Review Summary: The “magic” of it all directly corresponds to this album.
Relaxation is something Bonobo can master very well in his music; whether it features his cuddly, adorable little melodies or his simple rhythms which involve nothing but a snare and a few cymbals, he has the astonishing ability to create a smooth, atmospheric form of trip-hop music. Pointing fingers here, Animal Magic
closely resembles this. While I’m definitely not claiming the rest of his LP’s don’t have that “smoothness” and dexterity to it, Animal Magic
just has a softhearted, breathable atmosphere that differentiates the rest of his albums altogether. This LP (being released in 2004) operates more
than just a regular ole’ trip-hop album, but an essential in its own right.
is just about masterful in every way possible. For one, the production value is crystal clear; the patterns of sounds and effects (especially played through an excellent pair of headphones), will be heard on the very listen. You won’t need to venture back to that one specific track and scope out that one tiny sound, but instead will be transferred to you directly. The melodies are also one of the brightest ornaments here too. To be straight to the point, they are a blissful, magical aroma of vibrantly lit-up sounds which all seem to stick out like receiving your favorite gift you’ve asked for Christmas. If that wasn’t enough, the drums are crisp clean and have no turn-off regarding sound quality. Those simple little drums and cymbals both function like hearing a flock of birds chirping in the morning; quiet and alluring.
The album starts off with the beautiful Sleepy Seven
, which has a relaxing tone to it, with alternating chimes heard in the background and a smooth bassline, and a very simple rhythm section, featuring nothing but a regular snare drum. On the halfway mark, Terrapin
makes its way on down the aisle. To spice that track up, Bonobo decides to add in some sort of Mediterranean/Asian string instrument that is a nice touch to the album. The shortest yet most catchy song on here, The Gypsy
, features nothing more than a blurry yet extremely repetitive bassline, and the return of the simple snare/cymbal. Onto a completely different note however, the final piece Silver
contemplates a more horn influenced setback, and mixes in the non-frantic drums to disperse itself with it. It concludes the album in a phenomenal way.
As far as I see it, there is nothing wrong with Animal Magic
. The album is also Bonobo’s debut, and effortless enough, it’s arguably his best. Basically, if you love trip-hop that has been jacked up to an extreme, then you should definitely give this a spin.