Review: Boom! Finally another reissue of Boards Of Canada's seminal Hi Scores LP from 1996! Along with the likes of Aphex Twin, LFO and Squarepusher, these guys have helped to define how we see electronic music today and this particular LP is arguably their most complete when it comes to the dancefloor. The title track is a twisted, floaty bindle of breaks and beats, but it doesn't end there. Tracks like "Nlogax" are inherently Detroitian in nature thanks to the bleepy drum machines inside, and all we can say is that if you haven't laid hands on this album yet, you shouldn't miss the opportunity to cop it now. It's still so relevant and contemporary, it hurts.
Review: Music For Dreams' latest must-have compilation of obscure Balearic treats comes courtesy of noted digger Basso, a DJ, producer and re-editor who has previously released some killer scalpel jobs on Joe's Bakery and People Must Jam. You'll find one of his edits tucked away towards the end of the EP - a tidy extension of Wolfsmond's sun-kissed, Chris Rea-esque German language number "Fuhl Dich Frei" - alongside stunning selections that variously touch on stoned West Coast jazz-rock, new age, ambient, drowsy 80s pop, kosmiche and loved-up late night AOR shufflers. An inspired collection of pretty much unknown gems; what's not to like?
Review: Five years have passed since Andrew Bayer made a big impression with his silky second album, "If I Were You, I'd Never Leave". While informed by his progressive house and Washington D.C techno roots, it was a largely downtempo and laidback affair that suited sofa-bound listening sessions more than sweaty club sets. This belated follow-up takes a similarly head-in-the-clouds approach, serving up a sensual selection of sweet songs that variously touch on Balearic two-step (the glistening "Open End Resource"), post-dubstep pop ("Hold On To You", the deliciously bass-heavy "Immortal Lover"), sweeping, hands-aloft trip-hop anthems ("Love You More") and melodius, radio-friendly dancefloor workouts ("Your Eyes", "End Of All Things").
Review: Black Sands, the eagerly anticipated fourth album from Simon Green AKA Bonobo, is no revolutionary change from his signature sound but does come with perhaps even more subtlety and complexity than his previous offerings. Having constantly instilled a degree of integrity and value back into chill out music following the influx of Cafe Del Mar and Coffeeshop compilations, Green once again displays a musicianship that sets him apart as a true artist and producer amongst a sea of downtempo and chillout DJs. His undeniably clear understanding of composition and arrangement of live instruments has enabled Green to make an album that reaches out through diverse styles, taking influence and inspiration from wherever possible. On Black Sands, Green delves into electronic music and bass more than he did across Animal Magic, Dial "M" For Monkey or Days To Come but does so with enough subtlety and finesse to refrain from causing a radical shift in his product. Tracks like "Kiara," "We Could Forever" and "All In Forms" all utilise beats and bass in a more contemporary outlook than we are used to with Bonobo. Of course the instrumental feel is still there for all to see. Title track "Black Sands" takes this position for almost seven minutes of a horn infused waltz whereas "Kong" assumes the traditional soul-jazz Bonobo take and "Animals" lets delicate drum patterns guide us through pleasing tempo shifts. The instrumental vibe is highlighted further in the album's approach to vocals. Unlike his last album, Days To Come which was littered with vocals, Black Sands houses only three tracks that contain vocals. The breathy vocals of Andreya Triana complete tracks like "Stay the Same" and "The Keeper" turning them in more traditional songs. Black Sands is another loving crafted offering that uses orchestral arrangements but this time merged with more of a dance aesthetic. As he continues to make chillout more credible in his experimental way, it's no wonder that Bonobo is one of the biggest artists to come from the excellent Ninja Tune.
Earth Trax & Newborn Jr - "If You" (feat Annjet - club mix)
John Beltran - "Collage Of Dreams"
Review: For their first foray into the mix market following the conclusion of their original, 100-volume series, London superclub Fabric has decided to offer up a rare DJ mix from genre-defying producer Simon Green AKA Bonobo. It's his first mix of any sort since 2013 and it is really rather good. Beautiful, picturesque, melodious and fluid, the mix not only includes heaps of previously unheard material from the man himself, but also touches on a dizzying number of styles (most notably ambient, loved-up deep house, African and South American drum music, IDM, electronica, techno, electro-soul, broken beat and dreamy breaks). That it all hangs together brilliantly is testament to Green's impeccable DJing and production skills.