BONOBO – The North Borders

Album: The North Borders

Artist: Bonobo

Label: Ninja Tune

Release Date: April 16, 2013



Not to be confused with desert blues guitarist Bombino, UK producer/DJ Simon Green has now produced five albums (and a remix record) in a fruitful partnership with his hip techno label.  Where his regular vocal accompaniment had been Indian singer Badja (on 2006’s Days To Come) and fellow Brit Andreya Triana (on 2010’s Black Sands), here he ropes in Gotham folkie Reverend Gray for the opener, plus  jazz-influenced newbie Szjerdene  and, most impressively, modern R&B diva Erykah Badu, making this his widest selection of collaborations so far. 

Unfortunately, while the singers add some variety to the down-tempo dance stew that Green comes up with, they also fade into his lounge-like, bare-bones background all too well without adding much flavor, not to mention bite, to the proceedings—it’s only in the middle when he picks up the pace a little do things start to get interesting.  It’s all good and well for your favorite upscale cocktail party to add the right atmosphere but necessarily something that you’ll want to pull out to listen to on its own, unless it’s bedtime.

DOWNLOAD: “Heaven For the Sinner (featuring Erykah Badu),” “Know You”

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