The remix of Bonobo’s Black Sands is a variety box of little sonic delicacies. An improvement on more recent offerings, and much more like his first album, the sounds flit around your brain like illuminated deep sea creatures firing off electrical pulses and warm soothing glows. Bonobo’s first album, ‘Animal Magic’, was full of unusual beats and good tunes and it still holds up today. The later ‘Days to Come’ and ‘Black Sands’ also had some good stuff, but were curate’s eggs, and a trifle lack lustre overall. They felt like Bonobo was worrying too much about how the songs would sound on stage and whether they were poppy enough to make the album commercially viable. This remix avoids that problem, you can hear flavours of the smaller outfits that are currently floating around on ‘Soundcloud’ and the like, where a new wave of downbeat styles are emerging from bedroom producers slipping in under the radar. There is a whole world of sound out there at the moment, and Bonobo’s remix carries the feel of Apparat, Burial and Hiatus among others. Highlights on this album include the Ghost Ship remix Stay the Same (Blue Daisy ‘Not quite the same’ remix) and particularly The Keeper Banks remix. As on many remix albums, things occasionally get a bit dreary. The ARP 101 remix of Eyesdown which did nothing for me and The Machinedrum Eyesdown remix was a bit too skittery. I am guessing Bonobo wanted to break up the more laidback dubby tracks. Overall though, the album is a pleasure to listen to and one which I plan to make the most of over the coming months.
Listen to: Ghost Ship, Stay the Same (Blue Daisy ‘Not quite the same’ remix), The Keeper (Banks remix)