THE ALBUM IS BEING RELEASED BOTH DIGITALLY AND ON VINYL VIA HER OWN ENDORPHIN.ES PRODUCTIONS
Modular techno obsessive and dark pop connoisseur: Julia Bondar’s fourth studio album Bonding sounds like nothing else you’ll hear this year.
Prior to Bonding, Bondar has released three albums, the latest of which was 2020’s Industrial Symphony LP which demonstrated her innate ability to extract orchestral sounds from synthetic equipment. A blend of techno rhythms and dark pop, it paid tribute to Bondar’s idea of a modern industrial symphony, employing the powerful and unique characteristics of analog machines while also being harmoniously linked to the pleasant, danceable, and hypnotic atmosphere of industrial rhythms: themes that are explored further on this new album.
Across nine distinct and engrossing tracks on Bonding, Bondar blends and plays with genre, from industrial, techno, electro, avant-garde pop, dark wave and more. Danceable and melodic, often moody and sinister, sometimes euphorically melancholic, she puts a unique stamp on every track she produces, giving the album a traceable through-line despite its myriad and often disparate influences and tones.
Album opener Ruby Red sets the tone in dynamic fashion: a pummelling techno thumper that gives way to two further full on industrial techno bangers in Pleasure & Pain and Flamboyant – visceral, no-holds-barred cuts that see Bondar fully cut lose with her driving, highly energetic modular programming.
From there the album drifts into perhaps its most self-reflective moment, with the intro to La neige et ses messes noires. This arresting track was made as a love-letter to French electro in collaboration with Maman Küsters, a French duo formed by Gaël Loison and Cyril Pansal, with Pansal penning the lyrics to Bondar’s music and Loison producing. This love of dark French electro is further explored on Obey: a haunting, mid-tempo slice of crushing electronica that simply demands your attention.
The title track offers a brief respite from the intensity of the previous tracks, offering a space to move your body in a tribal, hypnotic dance. Antisocial is about embrace your true self, explored by a broken beat pattern and sidewinding synth lines that ebbd and flows between crushed drums and ethereal pads, and the broken beat structure is continued on the closing track In Flame: a gorgeous, expansive redemption offering the listener space to reflect.
An arresting, beguiling listen from start to finish, Bonding is a call for emotional transformation, with Bondar evoking different states and feelings: starting from superficial but reaching to the deepest corner of your mind. This album is designed as a conversation between Bondar and her audience through the music and track names, a call for reflection and conscious approach to listening.
Available now on Bandcamp
released October 20, 2021
© 2021 Endorphin.es Production, Barcelona.
Catalogue number: JB-08.
Written and produced by Julia Bondar.
Track B1 lyrics by Maman Küsters.
Recording and album art by Andreas Zhukovsky.
Mixed and mastered by Alan Lockwood.
Tracks A4 and B1 mixed by Gaël Loisson.