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BONOBO

Bonobo

Fragments

    Fragments is the most emotionally intense record that he - aka Simon Green - has ever had to make. It’s no surprise that it’s also his masterpiece. The album features Jamila Woods, Joji, Kadhja Bonet, Jordan Rakei, O’Flynn and Miguel Atwood-Ferguson. Born first out of fragments of ideas and experimentation, the album ultimately was fused together in a burst of creativity fuelled by both collaboration and Green’s escape into the wild.

    Fragments is a series of 12 sonic affirmations, featuring some of the hardest and most hip-shaking grooves that Green has ever created. The ballads are perfectly placed throughout; they capture a world in flux and glow with hope. Coaxing the ideas out initially took some hard work. The constantly-touring Green creates best while on the move; the global shutdown forced him to stand still.

    Musical themes began to arise through Green’s exploration of modular synthesis, recordings he had made of harpist Lara Somogyi, his work with arranger and string player Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, his own playing of the Fender Rhodes and more, as the album was created, recorded and mixed by Green over the past two years. The album also came into focus as he sought refuge on solo adventures into nature, away from the shutdowns and wild fires and into the blazing California desert.

    “Tides,” featuring Chicagoan singer and poet Jamila Woods, acted as a catalyst, and the album began to click into place around it. “I knew I had a centrepiece, I knew how it was all going to sound,” he says. Working with arranger and string player Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, musical themes began to emerge. Recording orchestral musicians in actual studios helped bring the songs “out of the box” even more.

    A rhythmic framework started to come together too: the structures of UK bass music and rave began to seep into beats that would become tracks like “Otomo” (eventually co-produced by O’Flynn and featuring a sample of the Bulgarian choir 100 Kaba-Gaidi), and “Sapien.” The ”old school, Detroity, Moodymann and Theo Parrish inspired” “Shadows” was recorded with friend Jordan Rakei. “Rosewood,” “Closer” and “Counterpoint” each start with an ecstatic snap to them, but snake down surprisingly different paths. Somogyi's harp and Atwood-Ferguson's strings mingle together on the beatless “Elysian.” Two ballads flesh out the second half of the record: “Day by Day” featuring Kadhja Bonet and “From You” featuring Joji.

    It's about the dancefloor in many ways, about how “I remembered all over again how much I loved crowds and movement and people connecting with each other,” Green reflects. But the positivity isn’t just in the uptempo rhythms: even the most introspective and melancholic pieces have joy in them.

    TRACK LISTING

    1. Polyghost (feat. Miguel Atwood-Ferguson)
    2. Shadows (feat. Jordan Rakei)
    3. Rosewood
    4. Otomo (feat. O’Flynn)
    5. Tides (feat. Jamila Woods)
    6. Elysian
    7. Closer
    8. Age Of Phase
    9. From You (feat. Joji)
    10. Counterpart
    11. Sapien
    12. Day By Day (feat. Kadhja Bonet)

    Bonobo & Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs

    Heartbreak

    Pretty mega collab here! All round badman Bonobo teams up with ultimate party starter Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs to deliver a proper naughty floor burner. Paying homage to four decades of club culture, "Heartbreak" sees the duo nick Christine Wiltshire’s iconic vocal line “I can’t take the heartbreak” from the ‘83 disco anthem “Weekend” by Class Action and lay it over some tough 'ardcore breaks, '91 style. There's a whomping DnB bassline, filter house fx and maximum euphoria to be had in these four and a half minutes. Flip it for a similarly peng banger in the form of 6000 ft. Yes mate!


    TRACK LISTING

    A1. Heartbreak
    B1. 6000 Ft.

    Simon Green, aka Bonobo returns with his sixth album – the masterful, magisterial “Migration” – is a record which cements his place in the very highest echelons of electronic music and indeed, beyond. By turns lush, manic, beautiful, melancholy, joyful, packed with both emotion and technical skill, this is perhaps his most ambitious attempt yet to capture the very textures of human existence in his work, as Green says of the broad dynamics on the album, "Life has highs, lows, loud and quiet moments, beautiful ones and ugly ones. Music is a reflection of life."

    It is a theme with a personal as well as a sociological aspect to it. Last year, a close family member passed away. “My Family and I are all disbanded and spread to far corners of the earth,” explains Green, “In the end we did the funeral in Brighton. My own personal idea of identity, where I am from, and what home is, has played into this record and its migratory themes. Is home where you are or where you are from, when you move around?”

    It's tempting to relate Green's emotive aesthetic to his sense of dislocation. He grew up in rural Hampshire with a father heavily involved in the British folk scene. "We would have endless folk jams in the house. There would be random banjo and violin players crashing in the garage for the weekend.” Not that he was necessarily feeling his dad’s taste at the time: “I was a grubby little skater back then, listening to alt-rock, hardcore and hip hop”. But no doubt this phase was an early musical education, indeed Green started learning to play guitar, piano, 4-track tape recorders and effects pedals in this period, building up soundcscapes from an early age. His move to Brighton is also a key influence; his skill at drum programming harks 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 where he began to regularly play all-night DJ sets.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: Has it really been almost 4 years since Bonobo's last full-length? Yes! yes it has, but the wait has been worth it. This is an altogether more soulful affair, still packed with the sort of downbeat rhythmic mastery you've come to expect but imbued with a melancholic and matured aura that only adds to mr Green's veritable mastery of his craft. A triumph.

    TRACK LISTING

    1) Migration
    2) Break Apart
    3) Outlier
    4) Grains
    5) Second Sun
    6) Surface
    7) Bambro Koyo Ganda
    8) Kerala
    9) Ontario
    10) No Reason
    11) 7th Sevens
    12) Figures

    Since April 2013 Bonobo has travelled 180,000 miles and played live to over 2 million people at 175 shows in 30 countries as part of the epic career-defining tour around his latest album ‘The North Borders’. To document and celebrate this feat in all its glory, Ninja Tune present ‘The North Borders Tour: Live’. This special live release celebrates the tour ahead of the final ‘The North Borders’ show at Alexandra Palace, London in November 2014.

    The album will be released as a deluxe CD and DVD set in deluxe packaging with a 72 page portrait sized hardback clothbound book in wibalin fine linen wrap with cyclus offset inner pages containing live photographs, Bonobo Instagram tour diary, anecdotes from Simon, the band and crew and a foreword by Gilles Peterson. The DVD contains 60 minutes of live footage taken at Pula Amphitheatre (a genuine Roman Amphitheatre and among the six largest surviving Roman arenas in the World) and The Roundhouse, interspersed with documentary footage and extras including photo gallery, extra videos and a time lapse video.

    The live LP / CD includes newly mixed and mastered recordings from seminal Bonobo shows including Pula Amphitheatre (Croatia - Dimensions Festival 2013), The Roundhouse (London 2013) and live radio sessions at Maida Vale (London), KEXP and KCRW (US).

    TRACK LISTING

    The North Borders Tour: Live
    Cirrus
    Heaven For The Sinner Ft Szjerdene
    Stay The Same Ft Andreya Triana
    Prelude
    Kiara
    Ten Tigers
    Kong
    Ketto
    Emkay
    Towers Ft Szjerdene
    Recurring
    We Could Forever
    Transits Ft Szjerdene
    Know You
    Pieces Ft Cornelia

    DVD
    Intro / Cirrus
    Sapphire
    Towers Ft Szjerdene
    Stay The Same Ft Andreya Triana
    Prelude / Kiara
    Ten Tigers
    Kong
    Ketto
    Emkay
    Recurring
    We Could Forever
    El Toro / Solos
    Transits Ft Szjerdene
    Know You
    Pieces Ft Cornelia
    The Keeper Ft Andreya Triana
    Transits Ft Szjerdene (Glastonbury Festival)
    First Fires Ft Grey Reverend (Roundhouse)
    Heaven For The Sinner Ft Szjerdene (Roundhouse)
    Time Lapse (Pula Arena Dimensions Festival)

    Bonobo

    The North Borders

      'The North Borders’ is the eagerly anticipated fifth studio album from iconic Ninja Tune artist Bonobo, and features appearances from Erykah Badu, Grey Reverend, Szjerdene and Cornelia.

      Three years on from his breakthrough album 'Black Sands', 'The North Borders’ has kept to a similar widescreen electro-acoustic soundscape, providing us with another selection of upbeat downbeat gems. Opener 'First Fires' has the melancholy and post-dubstep clicks and blips of a James Blake production, given extra similarity by Grey Reverend's vocal. Bonobo has been playing with 2-step rhythms for a while now (check 'Black Sands' favourite 'Eyesdown'), and now with the UK garage revival in full swing, cuts like 'Emkay' and 'Know You' sound right on point for 2013. House cuts like 'Don't Wait' and 'Antenna' lead the way to an alternative dancefloor, while 'Cirrus' features a similar intricacy to Kieran Hebden's polyrhythmic creations. Star guest Erykah Badu adds typically sublime vox to string-laden wonky-hop cut 'Heaven For The Sinner', while upcoming singer Szjerdene is equally ear-catching on future R&B essentials 'Towers' and 'Transits'. 'Jets' expands on the kind of crackling atmospherics of a Burial production, adding lush strings and organic percussion. 'Sapphire' has a rolling dubstep rhythm, but with plucked harps and vocal samples sewn into the mix. Bonobo leaves us wanting more with the beatdown downbeat album closer 'Pieces', featuring sweet vocals by Cornelia and uplifting strings and woodwind.


      TRACK LISTING

      01. First Fires Feat. Grey Reverend
      02. Emkay
      03. Cirrus
      04. Heaven For The Sinner Feat. Erykah Badu
      05. Sapphire
      06. Jets
      07. Towers Feat. Szjerdene
      08. Don't Wait
      09. Know You
      10. Antenna
      11. Ten Tigers
      12. Transits Feat. Szjerdene
      13. Pieces Feat. Cornelia

      Bonobo

      Black Sands

        Simon Green aka Bonobo returns with his fourth, most eagerly-anticipated and most accomplished album to date, the magnificent "Black Sands". Green proves once and for all with "Black Sands" that he is an artist and producer with his sights set on much higher prizes than to rule any dusty sub-genre of dance music. Green's mix of beats and breaks (from the mellowest downbeats, via jazz breaks to UK garage style grooves and Afro-tinted jauntiness) with a melodic sensibility make for a great listen. This is a record of epic reach and massive emotional pull, all held together by Green's understanding of composition and arrangement of live instruments (most of them also played by him) as well as his complete mastery of the tricks and techniques of the digital age. "Black Sands" is the most contemporary record he has ever made.

        Various Artists

        Solid Steel Presents Bonobo

          Solid Steel continues its purveyance of the art of the mixtape by asking Brighton's Bonobo to get working on those crossfaders like there's no tomorrow. Simon Green brings us the seventh in the series and it's time for the man to step and show us how he rocks it whilst out on DJ duties across the world. The mix kicks off with the custom built and exclusive "Solid Steel Intro" before flinging us into the sublime "Sandcastles" by Diesler on Tru Thoughts - the people that brought out the early Bonobo releases. The slept-on gem "Exploration" follows from Karminsky, heading into a slightly tinkered with version of "Pick Up" by the man himself, before staying at the business end of the M23 with south coast soldiers Flevans and Black Grass. By now the mood is well established – expertly chosen dusty breaks combined with funked up loops, syncopated horns and double bass cuts. The impossible to find and gorgeous "Hidden" by King Seven precedes a new track from Bonobo's forthcoming album. It's always great to have an exclusive but rarely do you get one of the jaw dropping beauty and quality of "Recurring". The mix wraps up with the beautifully mellow end section led out by Amon Tobin and completed by Savath & Savalas' godlike "Paths In Soft Focus" and Ninja's own Super Numeri, whose sixty year old harpist shows once again why he is the man!


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