Simon Green returns his fourth album under the moniker of Bonobo.

What is immediately apparent when listening to Black Sands, is the apparent compositional skill of Simon Green. Where Dial M for Monkey and Days to Come were  great beat records, Black Sands seems to be heading to a totally different musical landscape.

Album openers Prelude and Kiara evoke scores to some of the great Japanese thrillers of the 60s and 70s, ripe with lush strings and a moody piano that transition into beautifully composed breakbeats and glitchy vocal snippets. Kong and All in Form feel a lot more like previous Bonobo offerings, but coated in a new focused and real-instrument-heavy gloss, that didn’t seem as apparent in earlier releases.

The vocal talents of Andreya Triana are very well placed in this record, a change from the more snappy style of previous collaborator Bajka. Triana’s dazed style fits neatly with Green’s jazzier feeling pieces like the excellent The Keeper, adding a nice narrative to the exotic and rich instrumentals.

Simon Green has leap-frogged from a really decent beat-maker, to a really quite impressive composer in a very short period of time. which leaves  you wondering where he’ll take us next. Black Sands sidesteps expectations – as well as clichés – to provide a really rich and inventive instrumental tapestry that you really should spend some serious time checking out.

Ken Eakins

Black Sands is released via Ninja Tune on the 29th March.

Bonobo Site & MySpace

About the Author

Ken Eakins is a filmmaker and weird stuff enthusiast from the South of England.

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