The North Borders
  • Genre:Beats
  • Released:01/04/2013
  • Label:Ninja Tune
  • Price:$28.95
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The North Borders


The North Borders is the fifth studio album from iconic Ninja Tune artist Bonobo, and features appearances from Erykah Badu, Grey Reverend, Szjerdene and Cornelia.

The North Borders features a careful balance between vocal tracks and instrumentals, ensuring that the productions themselves get room to breathe and shine. When Simon Green (Bonobo) discovered that he and Erykah Badu shared a mutual appreciation for each other's work, he leapt at the chance to collaborate. The resultant ‘Heaven for the Sinner' is one of the album's triumphs, a transcendental, incanted vocal masterclass married to a brilliant two-step glitch and a yearning melody.

NYC folk underdog Grey Reverend appears on album opener 'First Fires,' providing a raw, emotion-laid-bare growl that sets the tone for an album that's joyously unselfconscious. Bonobo has a long history of unearthing new talent, Black Sands having launched the solo career of guest vocalist Andreya Triana. The North Borders sees him do so once again. The startling, ethereal vocals of new collaborator Szjerdene are sprinkled across the album, and Green has yet again found the perfect voice to express where he's at. ‘Transits' sees her vocal weave around a garage beat that's somehow fragile and purposeful all at once, a gradually emerging hook rising from the depths of the song.

‘Emkay' is a stunning example of the album's marriage of addictive, urban-inflected drums to rise-and-swell melody that never fails to move the listener. Opening single ‘Cirrus' sees a clockwork-precise rhythm drive a chiming, insistent melody that builds to one of the record's great emotional climaxes. This is where Green excels; he knows how to invest electronic music with immense feeling.

Stunning cover artwork by Leif Podhajsky.


Track Listing

  • First Fires (Feat. Grey Reverend) 4.39 
  • Emkay 5.26 
  • Cirrus 5.49 
  • Heaven for the Sinner (Feat. Erykah Badu) 4.10 
  • Sapphire 4.48 
  • Jets 4.35 
  • Towers (Feat. Szjerdene) 3.37 
  • Don't Wait 5.18 
  • Know You 4.05 
  • Antenna 3.33 
  • Ten Tigers 4.04 
  • Transits (Feat. Szjerdene) 4.21 
  • Pieces (Feat. Cornelia) 4.28 

Total running time: 58:53

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