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Boomkat Product Review:
With Black Sands, Bonobo seems to have reached maturity, fashioning an album that takes in a far greater scope than its predecessors.
In additional to the sampling and beat-making expertise of prior releases, Black Sands features a clever integration of real instrumentation. 'El Toro' is like a collision between Four Tet and the Cinematic Orchestra, with beautifully crafted drum edits slotting alongside jazzy ensemble performances complete with lavish strings. Further highlights come from the collaborations with vocalist Andreya Triana: 'Eyesdown' starts out with what sounds a bit like the introductory tremolo chords to David Sylvian's 'Blemish', only bathed in deep vinyl crackle. Then, almost Burial-like beats launch into the mix making for a deep, swinging, soulful production that benefits greatly from the vocal supplied by new Ninja Tune signing Triana.
A most impressive record, Black Sands successfully delves into modern hip-hop's deep FlyLo-style deep compressions (as on 'Kiara') while also staying true to a kind of bluesy chamber-jazz mindset that blows that cobwebs off those old trip-hop associations.