Simon Green, the mastermind behind such Bonobo classics as Days To Come and Dial ‘M’ For Monkey, is back with his most inventive and polished release to date. Taking the many mastered elements from his past work, Black Sands represents something all musicians aspire to, yet rarely ever achieve.
Beginning with an enchanted assortment of strings and piano, “Prelude” serves as a calm arrival to a world of instrumental amazement. Blending beautifully into “Kiara”, the drums and synthesizer kick up and we soon find ourselves immersed in a whirlwind of intense dubstep. And the electronic bonanza doesn’t stop there, as Bonobo continues to showcase his experience with synths and samplers, specifically on tracks like “1009″ where he leaves absolutely no rest for the weary.
But where Bonobo stands above all else is within his ability to intertwine live instrumentation with the electronic landscape he creates. One element that deserves to be highlighted is his subtle use of the bass guitar throughout. On tracks like “Kong” and “Animal” the bass is by no means a standout, yet it keeps the track cohesive and groovy all the while.
Not only does Bonobo utilize live instrumentation flawlessly, he also ads a sweet dosage of vocals to the mix. With the help of the beautiful songstress Andreya Triana, “Eyesdown”, “The Keeper” and “Stay The Same” are spiced up to perfection. Being the only singer on the album, Green must have thrown a good deal of confidence Andreya’s way. Luckily she answered, delivering spectacular performances on each of the three tracks.
Black Sands can hardly be looked at as a collection of songs, but rather a journey into an eerie sonic abyss that the cover artwork suggests. From every ounce of breathing instrumentation to the clever transitions throughout, this album is brought to life. Bonobo brings to us an inspiring display of artistry and originality, as he pushes the boundaries of music once again.