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Billon were formed in 2012 when three separate producers -- Ed Butler, Robbie Lamond, and Rupert Wilson-Copp -- moved into the same shared studio space near Finsbury Park. The trio spent the best part of a year in the studio defining their eclectic blend of garage, house, and techno, until eventually they uploaded two tracks to their SoundCloud page, "Turn It Around" and "Hurt Me," the former featuring vocalist Lola Coca. Influential producers and radio hosts including Skream, Annie Mac, and Mistajam liked the tracks enough to give them early support on their respective BBC Radio 1 shows. Around the same time, the tracks were sent to the A&R department of U.K. dance label Rinse, which then helped Billon to release the Turn It Around EP in July 2013.
Shortly after their first EP, Wilson-Copp decided to leave the trio due to creative differences. Undaunted by the sudden downsizing, Butler and Lamond went on to release the Meditate EP in March 2014. In the same year, the duo collaborated with American singer Maxine Ashley on their single "Special"; the track proved to be their breakthrough release, gaining popularity in both the U.K. and the U.S., paving the way for an American tour. Meanwhile, they continued to issue remixes of other artists' tracks, including Katy B's "Still" and Ella Eyre's "If I Go," and Lamond decided he wanted to move to California, while continuing with the project. The distance meant that Butler would continue solo with regard to performances, therefore assuming the visual identity of Billon. In March 2015 Billon released their third EP, Dive In, featuring collaborations from two of their formative influences, Todd Edwards and Nu:Tone. An increased-BPM cover of the '90s club hit "Slave to the Vibe," originally by Aftershock, arrived a few months later, teasing a full-length debut via Rinse due in 2016. ~ Liam Martin
- Finsbury Park, London, England