Bonobo – Migration

Haunting melancholy, fist-pumping house music and everything in between

Album Review by Donald Shields | 17 Jan 2017
Album title: Migration
Artist: Bonobo
Label: Ninja Tune
Release date: 13 Jan

Simon Green, aka Bonobo, has delivered his sixth album Migration and at the same time also delivered a lesson in electronic music. Previous album The North Borders went top 30 in the UK, and was toured across 30 countries on four continents to a total audience of around 2 million people; Migration is the acid test for electronic music in 2017, and sets a standard that will be undeniably difficult to match, let alone beat.

This album explores themes of family, dislocation, travel; the very textures of human existence. Each song is a perfectly crafted, emotive piece of work. Using unusual sounds such as elevator noise in a Hong Kong airport or a fan boat engine in New Orleans, these samples and guest appearances reiterate the migratory feel of the album. The vocals for Break Apart were recorded in a hotel room in Berlin by LA-based Canadian Michael Milosh, and Australian Nick Murphy (fka Chet Faker) also appears on the album, along with Nicole Miglis from Florida indie outfit Hundred Waters. New York-based Moroccan band Innov Gnawa also make an appearance, giving an enchanting feel to one of the most impressive tracks on the album, Bambro Koyo Ganda.

Green highlights his talent in electronica with expertly crafted intricate drum patterns, found sounds and eloquent string sections and synths. The final track on the album, Figures, has an impressive string section which was composed and recorded by Green in his LA living room. It's a track which signs off Migration in a beautifully majestic fashion that leaves the listener wishing the trip would last that little bit longer.

Listen to: Bambro Koyo Ganda, 7th Sevens