Ninja Tune you are spoiling us rotten at the moment. Not weeks after dropping the first single from The Cinematic Orchestra’s latest release, and off the back of a ridiculously strong new LP from Illum Sphere, they’ve also thrown out a new Bonobo tune. On top of that, the man himself has announced that he’s got a new album coming in early 2017, and he’ll be touring in both Europe and North America to support the release.
So, the track. It’s called ‘Kerala’, and it’s a perfect demonstration of how much Bonobo has progressed as an arranger, with a smooth Brandy vocal sample tying together a rickety beat and some twitching, tickling strings. The video, meanwhile, is kind of terrifying in a beautiful way. It sees Gemma Arterton frantically fleeing an impending meteor strike, but it’s cut so that each clutch of frames loops a few nauseating times before allowing the narrative to progress. This kind of temporal fragmentation gives the video an interesting edge, but I struggled to watch it without feeling agitated, or like I having a particularly bad trip.
The new album, Migrations, is conceptually built around the idea of people picking up cultural influence from their surroundings and then take it elsewhere, thus enabling it to grow and blend. It’s interesting, if vague, but at this point it’s hard to be skeptical about a new Bonobo release. Certainly, when I listen to Kerala I get that same whip of lightning up my spine which I felt when I heard The Northern Borders for the first time, so looks like it’s onward and upward.