It Came from the Sea

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Bonobo's Simon Green revealed himself as something of a beat-head with 2003's Dial "M" for Monkey, and he solidifies his breakbeat credentials with the seventh volume of Ninja Tune's Solid Steel series. It Came from the Sea is a very fraternal venture; the vast majority of the tracks come from Green himself, his colleagues at Ninja Tune or Tru Thoughts (the latter of which released his first album), or fellow Brighton natives like Black Grass. It's clear that Green has been earning his fees at DJ'ing gigs around the world; he has a great ear for an excellent track, and his mixing skills thrust him into the rare company of his fellow Solid Steel mixers DJ Food and Amon Tobin. The mix isn't as exciting or innovative as previous volumes, and it fails to resurrect more than one forgotten nugget, but Green atones partly for the absence with gripping tracks like the next-generation Afrobeat of "Munchies" by Belgradeyard Sound System, or his own new Bonobo production, "Pick Up." The one nugget -- a 1972 free-fusion interlude from Cannonball Adderley that could only have emerged from the Age of Aquarius -- is a gem, and It Came from the Sea upholds the high standards of Solid Steel.

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