239

Bonobo: Dial M For Monkey

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Bonobo: Dial M For Monkey In electronic music, style matters more than all else. Performers who work with computers and other digital gadgets often use the same tools; they draw from the same sources; and they fall within a relatively narrow continuum. So if you don't have your own sound, you don't have diddly squat.

Two years ago Bonobo, Brighton native Simon Green's chimpy alias, put out Animal Thoughts and introduced his particular version of animated chill-out music to the world. For all its strengths and weaknesses, Bonobo's sound remains his own. Dial M For Monkey takes the simian out on his new affiliation with Ninja Tune, drawing from a similar range of approaches.

Green drapes his music on a foundation of cyclical beats, each tune with its own flavor of groove. Far from repetitive, each new cycle incorporates a new twist—which, of course, is the modus operandi of live drummers. Reverberant organ vamps appear everywhere, serving to preserve the flow and tie these pieces together into a coherent whole (which, incidentally, is another feature of Bonobo's style). The retro organ sound, together with spare, funky rhythms, recalls the spirit of '70s jazz-rock fusion and the burgeoning funk/disco scene of that era. All sorts of other voices chime in along the way, including flute on "Pick Up," which rides greedily on and off the backbeat, and "Nothing Owed," a spare downtempo ballad.

You have to accept Bonobo's music on its own terms or look elsewhere. It isn't particularly dynamic and it doesn't take a lot of risks. There certainly are no bright sparks or extended instrumentals. But in terms of consistency of sound and style, Dial M For Monkey is hard to match. When you're in a calm mood and you need a bath in washes of reverberant grooves, this is the thing. And, lest these impressions suggest any sort of flaccidity, rest assured the record remains fresh and clever all the way through.

No doubt the monkey line will soon see a surge in calls.

Visit Ninja Tune and True Thoughts on the web.


Track Listing: Noctuary; Flutter; D Song; Change Down; Wayward Bob; Pick Up; Something for Windy; Nothing Owed; Light Pattern.

Personnel: Bonobo: all music.

Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Ninja Tune | Style: Electronica


Shop

More Articles

Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Mt. Crushmore" CD/LP/Track Review Mt. Crushmore
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 8, 2017
Read "Protean Reality" CD/LP/Track Review Protean Reality
by Karl Ackermann
Published: September 24, 2016
Read "December Songs" CD/LP/Track Review December Songs
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 5, 2016
Read "Heavy Feel" CD/LP/Track Review Heavy Feel
by Doug Collette
Published: May 21, 2016
Read "Stranger Days" CD/LP/Track Review Stranger Days
by Budd Kopman
Published: August 21, 2016
Read "Leap Of Faith" CD/LP/Track Review Leap Of Faith
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 26, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!