Migration, the sixth album by Bonobo, begins with a tempo track with a break beat and electronics sharing the workload. After a few listens, the album sounds very similar to what has gone before but there are some surprises along the way. Bonobo describes the theme of Migration as “the study of people and places”. You can clearly hear and feel the sounds taking you to different atmospheric spaces. The one track that demonstrates this is ‘No Reason’ feat. Nick Murphy, which visually explores the themes of space in a brilliant way.
The amount of variation on this album is incredible. It is filled with a plethora of genres, showing Green’s skills in different areas which also makes it inconsistent and thus, forcing you to like some songs way more than others. The track, Grains is a collection of samples joint together into creating something very unusual.
Migration offers a different style from his previous album North Borders - call it a journey of sorts – where although his musical approach has changed, something intrinsically Bonobo-ish is present. The album contains twelve tracks, a few of which are incredibly unique compositions – unlike anything else out there – that are highly satisfying to listen to.
There is so much going on in each track, with many layers moving in all directions. The use of piano and Bonobo’s ever-interesting percussion are a continuing theme throughout, with the additions of brass, strings, and well-picked feature vocalists contributing to the overall vibe of the album. At first, the album caught me by surprise due to its distinctive sounds but a few replays have sorted that out, and I love it just like his other albums. Migration is a statement of intent, a signal that the Green’s mission is reinvention.