During the four year-break between Bonobo albums, a seismic shift occurred in the world of bass music. Dubstep went from a minor blip bubbling up from the bongs of London to a widespread virus infecting beat music. As recent efforts from bass veterans Breakage and Autechcre displayed, it’s almost impossible not to note the impact occurring in the collective consciousness of electronic musicians. And while the fourth full-length from Simon Green is far from a dubstep record, you can hear a creeping influence on songs like “Eyesdown,” which almost sounds like Sauvignon Blanc Burial, dubstep sweetened and colorized for those who never miss HBO on Sunday nights (I try not to miss HBO on Sunday nights).
While that might sound like invective, it isn’t. Bonobo’s always been fascinated by the intersection of jazz and electronic, and on Black Sands he conscripts the smokey wail of Andreya Triana to flesh out his chronic and Cabernet visions. When he began his career in 1999, Green was caught between eras — too late for the golden age of trip-hop, too soon to be a vanguard of the Hyperdub generation. But Black Sands sounds effortlessly contemporary, as though the zeitgeist and Green finally cohered to make one of the year’s best records. Check for it the upscale wine bar nearest you or at least enjoy it with good headphones, a block of goat cheese and some crackers.
MP3: Bonobo – “Recurring”