thinking about it, it’s quite tricky to put a word on it, except for this – the entire room was moving, and it was more noticeable due to the lighting. Chop Shop is not a typical nightclub. The amount of I smiles, hands and shoulders up in the air, knees, and legs continually moving covered the floor. There wasn’t a single person still – even the bartender grooved as he handed out drinks to the fellow customers.
The sad part of any DJ set is the lack of knowledge of what the group plays. Although I managed to snag one song the entire night, the rest is pure in the moment experience. Why not use Shazam and get those songs? You’ll defeat the purpose of why you went in the first place. Who wants to waste their time trying to figure songs out? Wouldn't you instead take in every moment for what you paid to see? Concerts today lack that sense of mentality amongst the fans. Although artists remind us to "put the phones down, take a moment in," we still do the opposite – not all, but many. Remember what you paid for: the experience. Make sure you EXPERIENCE it.