Coming March 31st is ‘Melba’s Call’, Bok Bok’s first major release since 2011’s Southside EP, which included his omnipresent latter day eski classic ‘Silo Pass’. Between then and now he’s been busy running one of the UK’s most consistently brilliant and innovative record labels in Night Slugs and working as an in demand remix artist, DJ and promoter across the globe, not to mention serving as general architect for Kelela, featured in this track.
Previously Bok Bok tended toward cold and grimey sounds, but in keeping with his myriad of influences and the rapid pace at which labelmates such as Jam City and Kingdom incorporate and manipulate genres, ‘Melba’s Call’ takes Funk and Disco under its taught wing. Kelela’s vocals introduce elements of R’n’B that bring to mind Destiny’s Child and other such 90s to mid 00s acts, with her powerful voice reverberating and crooning over sparing slap bass stings and buzzing analog synths.
Not quite able to immerse himself entirely in the throwback feel of the song, there are odd hints of Bok Bok’s musical background with percussive flourishes straight from Wiley’s hard drive and a FWD sticker in the otherwise unadorned monolithic studio seen in the video.
The track does feel in some ways like an offcut from Kelela’s 2013 mixtape ‘Cut 4 Me’, understandable seeing as how the album (released on Night Slugs sister Fade to Mind) seemed mostly engineered by Bok Bok and his cohorts to conform to their previously instrumental sonic aesthetic.
– Bertie Jennings