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UK-based producer BONOBO released his fifth studio album “THE NORTH BORDERS” last month and has been heading up the scene of downtempo electronica long before the word “chillwave” was even a glint in some hipsters eye. Around the same time that ambient pop artists like Air and Goldfrapp were playing around with jazz, trip hop and soulful vocals he started to offer up a soothing after hour vibe that’s been long since loved by clubbers from Boston to the Balearics. Back with his new, albeit not his best, album to date he calls on the same emotional orchestrations and pensive productions layering moods of percussion with soaring strings, if there’s one thing this guys knows how to do well it’s build a sentiment-stirring crescendo.
He recorded the album in New York which he’s currently made his home and is off on tour this summer – sunrise festival vibes-amundo so check out the dates below. My favourite track on the album is without a doubt “CIRRUS” that is just one big loop of elation and the perfect soundtrack to emerge out of winter hibernation. Retro-inspired technicolour images overlap in time with his chiming percussive creation to brilliant effect – Watch the video here and download Cirrus for FREE at bonobomusic.com
Simon Green, AKA Bonobo, is an artist very much at the peak of his significant powers. His 2010 album ‘Black Sands’ was the high watermark of his career to date; a masterful record, marrying Green’s inimitable melodic genius to cutting edge electronics, bass and drums. It went on to sell over 150,000 copies worldwide, and since its release, Bonobo has toured the world with his live band, wowing audiences of thousands at a time with the hypnotic, extended live versions of the album’s tracks. He sold out both the Roundhouse and The Forum in London, and played a 22 date US tour that took in everywhere from Ashville NC to New York City. He amassed more than 16 million recorded plays on LastFM and over 301,000 likes on Facebook. The songs ‘Kiara’ and ‘Eyedsown’ – both featuring the breathtaking, moving tones of Andreya Triana – have gone on to reach something approaching hit status.
Now, in 2013, he stands ready to take things up yet another notch. The North Borders is another long stride forward – both a natural evolution and a continuation of the electronic palette of Black Sands. Thematic, resonant, addictive and perfectly formed, it’s a thrillingly coherent statement piece.
With vocal features from no less than Erykah Badu, as well as Grey Reverend (Cinematic Orchestra) and Cornelia (Portico Quartet) it’s another finely balanced body of work, leaving room for the beautiful, rich productions themselves to breathe and shine. Bonobo has a long history of unearthing new talent (Andreya Triana, Bjaika) and The North Borders sees him do so once again. The startling vocals of new collaborator Szjerdene are sprinkled across the North Borders, and Green has yet again found the perfect voice to enhance where he’s at.
Buy “THE NORTH BORDERS” (Ninja Tune) at bonobomusic.com + ninjatune.net/shop
Text by Amy Heaton