Simon Green, AKA Bonobo, is an artist very much at the peak of his significant powers. His 2010 album ‘Black Sands’ 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.
Black Sands went on to sell over 160,000 copies worldwide, and since its release, Bonobo has toured the world with his live band, wowing audiences of thousands at a time with the hypnotic, extended live versions of the album’s tracks. He amassed more than 50 million recorded plays on LastFM and over 300,000 likes on Facebook.
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 always 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.