Bombataz came into being when conservatory students Vitja Pauwels (guitar, voice), Hendrik Lasure (keys), Ruben De Maesschalck (bass) and Casper Van De Velde (drums) discovered that their common love for music is not limited to jazz, but to literally all genres. They moved into the same house in Schaerbeek and the rest is history.
Other projects of the gentlemen are schntzl, An Pierlé Quartet, Warm Bad, Donder and Woolvs (…). Their first EP ‘¡Kapao!’ was released in 2019 by Fake Records. That title stands for a smack in the face. But peaceful, like a business card. Single ‘Frankenstein’ made it clear what Bombataz stands for: playful pop music with a corner off, which is funny and melancholic at the same time.
October 2020 ‘Olympics of Love’, the debut album of Bombataz, the Brussels post-jazz pop quartet, was released.
With the new album Bombataz takes off the masks and turns out to be a thoroughbred pop band. They all sing with less/no effects on the vocals. Influenced by bands like Fleetwood Mac, Prince, Ambitious Lovers and Connan Mockasin, Bombataz appropriated a more mature sound, of which the album is the result. The album was recorded just before Corona struck (February 2020) and in the lockdown the final touches (overdubs) were added in quarantaine settings. The overall mood of the Olympics of Love album is one of positivity, hope and love, although a weird side or a tearjerk is never far away. While EP ¡Kapao! seemed more like a hype, the band now wants to explore their own path regardless of trends, be it tropical Latin funk or stumbling electro jazz. What counts are the songs and the fun of playing, the things that can’t be explained…
They consider the title track ‘Olympics of Love’ to be the most atypical and poppy song of the album, but actually there are no typical songs on it. ‘Hi Heels’ floats on a smooth horniness, until it goes glitchy. In ‘Mitraille’ they copulate Justin Timberlake’s R&B with Sly Fox’ 80’s synth funk. The stuttering ‘Va Danser’ asks to be compared to Stromae, but for this track it’s just a really shitty Etterbekenaar who falls down the stairs. “Feel like singing and dancing” they squeak in ‘Oerwoudblues’, which sums it all up: a sultry atmosphere and crackling synth punches that get everyone moving.
Bombataz sings in four languages. English, Dutch, French and Spanish belong to the metropolis in which they live. That too is part of their loose approach where anything is possible. That openness has its roots in their jazz education. Jamming and improvisation is their preferred method of composition, although they move into the studio in a very focused way. Their jazzy side is especially expressed during performances, because that’s where the ‘vibe’ reigns. This gave them a very strong live reputation.
At the Red Bull Elektropedia Awards 2019 Bombataz received the award for ‘Most Promising Artist’ and were nominated for Best EP.