Renowned electronic music producer Bonobo Revelation Fragments, a new album and a magnum opus of a famous career. The expected record is his seventh studio album and following RAPTURE, which was released five years ago almost to date.
One who listens through the album is all it takes to know that the British DJ and musician is in his own league. Emotionally severe, Fragments true to its name and it’s not hard to see Bonobo leaving the intricate and deep parts of himself within its 12 tracks.
The album has been recorded and mixed by Bonobo for the past two years as he seeks refuge on solo nature adventures, away from closures. Spending that time immersed in the natural world, he created the new album by interlacing electronic and organic sounds.
The integration of the Fender Rhodes piano, modular synthesis, recordings he made with harpist Lara Somogyi, and his work with string player Miguel Atwood-Ferguson all elevate musical themes throughout. Fragments.
Last October, when he announced the album and the eponymous 2022 world tour, Bonobo gave fans the lead single record. Setting the tone for the future, the exciting “Rosewood” takes listeners on a winding journey. The aural experience is further enlivened by Neil Krug in the official visualizer of the song.
Featuring Chicago-based singer-songwriter and poet Jamila Woods, “Upheavals“offered a second look at the album. According to a press release shared by EDM.com, Woods ’efforts serve as a record factor to be accomplished.
“I know I have a center, I know what everyone is listening to,” Bonobo explains. “Lyrically it captures all aspects of the project. This track is a real turning point in the album’s closing process and Miguel Atwood Ferguson’s unique thread features finally bring the whole thing to another. level. “
“Otomo,” a six-minute masterstroke with O’Flynn, samples a Bulgarian choir (100 Kaba-Gaidi) while implementing arrangements more commonly found in UK bass music. The two co-produce an infectious, rhythmic structure that elevates the dance track to anthemic proportions. Similar soundscapes permeate “Sapien” later Fragments.
Featuring multi-talented musician and Ninja Tune labelmate Jordan Rakei, “Shadows” is the album’s fourth preview. “[Bonobo] The track was sent to me and I actually wrote about three different verses and three different choruses, ”Rakei said. “If you’re working remotely it’s very difficult to gauge whether an idea is appropriate or not in their view, so I want to make sure I send more than enough.”
Pulling the audience in with soothing lyrics, the intoxicating “Shadows” is a unique track with terrifying grooves. “Save me, save me from the unknown / While I was dreaming, I left this world to follow,” Rakei croons, soundtracked to a thoughtful, hypnotic beat.
“From You” marks the fifth and final look of the album before it’s official release today. Enlisting one of the most compelling artists of the digital age, Joji, Bonobo adds a unique sound to the mix. The Japanese luminary compliments the simple, yet touching melody that is beautiful.
Except now entirely via Ninja Tune, Fragments shows some of Bonobo’s deepest and most hip-rock grooves. The album begins with “Polyghost,” an interesting, terrifying cut textured with sensational strings courtesy of Atwood-Ferguson.
The idyllic “Elysian” describes a dream state of mind. From start to finish, it serenades the audience with its soft, gossamer sound design. Here, Somogyi’s harp and Atwood-Ferguson’s strings come together in perfect harmony.
Similar to “Rosewood,” “Closer” and “Age of Phase” hold dancefloor potential. “Closer” creates a progressive beat, adding movement with subtle synth work while the later track offers more fat and builds up some warmth.
Clearing the air, “Counterpart” instills a sense of hope and comfort. Harkening back to RAPTURE era, this track leads to a warm and welcoming dancefloor. “I remember once again how much I loved the crowds and the movement and the people connecting with each other,” Bonobo reflected.
Concluding “Day by Day,” a ballad with Kadhja Bonet, Bonobo channels a universal wish: “inch by inch, daily / We’ll make it a better place.” Ending in an optimistic tone, Fragments, which feels like Bonobo’s worst emotional record to date, encapsulates the flow of collective consciousness.
Bonobo “Fragments” 2022 Tour Dates
Feb. 18: Wildhorse Saloon, Nashville, TN
19 Feb: PromoWest Pavilion at Ovation, Newport, KY
Feb. 20: EXPESS LIVE !, Columbus, OH
Feb. 21: Stage AE, Pittsburgh, PA
February 25: Great Hall, Brooklyn, NY
Feb. 27: Royale, Boston, MA
Feb. 28: Echostage, Washington, DC
02 Mar: Franklin Music Hall, Philadelphia, PA
05 Mar: Higher Ground, Burlington, VT
06 Mar: Mtelus, Montreal, QC
09 Mar: History, Toronto, ON
10 Mar: Royal Oak Music Hall, Royal Oak, MI
11 Mar: Byline Bank Aragon Ballroom, Chicago, IL
12 Mar: Sylvee, Madison, WI
13 Mar: Turner Hall, Milwaukee, WI
15 Mar: The Palace, Minneapolis, MN
17 Mar: Mission Ballroom, Denver, CO
18 Mar: The Complex, Salt Lake City, UT
19 Mar: Knitting Factory, Boise, ID
Mar 21: PNE Forum, Vancouver, BC
22 Mar: Showbox SoDo, Seattle, WA
24 Mar: Roseland Theater, Portland, OR
20 Apr: AFAS Live, Amsterdam, NL
21 Apr: edel-optics.de Arena, Hamburg, DE
23 Apr: UFO at the Velodrome, Berlin, De
24 Apr: Palladium, Cologne, De
Apr 25: TonHalle, Munich, De
26 Apr: Xtra, Zurich, CH
28 Apr: Le Centquatre, Paris, FR
03 May: The Brighton Center, Brighton, UK
04 May: O2 Academy, Birmingham, UK
06 May: Victoria Warehouse, Manchester, UK
07 May: O2 Academy, Leeds, UK
08 May: Rock City, Nottingham, UK
May 16: Royal Albert Hall, London, UK
May 17: Royal Albert Hall, London, UK
May 18: Royal Albert Hall, London, UK