World music often remains in an obscure box of woefully under-appreciated tunes or on the shelves of more niche audiences. This is something Thor Patridge has set out to end with his project’s debut LP. Thornato has been fusing global styles with modern production since its inception, and this album explores a more experimental territory while retaining its bridge to dance floor rhythms. Even the first synth-lead of the title track, “Bennu” exudes a genuine understanding of traditional music — a product of his multicultural upbringing and extensive traveling.
"Travel and music for me, go hand in hand,” Patridge says. “I always wanted to experience a more personal connection to the sounds and music I was producing. Because of this, I have sought out destinations based on the music in the region, and have made lifelong friends with many of my collaborators.”
In this case, Middle Eastern melodies rule the day — but find a foundation in a mid-tempo caribbean rhythm. Thor understands the nuances of trap and dub as well, as exemplified by the convincing drops he delivers. Tracks like “Rhinoceros,” “Welwyn” and “Deux a Deux” are three of six tracks featuring various bands, and artists with a shared goal of revolutionizing world music — including Jamaican and Dominican dancehall musician Gappy Ranks, fellow producer Harry Vanhagen and soukous-inspired electro rockers Kongo Elektro. Each musician featured on this record comes from a similar place of passion and authenticity, making this record a celebration of music with origins all over the globe.
Diverse instrumentation, beats and atmosphere make Bennu a compelling listen for world music veterans and novices alike. Whether it be “Chapinero” with bouncy caribbean beats and a memorable flute hook, or Lido Pimienta’s charming and alluring voice preserving the momentum of “Tu Luz,” this album represents a truly compelling collision of tradition and revolution. Thor never allows his music to sound gimmicky or one-dimensional — striving to evoke the sounds of the cultures he has saturated himself in while allowing listeners to look at it through a new and exciting lens.
Stream the entire album below and preorder it here: