With a new year generally comes a new dose of important music releases, and 2017 is no different. This year has made a particularly strong start, thanks in part to Bonobo’s new album drop, Migration. Bonobo is no doubt one of the most influential experimental electronic producers out there, so when his album this hailed as his most experimental yet, it’s time to be excited.
Real name Simon Green, the British artist has made it hard to follow his own act given his impressive discography, but Migration has risen to the challenge, successfully creating a vast array of moods that will lure in the best of us. The title track and album opener is a stirring wonder that builds around trickling piano chord patterns and gentle percussion, while its successor, ‘Break Apart’, births an emotional depth thanks to Rhye’s cooing voice and the melodic pattern that tilts between sadness and optimism.
Bonobo’s mastery of his trademark low-key, late-night sound comes into its own in tracks like ‘7th Sevens’ and ‘Kerala’, inducing a trance-like state with every whir and melody, despite the relatively snappy beats. Then, just as we get comfortable, Bonobo unleashes upbeat, punchy numbers like ‘Outlier’, ‘Bambro Koyo Ganda’ and ‘Ontario’ to shake up the mix, not to mention his hefty track in collaboration with Nick Murphy that comes in the form of ‘No Reason’.
With an album as layered as this, all we can say is: Welcome back Bonobo.