Bonobo’s sixth studio album is more or less exactly what you’d expect from the veteran British producer: an evocative, easy listening record that’s a pleasant journey from start to finish.
Across most of its tracks, Migration builds on Simon Green’s fifth release The North Borders.In his typical downtempo style, he develops peaceful soundscapes, as heard in the title track and ‘Kerala’. Teaming up with Nick Murphy (FKA Chet Faker) for ‘No Reason’ has built some hype around the album, and the single ‘Break Apart’ with R&B duo Rhye will have wide appeal.
But Green has thrown in some surprises for us this time around, too. ‘Outlier’ begins much like the rest with some soothing sounds, but it builds to an aggressive electronic beat – imagine the soundtrack that would accompany defeating a boss in a video game, and you’re on the right track. Meanwhile, the collab with Innov Gnawa on ‘Bambro Koyo Ganda’ is quite different altogether, adding a spectacular African flavour to Bonobo’s usual slow-moving beats. ‘Figures’ wraps it all up with a nod to Aussie producers Flight Facilities, using a subtle sampling of the vocals in ‘Why Do You Feel’.
Migration is Bonobo’s most polished release yet, and proof that he can still experiment with his highly developed style.