COMING to us from the scene in Hong Kong, and comprised of multi-instrumentalists James Banbury (synths, bass, percussion, cello) and Joseph von Hess (vocals, clarinet, sax, percussion), Blood Wine or Honey describe themselves as hypno-tropicalia and fashion a technicolour haze of brazen sax, declamatory spoken word, Jimi Tenor-type pixieish funk and groove.
We were pretty much wowed by their last single at the beginning of May, “Testing Time”, which blew out socks off with its hyperreal, larger than life stylings, and of which we said: “… it’s kinda, hmmm, hypno-Afro-tropicalia-jazz-funk-disco, strongly declamatory, punk-funk-jazz, all the compounds and inversions of that. It’s out there on an underlit dancefloor in the cosmos. It will so much a brighter place, and a tinge more deliciously absurd, too.”
Their second single drop ahead of their forthcoming album, DTx2, calls on cast-iron vocal royalty in the shape of KT Tunstall, who the band can be pleased to call an old friend; the new ‘un’s called “Attraction”, and we’ve got the video for you, below.
She first crossed collaborative paths with Blood Wine or Honey when the duo contributed a DJ mix for her lockdown ‘KTRave on Instagram. “Attraction” follows on from that.
She drapes her fine voice in a swooping hook over a groove that’s part cinematic funk, but wild and untrammeled around the edges, grandstanding with weird licks and runs; a Bond theme for a fractured dream. Flutes hum and drums busy with bounce and a little spicing of wonkiness.
DTx2 is only three weeks away now, but our review will be with you at the start of that week; it’s a really varied and far-ranging album, and if you had a record shop or record library, twould be difficult to know where to shelve it; and maybe that’s the point. It’s pretty jazzy, but more in an Afro way; it’s pretty experimental, in quite a punk-funk way; it’s oftentimes very world groove, but in a really outwardly exploding way; it’s properly old-skool pop, in a prankster way; it grooves, in a weird way.
Never mind the kitchen, it’s an album you’d probably find holding forth in the corridor at parties; or, eyebrow arched, a fine, fine drink to quaff, standing behind the hatstand, wearing a bear’s head or something. Damn intriguing.
Blood Wine or Honey’s DTx2 will be released digitally and on vinyl by Bastard Jazz on June 25th and is available to pre-order now at their Bandcamp page.