GROOVE SPECIALIST | Bonobo

HEAD-BOBBING WITH BONOBO: Bonobo is the stage name of musician and DJ Simon Green, who will be releasing his fourth studio album, “Black Sands”, on March 29th, 2010 through Ninja Tune. Green’s new record likely will have BBC Radio One DJ Gilles Peterson drooling all over his vinyl. Bonobo blends ambient house and chill with an acid-jazz tradition. Tracks like “El Toro” are spirited with strings, heavy African percussion, horns, and maracas like some long-lost Brand New Heavies unearthing — or rebirth of the Solsonics for the club set. “We Could Forever” skips and bops with electronic dance beats, cut-up samples, bird whistles and flute used as slickly as Dr. Dre did on The Chronic’s “Lil’ Ghetto Boy”. Like a number of dance-hybrid creators — including Erlend Oye, Zero 7 and Thievery Corporation — Bonobo makes stellar use of female vocals. “Black Sands” features the sexy, soulful, and simmering R&B vocal stylings of UK songstress Andreya Triana on three tracks, “Eyesdown”, “The Keeper” — and the smoothest song on the album, “Stay the Same”. The track opens with a light acoustic guitar, a hard beat and these pretty, chill lyrics:

“A night train. / Midnight. / Bags gathered ’round my feet. / Possession. / Some lesson, to carry with me. / Heavy. / Soothing. / Like a gentle symphony. / I rest my head right back upon my seat. / It’s hot and cold though — the best thing for me. / This train is, moving. / But my heart is stationary.
— Words and art by David D. Robbins Jr.
(Illustration makes use of press photos off Bonobo MySpace page)

SONG BELOW: Bonobo “Stay the Same”

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