The Ill Communication

March 9, 2017 | 21:47 | Written by: snake911

I've been listening to Bonobo's latest album Migration.  With it comes a new list of tracks that chill the senses in a tranquil state as you listen to electronica music with his signature technique of weaving everyday sounds into each track.

Even though the album from start to finish is a treasure of songs, there are a few that stand out above the rest.  The first time I listened to the album was out of order.  I normally don't do this, but since I didn't detect any linear path like if it was trying to tell a story, so I figured it was ok.  The first song I heard titled "Kerala" -- which is one with a suspenseful tone -- is the biggest hit for the album.  It has a quick beat and with strings taking center stage from I'm guessing is a harp, but then makes way for repeating lyrics of the latter half.  The music video for it evokes an unsettling nervousness while watching a woman in an eerie situation running through a city.  It's intriguing so you'll watch it to its end to see how the story unfolds even if you don't care for the track.  Unfortunately for me the editing for the video with its quick cuts make it difficult to watch as it tends to strain my eyeballs.

Song 7, "Bambro Koyo Ganda," has a dance club vibe to it with Arabic lyrics on top.  And even though I don't understand what is being said, the flow of the music, lyrics, and hand clapping make it a pretty catchy song.  Then there's "Ontario" with its big beats that go in line with something I would have heard from Amon Tobin.  The slow and sloppy drums are what my ears focus on the most with this one, and the horns make is sound like this could be picked to be part of a soundtrack for a motion picture.

Visually the album's cover art is striking, giving me a similar appreciation for it like from his 2010 album Black Sands.  When glancing at it for the first time, I quickly though of Riven, a video game set in a world with a similar design with human structures surrounded all around by nature, but to my surprise it's a photo taken from the Mojave Desert, which is about an hour's drive from me (and very familiar having family living there).  Without context it's all very alien looking with thought-provoking scenes of rock formations, reflective blue skies, and fire spewing upward in the middle of the shot.  There's a fantastic article about the album art alone, interviewing the photographer and the reasons for their visual theme surrounding Migration.

As a runner's up list, "7th Sevens" and "Outlier" are great, but nowhere as good as the three mentioned above.  Overall Bonobo continues making fantastic music and Migration proves that with these 12 new tracks.  If you want a more relaxed, unwind, and tune out the day kind of music that comes from the electronic music scene, I don't think there's anyone better than Bonobo who can do this.

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