Simon Green aka Bonobo returns with his sixth album, the masterful, magisterial “Migration” – his most experimental body of work to date, transitioning the listener from ground level consciousness to higher planes with a record which cements his place in the very highest echelons of electronic music and beyond.
By turns lush, manic, beautiful, melancholy, joyful, packed with both emotion and technical skill, this is perhaps his most ambitious attempt yet to capture the very textures of human existence in his work, as Green says of the broad dynamics on the album, “Life has highs, lows, loud and quiet moments, beautiful ones and ugly ones. Music is a reflection of life.“
Staggering out his new sound via chapter like track to track constructs, British producer and DJ Bonobo documents his transient life via LP Migration. Searching for belonging and familiarity through experimental algorithms, collaborating with musical companions Jon Hopkins, Rhye, Nick Murphy (aka Chet Faker) amongst various other vocalists on the 12 track, Ninja Tune released album, the nomadic composer engages with the concept of noise and space in an entirely original way. Writing with fresh perspective on this, his sixth studio album, disconnecting with the previously established style he has already become so celebrated for, the challenge in Migration lay with appealing to a universal audience and not just the fan base he already felt comfortable catering to.
Soaring over imagined landscapes which stimulate a feeling of higher perspective, peace and awe resonate from the music. Fusing African based polyrhythms, piano and brass with string quartets, diverse cultural references intertwine to inspire introspective moments. Steering the sound in a unique and vivacious direction, the culmination of this accomplished album feels increasingly mind expanding upon each successive listen. Bonobo’s tracks speak with a confidence which is powerful and engaging. If the earth were to have a theme tune to its evolution, both temporally and geographically, it would probably sound something akin to Bonobo’s Migration. Presenting the music with a full orchestra and heavily visual live show, Bonobo will once again embark on a global tour, to revisit far flung countries which have come to feel both familiar and foreign to this well seasoned traveler.
Three video released from the album; first one is for the lead single “Kerala“, which samples the R&B vocals of Brandy, was weaved together during the producer’s journey throughout the United States. The gripping visual sees a frantic woman shuffling through the streets as the tries to escape a meteor. Directed by Dave Bullivant aka Bison.
Second haunting video released for “Break Apart“, exploring a martian landscape with melancholic singing of the moody R&B duo Rhye. Directed by Neil Krug, who created what he calls “a hyper-real tableau of smoke plumes and fire.”
Bonobo has shared the third video for “No Reason” a collaborative track with Nick Murphy, the producer formerly known as Chet Faker. Directed by Oscar Hudson, the hypnotizing clip explores a surreal, never-ending series of interconnected rooms as a man grows exponentially inside them. Watch below.
Bonobo’s Migration was released January 13, 2017 and out on Ninja Tune. You can buy physical and digitals copies on Ninja Tune’s shop.
The record is also accompanied by a special edition booklet containing meditations on the theme – extracts of pop-philosophy that tread a wandering path between Bob Dylan, U2’s Joshua Tree, the election of Trump and the idea of retreat.
Bonobo will tour on the back of this album in 2017 with his live band. He has announced some preliminary 2017 tour dates across North America with stops in Toronto, Denver, Asheville, Richmond, Washington, New York and elsewhere. All tour dates and details here.
Text Milly McMahon
Photography Neil Krug