Bonobo established his name in the murky downtempo category with two very solid albums for Tru Thoughts and Ninja Tune. His sound is nothing that's gonna be flashed around like a new pelt by bloggers, but it's among the best instrumental / downtempo stuff I've heard in the last couple years. For this album, he's expanded on his instrumental sound by collaborating with singer Bajka for 4 of the tracks. Her style is very Billie Holliday / Portishead influenced (you decide where you sit with that), but she can hang and her presence is generally lowkey. Bonobo does a good job picking his spots for the vocal tracks and balancing her big presence with plenty of instrumental space. Check her on the two opening tracks "Days To Come" and "Between The Lines." I usually don't like the idea of dudes singing on a downtempo track, but "If You Stayed Over" with Fink might be the best thing on here. As for the instrumentals, there's a couple epic joints on here, including the 2 part "Transmission 94" (you need to hear the whole thing) and the longplayer "Recurring." "On Your Marks" is about as hard as his sound gets, but that's really just a nice break between all the mellowness brewing in stuff like "Fever." 12 tracks total, very much a "doing something" (like laundry or boning) listen.
- includes MP3 download
- music label: Ninja Tune 2011