Review by Jack Foley
BONOBO (aka Brighton-based DJ Simon Green) retraces his musical steps with
this collection of B-sides and remixes which makes for a really soothing listen.
Beginning with his remix of Pilote's Turtle (as featured in One 2 One's advertising campaigns, featuring that whistle), the album goes on to deliver an enticing mix of terrific beats, laid back piano loops and tantalising guitar rifts (all of them acoustic), guaranteed to made the stresses of life fade away.
Green may not be as household a name as, say Fatboy Slim (another of Brighton's favourite musical sons), but he has come a long way fast, progressing from the little-known Tru Thoughts label to the high profile stable of Ninja Tunes. This album, though, remains his lasting legacy to Tru Thoughts - a sublime collection of tracks chronicling the best known and least known of his records since 1999.
And it is a must-have for anyone who has been trying to track down the artist's work, as several of the tracks have only previously been available on strictly limited edition, or on vinyl-only.
Among the standout tracks are his update of The Sicilian, a cinematic sounding thrill-ride through Italian culture which combines some terrific guitar rifts with a devastating beat, as well as Dismantling Frank, an acid-jazz throwback which wouldn't seem out of place on the soundtrack of an Elmore Leonard/Tarantino movie (it features some great hammond organ to boot).
Track two, the Bonobo mix of Beachy Head's Mechanical Me, is another chilled out classic, featuring a terrific female vocal performance which can be favourably compared to the likes of Morcheeba and Zero 7 for maximum effect.
XfM's talent-finding chief, Jon Kennedy, contributes a couple of tracks for good value, including the 80s electronica-influenced Tell Me How You Feel, while the album comes to a suitably upbeat finale with the likes of Magicman and Scuba, both of which feature a heady set of imposing breakbeats.
And for anyone who isn't yet convinced that they want to check this out - then consider that there are moments here that rival the likes of DJ Shadow, Nightmares on Wax and the aforementioned Morcheeba, making this an essential addition to anyone's collection of chilled out classics. Very classy indeed.
1. Turtle - Pilote (Bonobo Mix)
2. Beachy Head - Mechanical Me (Bonobo Mix)
3. The Plug (Quantic Mix)
4. Dismantling Frank - Bonobo
5. Dinosaurs - Bonobo
6. The Sicilian - Bonobo
7. The Shark - Bonobo
8. Four Ton Mantis - Amon Tobin (Bonobo Mix)
9. Tell Me How You Feel - Jon Kennedy (Bonobo Mix)
10. Magicman - Bonobo
11. Scuba - Bonobo