TRACK REVIEW: Bonobo “Flashlight”

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Bonobo Simon Green
photo by Dan Medhurst

Expansive rhythms and spiral synths mark Bonobo’s latest single “Flashlight,” part of a three-track EP due for release on Dec. 2 via Ninja Tune. New music from this British producer and musician, also known as Simon Green, comes after nearly two years of touring for his fifth studio album, The North Borders, released in 2013. Before another full album release, Bonobo heads back to North America to tour in several cities including Denver, San Francisco and Vancouver.

Bonobo relies on his dedicated instrumentation, not necessarily lyrics or guest features, to draw in his listeners. And with five studio albums and an enormous wealth of EPs, extra releases and hundreds of venues later, his fans continue to grow.

Bonobo’s brand of electronic music is introspective and entrancing with his use of intricate basslines and a variety of percussion. “Flashlight” stays with that formula; heavy bass anchors listeners and airy synths gradually illuminate a spacious soundscape on which to reflect in and vibe out. Hollow percussion adds a driving factor the track, always surging forward, never left to dwell too long on a single movement. Although it’s not a particularly innovative or exciting track, it highlights what Bonobo does best: ambient electronic music that shows skillful composition and attention to detail. Void of any lyrics with only the occasional whisper of vocal articulation, “Flashlight” invites listeners to shine a light onto themselves, to see what moves them the way the percussion moves the song.

A perfect companion for late night drives and early morning meditation, “Flashlight” showcases the best of Bonobo’s talents and offers listeners a chance to turn down and chill out.

Bonobo North America Tour Dates:
10/20: Vancouver, BC @ Celebrities Nightclub
10/21: Seattle, WA @ Neumos
10/22: Portland, OR @ Branx
10/23: San Francisco, CA @ 1015 Folsom
10/24: San Francisco, CA @ Regency Ballroom
10/25: Los Angeles CA @ KCRW Masquerade Ball (Park Plaza)
10/26: San Diego CA @ House Of Blues