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Album of the month | Bonobo - Fragments

A prescription of aural medicine for the mind, body and soul on Ninja Tune.


Artist: Bonobo
Title: Fragments
Label: Ninja Tune
Released: 14 January

Sounds like: A freshwater plunge to reinvigorate the senses and blow away the cobwebs


Review

Twelve months ago, we reviewed Bicep's home-listening LP, Isles. Fast forward to January 2022, and we again look to Ninja Tune for the year's first album of the month. This time, another revered artist from its roster, Bonobo, returns to the label with Fragments.

Compared to predecessor Migration (2017), the album boasts an entirely new cast of featured artists. Yet they appear to have been chosen with the same deft poise. The most recognisable voice being New Zealander Jordan Rakei, whose effeminate wails bring Shadows to life.

Bonobo notes that Fragments was inspired by the wilderness, as he "sought refuge in solo adventure in nature". Despite the prevalent use of modular synthesis, the influence of the natural world is evident.

There are several moments that feel like wandering into an open glade and pausing to survey the scene. Away from the toils and relentless connectivity of the modern rat race, you inhale deeply and chug a lungful of that crisp, fresh air. The heavenly harp strings found on Elysian evoke the ecclesiastical epiphany the track title hints. Closer has all the foundations to be reworked for the club, while the acid weirdness in Counterpart makes it borderline dancefloor-appropriate.

Like shards of shattered glass, these tracks have been pieced back together to create a glistening mosaic.

The finished product re-establishes Simon Green as one of the very best at what he does. In May, he joins the small club of electronic music artists to headline London's Royal Albert Hall. The three date run is more than deserved.

Did you miss our 2021 album of the year round-up? CATCH UP HERE


Highlights: Polyghost, Rosewood, Otomo, Counterpart

Fragments is out now. Stream above or BUY HERE

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Other huge albums released this month:

Recondite | Taum | Plangent Records | 14 January
Lane 8 | Reviver | This Never Happened | 21 January
David Morales | Life Is A Song | DIRIDIM | 27 January


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