The North Borders
Ninja Tune
Street: 04.02
Bonobo = Emancipator + Little People
Strange and inconsistent effects and backbeats on this album suck you into a lucid dreamscape of seemingly impenetrable auditory hallucinations. Compared to previous albums, The North Borders is less tribal and more like the mirage of a pool in a dehydrated wasteland: undulating and beautiful, but also elusive and schizophrenic. Tripped-out numbers like “Ten Tigers” exhibit nearly video-game soundtrack qualities overlaid with ambient drum beats and a simple yet elegant piano riff. New vocal collaborators Szjerdene and Erykah Badu add a mourning and soulful touch (ex: “Towers” and “Heaven for the Sinner”), and while new stylistic elements are employed, the overall model is still the same. Downtempo drum kit is the focus with a wide range of overlaid string, woodwind, or island instruments. As usual, fluid and entrancing. –LeAundra Jeffs