Live at Alexandra Palace
Simon Green, AKA Bonobo, is an artist very much at the peak of his powers. His 2013 album ‘The North Borders’ was the high watermark of his career to date: a masterful record, marrying Green’s inimitable melodic genius to cutting edge electronics, bass and drums.
An artist that constantly pushes himself outside of his musical comfort zone, Bonobo’s ranging personal tastes and regularly expanding range of synthesizers and instruments continue to take his productions to new levels. This outlook has earned him a reputation as one of the most pioneering figures in electronic music, in both his solo DJ sets and 12-piece live band shows.
All this comes as the result of over ten years hard work, and five albums that have honed Green’s skills. A born musician, Green – like many artists – expresses himself most articulately via his music. The result is that his work is always keenly felt, and always feels imperative. There are no wasted moments, and myriad great ones.
It’s tempting to relate Green’s yearning, emotive aesthetic to his upbringing in rural Hampshire. His move to Brighton is also an influence; his skill at drum programming perhaps harking back to his days DJing and producing in the small, musically fertile town. Under the initial guidance of Tru Thoughts’ Rob Luis and at nights such as Phonic:hoop, Bonobo found an early education in music.
His first album – 2000’s ‘Animal Magic’ – was released via Tru Thoughts before being picked up by Ninja Tune. It announced him as a serious talent; able to bring a true musician’s edge to electronic music, with all the freedom that skill allowed. His subsequent albums for Ninja, Dial M for Monkey and Days to Come, developed his sensibility, won him fans across the globe, and saw him develop his live show into a mesmeric re-working of his records.
He also worked hard as a DJ, a part of Green’s arsenal that perhaps truly came into its own at the same time as 2010’s Black Sands. 2012 saw him take the uptempo, club re-edits of Black Sands from a seminal Boiler Room performance in London to dance floors across the world, and unveil a new light show that further enhanced the impact of these stunning songs. A remix album was released featuring reworkings by fans and peers such as Machinedrum, Floating Points, Mark Pitchard, Lapalux and Falty DL.