A British genre crossover group best known for their hit single “Rather Be,” Clean Bandit mash classical music and pop forms for an airy and dreamy yet driven sound that’s like the chamber music version of house music. The group was formed by four core members — Grace Chatto on cello, percussion, and vocals; Jack Patterson on bass, keys, piano, and vocals; Luke Patterson on drums; and Neil Amin-Smith on violin and piano — who were also known as the Chatto Quartet.
The classically trained string quartet performed J.S. Bach and cited Jacqueline du Pré as an influence, but their post-show, wind-down music often consisted of garage, 2-step, Craig David, and Arcade Fire tracks. The quartet members were aware of both producer Jon Wandeck and MC Ssegamic through the duo’s work in photography, and when Wandeck suggested they play on one of his house music cuts, Clean Bandit were born. With MC Ssegamic on the mike, they released the classical-meets-house-meets-hip-hop-meets-heartbreak song “Telephone Banking” in the summer of 2011.
Their Dance Armstrong mixtape followed in 2012, while 2013 saw the release of the Mozart’s House EP. The “Mozart House” track also landed on their album New Eyes, which was released by major-label Atlantic in 2014. It wasn’t until the release of New Eyes’ fourth single, the Jess Glynne-featuring “Rather Be,” that Clean Bandit truly entered the international mainstream. The song became the second best-selling track in the U.K. in 2014 and won a Grammy for Best Dance Recording in 2015.
The success of “Rather Be” helped Clean Bandit ride New Eyes into 2016. Late that year, Amin-Smith parted ways with the band, days before they released the single “Rockabye,” featuring Sean Paul and Anne-Marie on vocals. The track became their second U.K. number one and broke into the Billboard Top 40. They followed with additional collaborations like “Symphony” with Zara Larsson, “Disconnect” with Marina and the Diamonds, and “I Miss You” with Julia Michaels. ~ David Jeffries & Neil Z. Yeung
Download and enjoy the 16 Tracks Deluxe Album by Clean Bandit titled “What Is Love” below;