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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?
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I first heard Bonobo on an NPR interview. If you like techno music that creates Audio-scapes, you must buy every one of their albums. Animal Magic is no different. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Henry Mann
It took me the longest time to invite Bonobo into my Prime library, but once I gave him a serious try, I was hooked. Read morePublished 13 months ago by JTR
A great album best to get this album used it seemed like all copies have shrink wrap problems causing all the albums to have bent covers.Published 19 months ago by kc/eat/eva
wonderful unusual music- but head for track 4 to start withPublished 19 months ago by ROMANTIC AT HEART
this album is awesome, very chilled out, more tropical than black sands. I think I like this album a little more, the mood is just so cool. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Jared Jennings
A beautiful album, and it sounds even better on vinyl. The only problem is remembering to flip the record, but hey, it's worth it.Published 24 months ago by MD
Bonobo is one of my current favorite musicians for downtempo style music. I own pretty much all of his alums and would recommend them to anyone who likes this kind of music.Published on July 4, 2014 by R. C. Lewis