Luke Bonds has an ear for the unusual. The Barbados-based producer and rapper recently released his Yellow Water EP and The Raccoon team were mad impressed with what we heard. The EP features seven tracks which move from choppy time signatures and dark soundscapes to smooth hooky samples and mellow grooves that you can sink into, before being awoken again by a shift back into the eery.
Yellow Water shows a succinct production and a knack for making the most of a sample line, but the project really comes alive with the vocals of Splash Townsend and Nick Wavy. The added rap lines works to accent how interesting this twenty-one year old producer’s beats really are, showing a maturity beyond his years.
We spoke to Luke about Yellow Water, his creative process and future collaborations.
Hey Luke. How long have you been producing music?
I started producing last year October, around that time yeah. So not very long
What got you started?
I was always fascinated by sampling (I’m on whosampled.com all day). I watched a video of 9th wonder making Slumdog Millionaire for Big Remo and I was like yeah.
The ‘Yellow Water EP’ uses a lot of unconventional time signatures and conflicting sounds, then goes to really smooth beats. How difficult is it to go from actively searching to remove melody to finding it again?
Not difficult at all man, it’s really fun. I like creating weird noises
Nick Wavy and Splash Townsend provide vocals on your EP. Is it a new experience working with vocalists? How did you decide to collaborate?
I’ve collaborated with vocalists before, Tony Mil on the Colorless Vol.1 EP and Roj Mahal on The Enrichment, both of them I fully produced. Those are the major ones. Nick and I are cool, I sent him a bunch of stuff a while back and he picked Blue Room. Splash and I were actually working on a short EP but we never finished it, Rhythm was one of the tracks he finished. Really good track too.
Are there other vocalists you would like to feature on future projects?
I’m working on some stuff with Adot. I would love to work with Chester Watson but it’s weird cause he’s like 17 or something and I’m like 21 anyway. I like rappers with a dark vibe – like an Earl vibe.
You’re based in Barbados. What is the music scene like there and how much does your location influence what you make?
I hate Barbados and everything in it
The video for ‘OK’ features some pretty incredible artwork. Who is behind the images and what is the story?
Shit it’s this French scifi movie, I can’t remember the name right now…
What has the response been like to the EP so far?
Yeah some people love it, some people hate it. I make music that I think is cool though so it’s whatever
If there was one other artist you think we should check out, who would that be?
Roj Mahal. No disrespect to any other artist I’ve worked with but Roj Mahal is a lyrical genius. He has gone like super hiatus though I don’t know what happened. But yeah check him out. If you like Ab-Soul, you’ll like Roj.
Any chance of some abstract raccoon noises on the next EP? Maybe put through a phaser and with loads of reverb?
You guys should make a raccoon mask that I can wear. Sorta like DOOM, that’d be cool.
You can listen to the Yellow Water EP below and also download it from AudioMack.