Migration, the sixth album from Simon Green AKA Bonobo reaches new heights in his already distinguished discography by being his best record yet.
Building on 2013’s The North Borders and live shows which saw a cast of 12 musicians bringing his downbeat and ambient electronica to life, Migration manages to conjur up a nomadic sense of intimacy across its hour running time.
The ambient textures that could have lead Bonobo’s music to be called “chill” are refined here, expanded and richer, more detailed and human. Guest vocalists Rhye on ‘Break Apart’ and Hundred Waters’ Nicole Miglis on ‘Surface’ see to that, while Moroccan band Innov Gnawa bring that globe-trotting sensibility.
There are big signs of growth. ‘Outlier’ which sprawls out as a warm percussive upbeat jazz/house song in the vein of Floating Points grows tougher with a Four Tet-style beat. Innov Gnawa-featuring ‘Bambro Koyo Ganda’ could well drift off into pleasing worldly ambience but its rhythm and spark doesn’t let it settle. ‘Kerala’, which samples Brandy is soulful and warped in an urgent way while Nick Murphy (Chet Faker) adds to the expanse on ‘No Reason’. ‘Grains’ seemingly channels the vocal twists of James Blake in its construction.
Green says that the album is inspired by “the relationship between transience and identity,” and the album wisely doesn’t sit still for long. Ambient electronic and chilled music can often feel insular, a safe place to crawl to in your mind. Migration benefits from bringing in life from the outside.
The Internet’s Syd announced an upcoming solo album Fin, February 3rd on Columbia, which dropped with ‘All About Me’, a song about keeping your friends close set to an aquatic R&B beat and those Hud Mo-style heaves.
The xx – ‘Brave For You’
The xx’s third album I See You dropped today (review here), an album in which they embrace expansion & sing outward with growth and confidence. ‘Brave For You’ is a song sung only by Romy Madly Croft, dedicated to her recently-deceased parents. It’s a moving song which she sings “And when I’m scared / I imagine you’re there / Telling me to be brave / So I will be brave for you / stand on a stage for you”, while Jamie Smith supports the sentiment with subtle production that grows in strength over its running time.
Blanck Mass – ‘Please’
One of half of Fuck Buttons, Benjamin John Power returns with a third Blanck Mass album and it’s trailed with the heady clattering electronic jam ‘Please.’ which bares its teeth. World Eater< is out in March on Sacred Bones.
Bonobo – ‘No Reason’ feat. Nick Murphy
Migration, the new album from Bonobo dropped today and appears to be a return to form with standout tracks from Hundred Waters’ Nicole Miglis, Moroccan band Innov Gnawa, Rhye and this expansive house-leaning collaboration with Nick Murphy (formerly Chet Faker).
Sampha – (No one Knows Me) Like The Piano
‘(No One Knows Me) Like The Piano’ is a new song from Sampha written in tribute to his mother Binty Sisay and the piano that she owned. It was in her house from the age of three and was used in much of his upcoming album Process on Young Turks on February 3rd. Sampha says of his mother – “The more time that passes, the more I see the extent of her love for me.”
More of a collage-style dancefloor groover than an out and out collaboration, ‘Trust Me’ feels like a respite in a mix, a build towards a crescendo. Not only does Robyn provide vocals to this warm disco analogue-style production, it also features Abba drummer Per Lindvall and his brother David on bass. Lineage.
Laura Marling – ‘Wild Fire’
Laura Marling is set to release her sixth studio album Semper Femina on March 10th on her own Alarming Records in conjunction with Kobalt Music.
‘Wild Fire’ is our second taster of the album, and like her Reversal of the Music podcast which featured Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Haim and Shura among others), it is imbued with the exploration of femininity and the idea of a muse, in Marling’s recently adopted spoken-folk lilt.
“She keeps a pen behind her ear / in case she’s got a thing she really really wants to say / she puts it in a notepad / she’s going to write a book someday / of course the only time I want to read / is about her time spent with me / wouldn’t you die to know how you’re seen / are you getting away with who you’re trying to be?”
Sinkane follows up his ‘U’huh’ return single with another Afro-funk pop single about a booty call from someone odious essentially. The video, directed by Bráulio Amado & Bruno Ferreira was filmed in a single-shot in an apartment in Lisbon, Portugal and stars Kelly Nakamura, a classically-trained ballerina and dance instructor
New album Life & Livin’ It, due Feb 10th via City Slang.
Lo-fi house it may have been dubbed due to its pisstakey name and peers (Ross From Friends, DJ Boring) but backlash aside, DJ Seinfeld’s music is proven to have a big heart as well as a sense of humour. ‘U’ is warm and emotive and even manages to turn a Bob Geldof sample into something sweet.
Rhye, the music of Mike Milosh and Robin Hannibal has an elegant quality to it. When paired with Simon Green’s lush soundscapes as Bonobo, it’s a fruitful match. The song is from the forthcoming album Migration which will also feature Nick Murphy (FKA Chet Faker), Nicole Miglis of Hundred Waters and Moroccan band Innov Gnawa. You may have heard previous song ‘Kerala’ and it’s Gemma-Arterton-starring video.
All The People – ‘Beach Club’
Smooth soulful indie atmosphere from All The People, who are three brothers Ashley, Simon and Curtis from the UK.
‘It’s reminiscent of memories of our childhood summers spent in caravan parks on the south coast where the actual beach club we refer to still stands. It actually started life as pure house track and then we played around with harmonies & took inspiration lyrically from ‘The Prophet’ by Kahlil Gabrain shaping it into a slightly melancholy, nostalgic song’
A debut album called R Together is to be released in March.
St. Francis Hotel — ‘You’d Gotta Be Alive’
St. Francis Hotel are a new Irish act/producers based in London who have released three songs thus far but have done enough to be noticed by the wider world via KCRW, The Line of Best Fit, Clash, BBC Six Music and Spotify.
They previously featured here as producers of the song ‘Writer’s Block’ with Lixo and Trim but their own music is much more band-based, psychedelic rock, synth atmosphere with pop tones, as heard on debut ‘Mondello’ and its reprise of sorts ‘Beyond Mondello’ below.
The duo (names unknown) met in London after emigrating to Dublin during the recession.
Newest song ‘You’d Gotta Be Alive’ is the best of the three: a soulful psychedelic groove with falsetto and laid-back atmospheric vibes.
Over two years since the rapper Ta’East first featured on Nialler9, the San Diego rapper finally dropped his music acknowledging the wait with the title “>OK, I’m Ready, which features his first handful of tracks including this individual track.
Kemt – ‘100 Reasons’
A smooth lo-fi-leaning house jam from a Parisian producer that autoplayed on Soundcloud for me earlier this week. Sound! Buy the track.
It proved a fruitful partnership so the pair are at it again on the lead song from Daithí’s forthcoming EP Holiday Home, due in March. Holiday Home came about when Daithí bought a field recorded and began recording the sounds of the west of Ireland in an attempt to build a unique library of sounds.
‘Falling For You’, his collaboration with White, uses sea sounds from Inch beach in Cork and bell sounds from a wind chime I found in an Air Bnb in Achill. White recorded the vocals on Valentia Island.
Watch the video, also suitably set in the West of Ireland by Feel Good Lost.
In a short time, TooFools, a band brought to us by Lorcan O’Dwyer, Steven McCann and their big gang of friends have made a splash on the Dublin music landscape.
They introduced themselves with a live video by Christian Tierney of Insanity.
Now, nearly a year later and with much live experience under their belts, ‘Touch’ is an indication of what comes next – a disco-funking electronic soul stomper that recalls Jungle in its backdrop and falsetto.
The atmosfolk duo Saint Sister, Morgan MacIntyre and Gemma Doherty have established themselves as one of the best new Irish bands of the last year and a bit.
The pair have now released two new songs to keep us sated. ‘Tin Man’ and ‘Corpses’ are two songs recorded with Alex Ryan which are released through Communion Music’s Singles Club.
Communion have a habit of illuminating breaking folk artists and these two songs by the band, while they very much fit their harmony-folk aesthetic, there’s more atmosphere at play in the arrangements than before.
DJ Shadow – ‘Building Steam With A Grain Of Salt’ (Salva remix)
DJ Shadow touched down in Dublin on Thursday for a rare live set at Metropolis. A producer with such a revered first album often struggles to stay modern in what follows (Shadow addresses that weight here). Luckily, his latest album The Mountain Shall Fall has some peaks on it (most notably Run The Jewels) but it’s a recent remix album of Entroducing featuring remixes by contemporaries like Hudson Mohawke, Teklife, Lee Bannon, Prince Paul and Clams Casino that attempts a reimagining of the seminal first album. Most successful of the lot is Salva’s footwork remix of ‘Building Steam With A Grain Of Salt’, which Shadow incorporated into his set at Metropolis.
The Nialler9 TXFM show airs every Thursday night at 10pm for two hours. You can listen live on 105.2FM, online, the TXFM app or if you missed it, on the listen back function on the site, as per below. The show starts six minutes in, right after the news in each hour. Click the buttons to launch the TXFM site autoplaying links.
The Nialler9 TXFM show airs every Thursday night at 10pm for two hours. You can listen on 105.2FM, online, the TXFM app or if you missed it, on the listen back function on the site. Here’s last night’s show, which was all Longitude artists.
Bonobo’s last album 2010’s Black Sands had much to recommend on its tracklisting and ‘Cirrus’ from the new one The North Borders (March 29th/April 1st on Ninja Tune) is a Gold Panda-esque shuffling beat and bell track. Lovely. The video is a twist on the found footage video trope. Get the track as a free download. (more…)