South London vocalist, producer and instrumentalist, Rondo Mo (Robbie Redway), crafts intense, modern electronic soundscapes that draw on dance, R&B and acoustic indie influences to captivating effect.
Drawing comparison with acts ranging from Caribou through to Bob Moses and Sohn, Rondo Mo has nonetheless remained markedly original in his early output. After a wide range of collaborative work, including releases as AKASE with house producer Midland and time as a session member of alt-folk band To Kill A King, Rondo Mo found himself in an artistic no mans land, a ‘stylistic bewilderment’, and it took a reclusive trip to Bodmin Moor in Cornwall to reignite the creative juices. In a story that draws strong similarities with Justin Vernon’s retreat into the solace of the Wisconsin woodlands in writing For Emma, Forever Ago, Redway retreated to a remote barn and had no human contact for six weeks, taking his cues from the bleak moorland landscape which surrounded him and the limited vinyl collection he had taken with him. The results of this time away from day to day life are now being released for everyone to enjoy, an insight into what must have been a deeply intense and personal experience.
Redway releases his first official track, ‘Overflow’ this month. It is instantly recognisable by the pulsating bass that underpins the record, before Redway’s soulful vocals are added to the mix alongside a swirling combination of house inspired synths, distorted instrumentation and vocal effects. The production is dark and intense but at the same time spacious, single piano keystrokes sitting alongside skittering drums and those big room synth lines. ‘Overflow’ builds on his previous releases, including ‘Corners’, a Bon Iver-esque slice of minimalist, layered electronica that places Redway’s falsetto at the fore of a warm and emotive mix. Rondo Mo’s music draws on a vast range of styles from Seventies soul through to contemporary house and Eighties electronica but these inspirations combine to create something undeniably modern.
As we continue into 2017 , there is the promise of more new music to come from Redway and the future looks bright for a musician that fuses musical intelligence with a rich creative spirit and an ear for modern trends, marking Rondo Mo out as one to listen out for.
‘Overflow’ is out now.
Words: William Sutton