on 14 August 2002
Not sure what inspired this collection of remixes and b-sides - perhaps Bonobo is about to jump ship from Tru Thoughts (Ninja Tune-bound?), whatever - this is what anyone who has heard Animal Magic wants: more. You'll recognise the excellent remix of Turtle from a certain mobile ad (hate it when that happens) and be inadvertently attracting dogs with its hook for weeks. Only two tracks from AM are remixed and both Quantic and Jon Kennedy put in good shows (although neither are improvements on the originals). The Bonobo remixes are all quite lovely - Four Ton Mantis being a favourite of mine (quite a radical departure from the original). Highlight of the album for me tho is Scuba which comes on like Harry Palmer stoned out in a kebab house. Most ambient/ jazz/ electronica acts around at the moment (to find your nearest one swing that kitten) would kill to make a debut album like this, let alone a 'b' sides and remixes one, and at under a tenner you can't go wrong. New album please Bonobo!
on 6 December 2002
If Simon Green (Bonobo) made indie British rock he'd have been on a half dozen magazine covers by now. But, he dance music, downtempo fare at that; hardly the stuff of mass recognition. As for Remixes and B-sides, whether critical clamoring or a rumored label jump prompted it, fans who wisely snapped up his debut Animal Magic are given material far better than what that title may imply.
Led by a slow Dixie whistle and cello, shimmering electronics in the background, his spin on Pilote's "Turtle" may be the freshest chillout tune this year. A simple melody yet effortlessly catchy, it's an example to the hundreds of tunes flooding the market that, while politely programmed, fail to leave a discernable impression. Mechanical Me's "Beachy Head" nearly tops that, a melancholy ballad with captivating vocals processed like a 50s era record - the stuff of comps for sure (think Royksopp "Sparks") - but with an extra dusting of magic.
Other efforts prove similarly amicable; the keyboard pips of "Dismantling Frank," heavy drums anchoring "The Sicilian," and the crackling vinyl pops, horns, and castanets of sterling closer "Scuba," a foray into breakbeat. Soulful, sweeping soundscapes are explored throughout, a style some artists (cough, Moby, cough) merely attempt to emulate.
To be fair, remixes of "The Plug" and "Dinosaurs" offer a new spin but nothing startling, while a rework of Amon Tobin's over-indulgent "Fout Ton Mantis" provides the lone stumbling block. Still, there's an ocean of jazzbo/instrumental/downtempo ... bands playing similar material, with very few with musical ideas worth sharing. Bonobo is on the short list.
on 1 April 2003
Bonobo seem to turn anything they touch into gold. After buying their first album (Animal Magic), I went out searching for more... Up came this!!
If you havent heard of Bonobo before, then this is a must buy. It allows the listener to chillout and relax, whilst maintaining an unmistakable air of interest.
My favorite for this album varies according to the day, as it seems to reflect a series of new and fresh feelings with every listen.
To compare this album it would be to Zero 7, Air to name just a few. A must buy for the chillout listener!!
on 4 November 2003
I was a fan of Bonobo for a while. The reason why I bought this CD is the last track 'Scuba'. I am a scuba diver and one day I was searching for a document about scuba on a peer-to-peer network. I found a MP3 file named scuba. I downloaded it. It was a gorgeous song. then I found out that it belonged to Bonobo. Without hesitation, I bought the album. People usually go for Animal Magic and the new album Dial 'M' for Monkey, but this album is great. All the songs are fluent and real chill-out. You'll like it for sure. I listened to 'Scuba' maybe for a hundred times and every time I listen to it, I found out something new. even every little hissing gives you a feeling. Maybe I'm exaggerating but it is a lovely song. I sometimes think it is the best piece of music I've ever listened to. I listen to the songs while I'm in front the PC. They just put me to another world. It is so soothing. Real chill out. Although I had an mp3 file, I bought this CD because I think Simon Green (Bonobo) deserves it a lot.
on 7 March 2004
Apart from now and then throwing the odd text-book chill-out numbers at you, this album goes well in the bonobo collection. I recomend Animal Magic, though, if you haven't got that yet.