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With highlights from his career: Bonobo

Blog
With highlights from his career: Bonobo

21.09.2017

Text: Cem Kayıran
Illustration by: Saydan Akşit

One of Britain’s biggest gifts to the music scene, Bonobo released Migration last January as the latest installment of a musical journey that stretches all around the globe. As Bonobo gets ready to meet the Istanbul audience at Akbank Jazz Festival this November, we took this chance to look back at the highlights from his career.  

  • British musician Simon Green was born in 1976 spring in England. Growing up in Hampshire, Green had a childhood filled with English folk music under his parents’ influence. Living in a household where everyone comes together for music, throwing parties with people playing the banjo or other instruments at the yard and the garage; it wasn’t hard to guess that Simon Green will have a life steeped in music.
  • In the years following his childhood Simon Green developed interest in different genres such as hip hop, alternative rock and hardcore which led to him starting to learn different instruments simultaneously as well as experimenting with the effect pedals. His move to Brighton exposed him to a wider musical world and in this city he laid down the foundation of Bonobo by focusing on DJ’ing and producing.
  • Simon Green started to appear as a Dj at events organized by the independent label Tru Thoughts, which was founded in Brighton in 1999. The label also released his first album under the name Bonobo, in 2000. The 10-track album named Animal Magic with Bonobo classics such as “Terrapin”, “Sleepy Seven” and “Kota”, put him on the established record label Ninja Tune’s radar. Re-released with Ninja Tune label next year, Animal Magic is known as the album that exposed Bonobo to a wider audience.
  • Following the release of his first album, Bonobo shifted his focus to producing and remixes. In 2002 he released a compilation of remixes from names such as Amon Tobin, John Kennedy and Pilote as well as some tracks that didn’t make it to Animal Magic. In 2003, his second LP named Dial ‘M’ for Monkey came out from Ninja Tune. Considered as one of the major albums of the nu-jazz trend of early 2000’s, Dial ‘M’ for Monkey includes hits by Bonobo that have been frequently used in movies, TV series and video games.
  • Bonobo became one of the most special names in the Ninja Tunes catalogue with the release of his second album. After a three-year break, Bonobo rejoiced his audience with his third and delicious album Days to Come, which included tracks featuring vocals by Fink and Bajka. Gilles Peterson, one of most important figures of European music scene, announced Days to Come as the best album of 2006 at his show on BBC Radio 1. The album is also known for the tracks that experiment with trip-hop and electronica sounds such as “Ketto”, “Between The Lines” and “If You Stayed Over”.
  • Black Sands, Bonobo’s fourth album, was released in 2010 on Simon Green’s birthday. The album highlighted Bonobo’s signature light and flowing nu-jazz sounds with low tempo moments and also included three tracks featuring Andreya Triana’s lovely vocals, who released her debut LP from Ninja Tunes that year as well. A special compilation of remixes from Black Sands by Floating Points, Lapalux and Mark Pritchard was also released a couple of years later, in 2012. 
  • The fifth Bonobo album, The North Borders, featured 13 tracks and was released in 2013. Working with different vocalists on each album, the British musician chose Erykah Badu, Cornelia, Szjerdene and Grey Reverend as his collaborators for The North Borders. Remembered especially by the album’s first single “Cirrus” and it’s fascinating video, The North Borders also stands out with its wider sound range and instrumentation.
  • Released on 13 January 2017, the new Bonobo album Migration is one of the most impactful  records of the year so far. Recorded at the studio in the artist’s Los Angeles home; the album carries influences by names such as Jon Hopkins, Machinedrum and Leon Vynehall, whom Green frequently shares his studio with.  The variety of the featuring artists in the recording is what makes Migration, which is sort of a conceptual album, so special. Australian musician Nick Murphy, Los Angeles based R&B duo Rhye, Nicole Miglis from the band Hundred Waters and Innow Gnawa, a band formed by Moroccan musicians living in New York City, contribute great touches to the album that salutes various cultures and interests. 
  • Continuing on his impressive live performances after releasing Migration, Bonobo will be at the Volkswagen Arena stage on 11 November as the guest of this year’s Akbank Jazz Festival.


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