Bonobo - Black Sands Remixed (3LP)
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Simon Green (aka Bonobo) has always blazed his own trail through the jungle of electro-dance scenes and genres, and if his experiments and musings have sometimes fallen a bit flat, it's never been for want of creative ideas. His 2010 release, Black Sands, was very warmly received (partly because it came after a long layoff), and this excellent compilation of remixed tracks from that album should be even more successful. The remix artists come from all over the stylistic map: Falty DL is here, as are Machine Drum, Duke Dumont, and Banks, among others. Interestingly, four contributors chose to remix the same track ("Eyesdown") and the results are all intriguing: Floating Step lends the tune a subtly two-steppy beat and mixes down Triana's smoky vocals; MC Dels adds a layer of rapping; Arp 101 renders the tune almost unrecognizable, creating a booming dubstep atmosphere; Machine Drum turns the track into uptight jungle dub. Other highlights include Falty DL's eerily gorgeous take on "All in Forms," the slippery dub funk of Cosmin TRG's remix of "Tiara," and Duke Dumont's soft and ambient mix of "Black Sands," which closes the album. The program also includes two brand-new tracks by Bonobo himself ("Ghost Ship" and the beautiful "Brace Brace"). If anything, this remix collection is even better than the original album -- and the original album was pretty great.