[Album Review] Bonobo – Migration

When Simon Green first set foot into the scene, he was considered nothing more than a contemporary of legendary artists like Four Tet, Caribou and Jon Hopkins, as he spun sets of trip-hop, gaining a following that was only to grow. Known popularly and extensively as Bonobo, this man’s touch is pure magic with his languid vibe and multi-instrumental set-up as he illuminates a dusky scene in the House Music Industry. So when Mr. Green announced the release of a brand new album, his first since the three-year-old ‘North Borders’, excitement and anticipation was bound to crop up and with good reason of course.

Hold your breaths and raise your glasses as you welcome ‘Migration’, a serene, and massively emotive inner journey that is immersive in its impact as Bonobo transports you away to the last three years of his travel itinerary. The track, made across and in dedication to several countries, expands on the favoritism garnered with Bonobo’s previous releases, employing the constant string work, piano trails, found sound percussion and a serene aura and ages just like fine wine. This monumental 12-track LP that plays host to a variety of tunes and guest voices, can be considered an ode to just how far Bonobo has traversed and is truly representative of everything this beatmaker stands for, so listen up as you go along a transcendent track lined with some of the most stunning melodies and instrumentation.


Opening the floodgate of feelings with the album’s namesake track, ‘Migration’ is essentially soft piano keys and tender percussive beats that sway along as cultivated layers of glistening synths turn the whole thing into the enchanting beauty it is. This track embodies the lightest of feelings as it takes you soaring into the journey that beckons.

Break Apart

With ‘Break Apart’, Bonobo manages to capture the exact sentiment involved in leaving any place for newer ventures, encapsulating that bittersweet emotion intertwined with nostalgia. Teaming up with the vocals of LA Group Rhye who deliver nothing short of a dreamy dispersion, Break Apart, with its classic guitar plucks, shimmery beats and general aura of mysticism transports you to a magical place, easily admissible via headphones. What makes this track even more commendable is the transitory fashion in which it was designed: Lead singer of Rhye, Michael Milosh, recorded his vocals on a trip to Berlin, while Bonobo himself manipulated the tune in accordance with his signature sound while on a flight across the transatlantic region.


Outlier‘ kicks off with shuffling beats that swerve towards the surreal side with the addition of gleaming synths and fluid piano keys that sound airy, ethereal and pleasing. Demonstrating the sentimental aspect of standing out, Outlier is 8 minutes of blissful beats seeping through your ear buds and is some of Bonobo’s finest work.


With ‘Grains‘, folk bangs head on into electronic, as the two intermingle with simple vocal hooks, heavily padded layers and strums of wind song that remain a hushed wonder. That is until just a little more than half time, when an ethnic instrumentation creates a texture so prominent, so smooth and flowy that its name grows more and more appropriate. Grains is an experience that pulls you into its glorious upheaval and is one of those memorable ones that stick to your earlobes long after the beats have phased out.

Second Sun

With ‘Second Sun‘, Bonobo once again manages to capture a glistening twist between steady piano keys and light layering with a deep violin-like finish that create something so wonderfully melodic, it turns into a hauntingly beautiful track that is sure to covet a piece of your heart.


Teaming up with the tepid voice of Nicole Miglis, Bonobo carves out ‘Surface’, a song that lightly glides across your skin and bones, administering that tingling excitement with every listen as woodwind breezes collaborate with electric beats.

Bambro Koyo Ganda

Bonobo shows us just how eclectic he can really be with ‘Bambro Koyo Ganda‘, a track that infuses a relentlessly tribal tone to the recitation of Moroccan group Innov Gnawa with some steadfast and shiny electronic beats, cultivating a refreshing, folky original that is mesmerizing, unique and incredibly catchy.


Inspired by a trip he made to Indian soils back in 2014,  ‘Kerala‘, befittingly named after the sultry seaside location in South India, has to be one of his peaks. The track is an uplifting combination of captivating beats, a wavering rhythm with a bunch of bouncy vocal echoes on reverberation mode and has a textured surface that brims with the clashing tonality of the ocean waves, thus staying loyal to its terminology.


Starts off slow and steady until it evolves into that classic Bonobo-esque shuffle and breaks out into layers of emotive melodies that have a liquidizing effect on your senses.

No Reason feat. Nick Murphy

Back in action with long-time collaborator Nick Murphy, formerly known as Chet Faker, Bonobo whips up a sugary classic that has all the makings of being a delicious hit with ‘No Reason’. With focus being pulled onto Nick Murphy’s emotionally charged vocals, Bonobo takes the cake with this one!

7th Sevens

When the ever-so-slight percussion beats against the asphalt of a mystical tune while a shifting pitch further fuels all beliefs in the beyond, you have yourself a velvety piece Bonobo likes to call ‘7th Sevens’ that is a mesmerizing little creation.


A shadowy track that sways across with its outlining beats, drizzled and polished to perfection as the concluding track on the ‘Migration’ expansive journey that ultimately draws us closer to home.


While his new work isn’t particularly experimental or inventive, choosing to vow an undeniable loyalty to the sound that first put Bonobo atop musical charts and the sonic scene, Migration is a finely crafted addition to Bonobo’s masterful manner and retains its originality and unique essence by channeling a constant sort of sound, the sound that the masses pledge their undying love for. And with this, Bonobo slips away, leaving us on a deep path of enjoyment mixed with introspection.

Tantalise your ear drums to some of this sweet, sweet sound right below. Don’t forget to buy this brand new release!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.