Review Summary: You will find each time you listen to this recording that you relax further and further
Bonobo, the stage name of the English DJ Simon Green, has developed an enviable reputation amongst fans of ambient, chillout and trip hop after churning out four successful LPs as well as a dozen EPs and contributions on a host of remix albums. Though Animal Magic
was released before Green had garnered any serious attention, he had already mastered the ability to provide his listeners with incredibly smooth and easy to listen to sounds.
The summary is taken directly from the backing vocals of the track ‘Shadowtricks’, and its message, along with just about every track on the album, would not be out of place on a self-hypnosis tape. Bonobo albums would also not be out of place on an “albums to go to sleep to” list because they have the ability to calm and bring you to a serene environment, yet his albums are anything but boring or uninspired. ‘Sleepy Seven’ seems to be a near perfect marriage of distant vocals, percussion, chimes and piano, hypnotizing and lulling us to the whims of the album. But it is outflanked by the upbeat and loungy ‘Gypsy’ as well as the rhythmically mellow ‘Terrapin’, both of which serve as instant hooks.
also has a fascinating use of distant vocals. “Didn’t mean to tell you, but I guess you got to know” echoes in the background of ‘The Plug’, while “rhythm captivates me, I feel it stimulate me” repeats itself behind the beats of ‘Sugar Rhyme’. Such loops bring you deeper into a trance, falling prey to bonobo’s insatiable hypnotic powers.
The image on the cover, a colorful conglomeration of images both human and natural, shows how disjointed colors or sounds can come together to form something sublime. Though never shocked by incredible solos or any particular experience, Animal Magic
manages to grab hold of you and never let go, and for that, this is a recommended listen for any and all.