The North Borders
Label: Ninja Tune
Three years after Black Sands, Bonobo's breakout album, he returns with an even richer and more nuanced take on his unique style of soulful downbeat. Like Four Tet and Caribou, he uses a welter of acoustic and electric instruments to bring extra depth to ruminative beat studies informed by house and hip-hop. It's the vocal tracks that really stand out, though, bringing a stronger sense of presence to his blissed-out fantasias. On "Heaven for the Sinner," Erykah Badu quietly smolders her way through a thicket of harps and horns, understated but arresting.