Album review: Various Artists, Bonobo: Late Night Tales (Late Night Tales)

 

The Back to Mine-style compilation is so established a format that it takes something really superior to get you excited, especially as not getting excited is normally part of what these chill-out enhancers are all about. But Simon Green, aka Bonobo, has created a beguiling and compelling narrative.

Bookended with Satie-like sentience from pianists Dustin O’Halloran and Bill Evans, the sequence builds, track by track, until you’re left close to awe-struck by the overload of ambient-inclined beauty: the segue from obscure 1970s soul-singer Darondo’s “Didn’t I” into Nina Simone’s take on “Baltimore” is close to perfect. A less than essential reading by Benedict Cumberbatch notwithstanding, this is mix-tape heaven.

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