Bonobo has long been a chillout favorite of mine. Dial M for Monkey, aside form being a great title for a record, is great record. Simon Green has been steadily releasing great material, I actually slept on promoting the last release, though we have reviewed shows, put Bonobo on best-ofs, shot festival sets and interviewed him in the past.
The latest announce is a quintessential Bonobo track called “Samurai” released as part of a three song EP. The EP highlights the song “Bambo Koyo Ganda” in acoustic form. Stream below. Please.
Fun Fun Fun Fest is a week away.
Among the artists coming that I have been a fan of for a long time, one that I have always had a conflict to prevent me seeing live set is Bonobo. Dial ‘M’ For Monkey is a mandatory road trip album. Can’t recall what was going on that I couldn’t make the show earlier this year at Emo’s, but I missed it. While Simon Green is touring with a band, he is also one helluva DJ. If you aren’t familiar with The Boiler Room, get familiar. It is a great way to soundtrack your late night activities.
I give you the Bonobo track he opens this Boiler Room set with called “Cirrus” to download and you can stream the set in the widget dealie below that. Cool thing is that you can download the Boiler Room set, as well. See the “Download” just below the player thingie? Click that doo-hickey and put your head down.
It’s a rare event these days when standing near the rear of venue, and realizing that it’s the best spot in the house. Such an exception took place last Thursday at Emo’s new venue when Simon Green (aka Bonobo) rode into town touting his latest 6-piece live band. Follow the jump for more from the show.
Austinites rejoice! Tonight is another rare opportunity to catch Simon Green (better known as Bonobo) with a full band in tow. Fast on the heels of his latest LP, The North Borders, Green and Co. look to spread the groove further South. These performances are known for their legendary statuses; and when seen in person, it’s easy to understand why. Come on out tonight and see for yourself!
Coming through Austin this Wednesday is Ninja-Tune artist Bonobo hailing from Brighton, UK. Following the release of his 4th full length album, Black Sands, DJ, multi-instrumentalist, and producer, Simon Green (aka Bonobo) took a moment to answer some questions for us. Follow the jump for the interview.
4 years ago, Simon Green (better known for his moniker Bonobo) changed directions. What emerged was 2006’s Days To Come; what many critics believed to be the high water mark for the project. What these critics were unaware of at the time, is that it was just Green becoming comfortable in his own skin. The release showed a different side of Green’s DJ and producing style relying on more bass heavy tunes and the obvious influence of vocals as an added element. The latter was the biggest stretch for many fans, but no one will doubt its immediate impact.
Following the world-wide acclaim from that release, Green has taken a few steps back and one huge step forward in the process. His latest from Ninja-Tune, shows the Brighton DJ honing his craft in a way that would make any producer jealous. The result is smooth, like silk covered in butter. His latest, Black Sands is a combination of every influence from his past 4 releases and is no doubt his most fully developed release to date and his best all-around effort.
The layers produced here are no strain for the listener to grasp and this makes Black Sands without a doubt his most accessible release. It’s clean and flows from beginning to end with little effort and the addition of sublime vocalist Andreya Triana is the cherry on top. Vintage Bonobo down-tempo beats begin the album in classic form with ‘Kiara’ and ‘Kong’ displaying simply, the rhythms Green has been so successful over the past decade of producing. We get our first taste Andreya’s silk smooth voice on the first single ‘Eyesdown.’ Right away it’s obvious that Green has found the voice he has been searching for to compliment his sound. He uses the vocal in a unique way, not highlighting the lyrical element, but using it as another music element. Every level feels perfectly compiled and the rhythm and vocal are viewed as one.
Directly following ‘Eyesdown’, Bonobo cuts back into their instrumental numbers with obvious proficiency. ‘El Toro’ is a playful number with a strong bass line with strings and horns playing back in forth in an audio tennis match and ‘We Could Live Forever’ continues the trend but with a little more electronic influence thrown in for good measure. Green slows things down a bit for the intro to ‘1009’, but not for long pushing through to one of my favorite cuts on the record, ‘All In Forms’. The record keeps a pretty solid tempo from beginning to end in a very cohesive manner until ‘The Keeper’ where we get our second glimpse of Triana. The introduction of piano and bass line in the intro is foreboding and plays unbelievably well against Triana’s seductive vocals. If this record has a climax it is in these next 2 tracks, ‘Stay the Same’ and ‘Animals’, which spread the best of what Bonobo has to offer in full view.
Many will argue that Green didn’t take enough of a drastic step forward from his last, but in four years, I feel it’s obvious he has reflected on where he has been and then some. Many artists can learn from this philosophy, as you can’t move forward without knowing where you came from. He builds upon his strengths, removes his weaknesses and creates some of the best jazz fusion in the world today. Bonobo will be at the Parish Wednesday, April the 14th with the full band.
I got photo coverage started with a little gallery in our ACL Weekend One Recap. For me, Weekend One was all about the head down grind of chasing photos. Modern problems, I know, but it is hustling from pit to pit, sweating, lining up to make sure you gain access, attempting to keep everything clean enough and not have dirt ruin “the shot” and not having a panic attack knowing you have three songs to get it all right. It is a strange way to take in a music festival, often oblivious to the actual music as sensory depravation takes over and you enter a tunnel through the viewfinder.
…and loving every minute of it.
The Friday edition includes The Wild Now, Methyl Ethel, (Sandy) Alex G, The Aces, Hamilton Leithauser, Mutemath, Crystal Castles, Lukas Nelson, Bonobo and The XX.
…and single day tickets are going on sale Friday.
Here is a link to the ACL website for your internet reading.
The lineup by day is the normal precursor to single day tickets. Weekend one only, Cut Copy will be on Saturday. What has two thumbs and has a wife that will be at ACL on Saturday of Weekend One? This guy.
It seems that they have a fairly well-balanced spread of ATH faves in he mid-tier headliner levels. The XX, Bonobo, Crystal Castles and Hamilton Leithauser are on Friday. Spoon, aforementioned Cut Copy (WE1), Angel Olsen, Car Seat Headrest, Ought are on Saturday. Gorillaz, Run The Jewels, Portugal Guy and First Aid Kit will ease you back into the work week.
SXSW is underway, though the music won’t kick off til next Tuesday. That being said, we’re going to continue rolling out interviews leading up to the fest, with this one coming from Laucan. The London songwriter just released his Up Tomorrow EP (stream it after the jump!) via Sunday Best, and he’ll be playing at their showcase over at Valhalla on March 17th. Read more
When I first heard about the electronic musical stylings of Australian based band Pines a few years ago, I was immediately hooked. Since then, the band always finds some room on my playlists for pretty much any time and feeling. Their music just sort of works that way. As a fan of the band, it was an easy call for me to send them interview questions when they hit me up. Hit the jump for their thoughts on SXSW.