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Animal Magic

4.6 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 12, 2009
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Editorial Reviews

Another fantastic Chill Out record to file along side your Bent, Dusted & Groove Armada records. Getting heaps of praise in the UK dance magazine's. 10 tracks in all including the 12 inch only singles, 'Terrapin' & 'The Plug'. Essential late night listening. 2000 release.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 12, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Tru Thoughts
  • ASIN: B00004VWWG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #71,158 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
There's a paper waiting to happen that discusses why everyone with a computer, some string samples and a half-speed beat thinks they can make quality downtempo music. Just look at the sheer volume of modern lounge material released monthly, repackaged ten different ways with all the hot nametags. Much of it has craftsmanship, but how much has inspiration?
That's the noticeable ingredient on Simon Green (Bonobo's) slow motion debut Animal Magic. Within the rich textures of each track, and the earnest instrumentation - chimes and Asian cooing on "Sleepy Seven", sitar, keyboard twinkles and back-looped voices of "Terrrapin" the idea and the hook are clearly felt.
Highly lauded "Kota" has already been a huge hit, the guitar plucks, swooning strings, and present bass thump woven into heartfelt song. "The Plug" slowly winds in muted horns, (again) stylized strings, and a slice of old soul that somehow Moby missed. Near the end, Green even opens it up a bit, closing with some cranked up drum programming and jazz showmanship.
It's a cohesive album with an appreciably diverse field of sounds within. Not quite a five star wonder, perhaps, but as the work of one man? Superb. Next time you have the itch for a Now That's What I Call Chill factory comp, what say you give an artist album a try instead?
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Format: Audio CD
For better or worse, the Internet has made it easy to satisfy a jones. No matter how exotic one's taste is, a couple of clicks will have your yen bubble-wrapped at your door. Unfortunately for me, my jones for Amon Tobin was satisfied too quickly. I needed more. With the release of the "4 Ton Mantis" single I got more. (Excuse me? Just what does Amon Tobin have to do with Bonobo? Just a moment. I'm getting there.) The "4 Ton Mantis" single featured a very tasty remix by Bonobo, a remix that triggered the jones. After too many search engines coughed up pages listing scientific papers on Australian pygmy monkeys (that's what a bonobo is), I bought the CD sound unheard, and now I have a new monkey on my back.
The Amon Tobin vibe is definitely there, especially on "Dinosaurs," "Shadowtricks," and "Sugar Rhyme." Both artists groove hard and share a fondness for muted horns (I think they may even share samples of muted horns) that make for fine nocturnal listenings. Mr. Tobin even gets a thanks in the liner notes. But where Amon Tobin is all about beats, Bonobo has a keen ear for melody and a lighter touch programming drum and percussion tracks, making him a little easier to listen to. Still, it's a fine line and I can see time adding layers of rhythmic complexity to Bonobo's compositions. In any case, if you jones for a tasty, noirish blend of beats and jazz, "Animal Magic" is a fine fix.
Addendum: The "Album Details" makes reference to "Some Sitar." "Some" is a recurring bit on a single track ("Terrapin"). I suppose it qualifies, but if you're looking for a heavy Indian influence, look elsewhere.
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By A Customer on December 13, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Bonobo, a new signing to the magnificent Ninja Tune label (those underground cats who can do no wrong), will surely please those who know proper records don't sell 10 million copies and aren't found at the Virgin megastore.
I will keep this short and sweet, as not much really needs to be said about "Animal Magic", other than it's flat out beautiful, soulful music, quite mellow and damn near impossible to throw into any one genre- which is what makes a good record.. the downfall of the whole music industry and all it's cookie-cutter bands/groups is that they all try to stay within one genre, so that the record can be easily and neatly placed in the proper section at your local K-Mart. Back to the matter at hand...
"Animal Magic" would probably be found in your "trip-hop" section of the record store, as most of the songs are beat driven, though blues, soul, and a touch of jazz play a part as well. If you're familiar with the brilliant Amon Tobin, you'll probably find much of this record similar to Amon's down-tempo work, though Bonobo's music is sweeter, gentler, not quite as devious as the sinister Amon's. I realize that this review doesn't give you any idea of what the record actually sounds like, so sample some of the tunes and hear for yourself- if you dig slow, lush, genre bending lounge music, you're in for a treat. WARNING: Trance dancing candy ravers- this album is boring, and you're better off sticking to your one-dimensional cheese beats. Go get the new Paul Oakenfold disc. This album probably has a bit too much substance for your Ecstacy-riddled minds to bear.
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Format: Audio CD
Bonobo is one of those artists who typically shows up on chill-out compilation sets--maybe a little too often--but the man does indeed put the C in Chill-out. From beginning to end Bonobo's very ambitious debut, Animal Magic, is a wave of druggy downtempo tracks reminiscent of work from a more laid back Amon Tobin. That's no wonder since Bonobo mentions him in his liner notes as well as has remixed a song or two of his. Songs like the haunting "Sleepy Seven", the enchanting "Shadowtricks", the the Tobin-esque "Kota", and the melanchonic "Terrapin" are all stand-out tracks that showcase Bonobo's talents.
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