- There's a certain amount of safety to be expected from a Bonobo record. Both musically and conceptually, Simon Green pushes non-confrontational ideas. You could very well find Green's Flashlight EP enjoyable for all the dreamy atmosphere and well-crafted house and hip-hop beats. But any further examination reveals its three tracks to be insubstantial and directionless, careful to do little more than exist in the most agreeable way possible.
Borrowing some charm from Gold Panda's bright, idiosyncratic beat music, lead song "Flashlight" is the most likable of the bunch, and almost entirely because of the sampled bass lick that gives this flat dance track some needed bounce. Its toothless features modulate ever so slightly—a twirling arp slowly rises and falls, a synth lead aimlessly wanders in and out of frame and the soft, omnipresent hum of reverb contracts and expands—all to create the illusion of structure and movement. "Pelican" and "Return to Air" are essentially the same, and only differ in the actual sounds and patterns used to create their placid mood. There are very few ideas here, and none that haven't already been ubiquitously used across SoundCloud or Bandcamp.
B2 Return To Air