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Bonobo - Dial M for Monkey


Review: Jack Foley

HAVING jumped from the small Tru-Thoughts record label to Ninja last year, Brighton-based DJ, Bonobo (aka Simon Green) now delivers his first album for them, the bizarrely named, Dial M for Monkey.

The result builds on the success of his earlier efforts by delivering a smooth, intoxicating mixture of beats and funky rhythms that provide the perfect soundtrack to any chilled out mood.

Green may not be as spectacular, or well-known as fellow Brighton DJ, Norman Cook, but his work sounds more accomplished, in that it consistently continues to delight without ever feeling as though it is trying to pander towards a more mainstream listener base.

Hence, certain tracks on the album have more in common with the cool sound of David Holmes (in Ocean's Eleven mode), while also possessing a retro-feel which belongs in the Seventies era of cool that was epitomise by Steve McQueen.

Take, for instance, Pick Up, with its retro organs, Lalo Schifrin-inspired drum breaks and flutes, which signals the album at its funkiest, or the lazy, feelgood beats of Change Down - both classic examples of why the Bonobo sound, once heard, is seldom better for fans of this sort of thing.

The presence of a bigger label has also enabled Green to bring in more instruments - so as well as the trademark drums and percussions, we are also now treated to woodwinds, sitar (on the superb Flutter) and saxophone at certain points, making Dial M for Monkey a far richer listening experience than some of its predecessors.

Elsewhere, D Song sounds like it could slide into place on the soundtrack to Six Feet Under or American Beauty with its eccentric beats, while the lush, dreamy Something for Windy sounds like exactly the type of track you should have streaming from the stereo of a convertible in the middle of Summer (it comes accompanied by a shiver-inducing whistle to boot).

Nothing Owed is the closest thing Green gets to an instrumental ballad, with its simple, but oh-so effective guitar riffs and sax, while the album is brought to a fitting finale with Light Pattern, another cool selection of lush beats and organs that winds things down well.

If you haven't had the chance to discover Bonobo yet, then dial in now - this monkey is a magical thing!

 

Track listing:
1. Noctuary
2. Flutter
3. D Song
4. Change Down
5. Wayward Bob
6. Pick Up
7. Something For Windy
8. Nothing Owed
9. Light Pattern

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