Brighton-born musical talent Simon Green has developed the ability to take downtempo, ambient leaning sounds which might not appeal to the everyday listener, and transform them into vibrant arrangements with crisp live percussion and harmonising synth melodies. This has made his Bonobo moniker a flagship inclusion amongst top British producers such as Four Tet and Aphex Twin. Now releasing his sixth studio album, once again with Ninja Tune, Green delivers Fragments, and a dozen fresh
productions which come in a little over the 51 minute mark. It’s an eclectic project, as is typical for a Bonobo record, traversing through downtempo, ambient electronica, house, and ghastly trip hop. Emotionally its lively and seemingly restless, tracks like Elysian and Tides will bring out the melancholic side of your conscious, while Closer and Otomo will have you setting new PR’s on the bench press. As with most music of a similar style, it relies heavy on texture and whether its the metallic tinge of loose percussion, the elastic edge on the filtered bass sounds, or the soft, wispy bed of the unassuming string arrangements, this one has texture in droves. Just like every Bonobo album before it, Fragments delivers a few features, and the third party contributions here are impressive, vocals from Jordan Rakei, production credits from Ninja Tune alumni O’Flynn, and thought-provoking songwriting from Chicago’s Jamila Woods, there’s a robust list of talent here that paints over any doubt about if the record deserves it’s place in your collection.
Where to start:
Otomo: Live percussion and dreamy synth work come together
Tides: Downtempo ambience meets a beautiful vocal from Jamila Woods
Closer: Visceral aural textures and glistening bursts of melody
Previous from Bonobo:
Migration LP (2017, Ninja Tune)
The North Borders (2013, Ninja Tune)
If you like this then check out:
Four Tet – New Energy (2017, Text Records)
Tycho – Awake (2014, Ghostly International)
Bonobo – Fragments is out now on Ninja Tune.