May has been a tough month for me. Juggling work commitments; ever approaching final exams, and the spectre of assessment feedback made for a tense four weeks. Nonetheless I emerge victorious. As you can imagine, the music which got me through this month has had to be fairly nondescript yet brilliant at the same time. I tried to listen to Radio 3 but there is only so much one can handle. So I turned to more generally appealing music.
I remembered listening to Bonobo when I was in Vilnius, Lithuania last year. I don’t know why that occurred to me mid exam prep. But then again few things make sense when a group of balding people decide the best way they can assess your intelligence and capacity is by absurd, glorified memory tests.
Throughout the course of May, I must have listened to the entire Bonobo repertoire. Each of his albums are outstanding but this one was particularly good. Bonobo (Simon Green) originated from sunny Brighton. He has graced us with 6 studio albums. His latest, Migration, reached Number 5 in the UK Charts.
Heading as far back as 1999, to the imposing breakbeats of “Scuba” and the cinematic subtleties of the “The Scillian”–originally released in limited numbers on vinyl only–it charts his musical progress from unknown to ad agency and chillout favourite. Found Sounds
The reason I chose One Offs… Remixes & B-Sides for album of the month is because it contains reworked versions of songs from his first studio album; Animal Magic. These add a layer of complexity to his otherwise masterful work. Songs which really stick out are Four Ton Mantis – Amon Tobin (Bonobo Mix); The Shark and Dinosaurs.
I am deeply impressed by the catalogue of Simon Green’s vast work over the last 20 years. This album contains something special which comprises the spirit of his work as well as a pertinent retrospective look into Bonobo’s very core.
This album is perfect for revision and certainly pulled me through agonising hours in the cesspit of learning that is Warwick Library. But I was tormented with choices this month. Hence I’d like to direct you to an album which is deservedly in second place: Samba Esquema Novo (New Style Samba), by Jorge Ben. I was first put onto Jorge Ben by my Fox Hunting podcast producer; Charlotte. Ever grateful for her astounding taste in music, I thought I’d put this masterpiece in also, as a tribute of my great admiration for Charlotte.
Samba Esquema Novo has received the coveted Claudi Seal of Approval, in effect guaranteeing a mention on Album of the Month. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did. Especially Track 2, which I hum maniacally in my spare time to frighten passers by.