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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 22 July 2012
Simon Green, aka Bonobo, had released 3 solid studio albums up until this point, with the third recording "Days To Come" being the most accomplished of them all. However, 4 years later, he brings us "Black Sands" which is even better. The tracks sound confident, interesting, very well produced, varied and most of all extremely well composed.

"Prelude" opens the album with high hopes, combining beautiful Oriental string arrangements with notes from a piano. The following track "Kiara" is a fantastic instrumental combining World music influences with modern beats and fresh sounds. "Kong" follows in the same line and is just as good, but is more rhythmic and straight forward Dance. The first highlight and instant classic "Eyesdown" features the soulful Andreya Triana and has an infectious dance beat and heavy bassline. "El Toro" is an interesting Funk and Dance instrumental with some Jazz influences, reminiscent of The Cinematic Orchestra's earlier work. "We Could Forever" is a flashy Dance track with Latin Jazz influences whilst "1009" takes its whole inspiration from Dance and Electronic music as does "In All Forms". "The Keeper", a Funk and Soul influenced song, and "Stay The Same", a jazzy creation, both feature Andreya Triana once again who adds some delicious vocals to "Black Sands". "Animals" has a combination of interesting beats, a powerful bassline and an intense yet unrushed feel to it with some distinctive Jazz sounds. The title track "Black Sands" opens with a soft acoustic guitar which is then joined by a bassline, further guitar plucking, a melancholic horn section and, after 2 minutes, a clapping beat - an interesting song to close this wonderful album.

With this album, Bonobo manages to create a very strong collection of songs that inspire the listener who can, in turn, drift into a hypnotic and creative World for just under an hour. "Black Sands" is one of the best primarily instrumental albums I have heard for a long time and has a very fresh and unique sound which makes its purchase even more worth while.
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on 24 December 2013
Bonobo are without doubt were a new name to me when I first downloaded this album and I was so impressed that since buying this album I've now got everything they've released and a few naughty remixes here and there from a man down an alleyway who shall remain nameless hehehe.
Bonobo remind me of my cousins back home in Iceland, we love these sort of soundscapes, the bands in Iceland are pro's at creating mountains out of music and Bonobo should have a holiday there and they'll see what I mean.
They fit right in against Sigur Rós, Múm, Jónsi & Alex, CocoRosie, the non Icelandic 'Shpongle', and the Scottish 'Boards Of Canada'.
Brilliant group, cannot wait for their next outing.
Peace friends.
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on 27 April 2010
This is a superb album, perfect for a lazy summer afternoon. The tracks featuring Andreya Triana are beautiful and I'm struggling to see how other reviewers don't feel the drumming is up to par. Have they listened to "Animals"? Do yourselves a favour and buy it on vinyl though, the artwork is stunning and you get a free MP3 download anyway. A win win aituation if ever there was one.
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on 14 September 2014
i've got a mate who kept going on about bonobo, but he's belgian, it's a long way from soulwax i tel him! well anyway he might be on to something..'cos this is great...has a good feel to it, love the variety of instruments on it..might have to take the belgian mate a touch more seriously..
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on 18 January 2014
Been listening to Bonobo for years, he is just fantastic. After hearing this album back in 2011 I've seen him and his group twice after falling in love with the music. Works great in so many scenarios as well, eating a meal, communting, chilling with friends, late night and more. It's an instant classic in the electronica world and I'm glad I have it on vinyl also.
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on 27 April 2013
I thought this was the lead singer of Irish rock megabeasts, U2, branching out on a solo career. It's not. There is a distinct lack of out-of-touch, middle-aged, tired lyrical content and pseudo-soulful pub-crooning.
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on 6 February 2012
To me this beautiful album literally takes me somewhere else. I am on Black Sands the contour lines of which are seen on the disc and the album artwork is the view from a hideaway. If you havent listened to this album that will just make me seem like a raving lunatic. But this album is amazing and everytime I listen i find something new. Buy this.

My current mission it so find a perfect pair of head phones that will play this in the quality it truley deserves.
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on 31 March 2010
I'm not a music critic, so can't write what you might call a proper album review. I can, however, say that despite wondering if he still has it after 3 albums, Mr Green has hit the spot again with Black Sands.
Slightly weird Japanese-ish first two tracks, but they grow on you. And I reckon if you liked his other albums you'll definitely like this one.

Personal favourites are Kong, El Toro (with some enthusiastic drumming), Stay The Same and Black Sands.

Go buy it. I'm sure he's not short of a bob, but don't just pirate it, go buy it.
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VINE VOICEon 1 April 2010
Mixed reviews here, and average reviews in the music press, which I can only agree with, but not in the same league as Dial 'M' for Monkey or Animal Magic, both of which should be essential purchases for any "coffee lounge" chill out fan.

An album you can put on in the background, eating, drinking, entertaining.... and it passes quite nicely.... you could imagine this forming the soundtrack of a 21st Century "This Life", replacing the excellent Portishead soundscape from the original series back in the mid-90's. The album has plenty of jazz and world influences, so if you like your beats with ethnic origins, it may be one for you, but buy the other two first (and follow that with Days to Come before this one)to really appreciate what Bonobo can do.
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on 31 May 2012
I bought this CD based on all the fantastic reviews people have left. I hate the phrase "chill out", but its what people relate to. Therefore I was after a "chill out" style CD but with a richer jazzier & hip hop infused acoustic edge. The sort of thing you'd play on a hot summers evening whilst sipping pimms in the garden with friends. Something more intelligent and deeper than the usual chill out.

I dont think this CD delivered. After the 10th listen I'm not impressed. I dont look forward to putting this CD on, I have to force myself, which cant be a good thing. I find it too brooding and stifled, and also musically and sonically thin. Ok, it was never going to be a Brandford Marsalis jazz epic, and thats not what I was looking for. Other reviewers have hinted at a jazzy whiff, but its very minimal from what I can hear.

The annoying thing is, the CD still isnt a bad CD. But I find it very frustrating to listen to. Its like one of those films where you get to the end and go "is that it ?!" Its as if the composer/producer were attempting to achieve that sophisticated smokey style, but in the process they've ended up with something quite boring and uninspiring. The music is there, just, but its just not being delivered, its being held back.

It could have been so much more. A brighter and tighter drum track with maybe some playful lo-fi loopage would have given it more of an edge. The bass lines dont jump out at you either. Theres enough space in the tracks for a little more exploring for the bass, but it just doesnt happen. The chord arrangements are pretty tame too.

This had so much potential, but it lacks a lot of things. For me I find it uninspiring. Annoying really as I was really looking forward to listening to it. After 10 listens I'm still disappointed.
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