Bonobo, the British producer and DJ, has flown somewhat under the radar, even though he’s been recording for over ten years.
Hopefully, Black Sands will develop his popularity. It’s a wonderful down tempo album that feels warm and familiar upon first listen. It opens with a quiet piece featuring strings and piano and minimal percussion. Then, the drums and bass kick in as a gentle yet driving beat takes over and sets the tone.
Bonobo demonstrates to the listener that he knows how to develop musical themes, building layers, referencing back to earlier points, tearing tracks down only to build them back up. He is clearly skilled in creating musical landscapes, as he proves on this record. Some tracks are a little jazzy, some are a little funky, some reference subgenres like jungle or dancehall, some feel more like modern classical pieces, but they all work together cohesively.
In one of the more telling elements of this mostly instrumental album, I often found myself recalling melodies out loud, which speaks to Bonobo’s strength as a composer. There’s really not a weak track on the album, and it’s one in which I keep returning.
All this, and I haven’t mentioned the vocal contributions of Andreya Triana, whose silky and soulful vocals on three tracks are the icing on the cake of this album. I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for her debut album later this year.
|Title:||Bonobo - Black Sands|