Bonobo – Animal Magic

Review by James Ayanful

Label and release date: Tru Thoughts (2000)

Today, Bonobo is a huge artist who has played in some of the UK’s biggest venues, has hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube, and, to top-it-off, has millions of likes on Facebook. Much of his growing popularity has taken place during the past few years, and, unsurprisingly, this didn’t occur during the release of his first album, Animal Magic, despite it being his best piece of work. This judgment isn’t debut-album syndrome as I’ve heard all of Bonobo’s subsequent works since his first release, some of which contain great tracks, but Animal Magic is one that succeeds in its entirety.

Animal Magic is a relaxed outing touching downtempo, chillout, electronic and trip hop. It’s an entirely instrumental release that’s good to kick back to, and I remember revising to it when I first bought the CD years ago.

Each track has a similar tone despite sounding different, and there is an underlying gloominess in many of its songs, except for maybe in Sleepy Seven, Dinosaurs and Terrapin. Silver is the darkest track on the album but also one of the best:

Kota is the most popular, thanks to its use in the 2002 BT advert, while The Plug, Gypsy, Shadowtricks and Sugar Rhyme are all noticeable gems on this album of jewels.

Animal Magic is a flawless, fairly brief (it’s only ten tracks including the intro) album that has been crafted with such care that it’s fitting to call it magic.

  • Reasons to listen to: it’s a pleasant musical experience made up of near perfect production.
  • Where to get: Amazon.

To listen to more Bonobo visit here.

Short Bio: James Ayanful has a vast collection of music, and he is attempting to write a review for every album in it.

Have you heard Animal Magic? What did you think of it? Let us know in the comments

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