Simon Green (aka Bonobo) is one of my favourite artists, and I’m glad to say that his latest album Migration doesn’t disappoint, taking its rightful place among Bonobo’s consistently excellent discography. Migration exhibits Bonobo’s familiar fusion soundscape; a synthesis of downtempo electronica with acoustic elements in the form a jazz band complete with strings, brass, woodwind, world instruments, and occasional mellow vocals. The distinct quality of this album, however, is that it possesses a more atmospheric texture than any of Bonobo’s previous work, evocative of Migration’s surreally beautiful album artwork; reverbed piano, ethereal synths, and melancholically epic strings are present in several tracks.
I enjoyed every track on this album, but there are some stand-outs worthy of note. 'Second Sun' is the best exemplification of Migration’s aforementioned atmospheric vibe. 'Bambro Koyo Ganda', featuring Moroccan band Innov Gnawa, has a chilled African tone it. Bonobo usually frequents Asian world influences, so this track is a fresh change of pace. 'Ontario' and 'Break Apart' have Bonobo’s familiar chilled out jazz band quality. 'Outlier' and especially 'Kerala' evoke Bonobo’s classic electronica, with satisfyingly fresh synths and energetic beats fused with world percussion. I’m not surprised that, based on this, 'Kerala' was the first single released.
"it possesses a more atmospheric texture than any of Bonobo's previous work"
Migration demonstrates Bonobo’s usual variety of sounds while simultaneously creating a new atmospheric one. Like much of Bonobo’s work, it is music that induce feelings of Zen whether you’re just chilling out or dancing at a party – speaking of which, I can’t wait to hear these tracks live when Bonobo comes to Newcastle in March. I’m a bit biased, of course, since I’m a big fan of Bonobo and downtempo music in general. But in an age where streaming music is abundantly accessible at little to no cost, I’d recommend giving this album a listen to everyone.