If you haven't heard of Bonobo, you're missing out on some seriously amazing music. Simon Green, aka Bonobo can be considered a fusion of live-instrumental electronica and downtempo, depending on which one of his tracks you're listening to. He hails from Britain and has been producing and writing music since he first released his Animal Magic EP in 2001. Since then he has released two full length albums, most recently The North Borders earlier this year and previous to that, Black Sands in 2010.
Bonobo returned to the Showbox at the market in Seattle on the 24th of October after playing once already this year on May 1st, and his performance was a sight to behold. He employed the talent of Gray Reverend as well as the beautiful, smooth vocals of Szjerdene during his opening and performance. Simon himself does both DJ sets and live performances with his traveling band. Simon can be found on the drum pad (with real drumsticks!), the mixer, and playing the electric bass, sometimes even all at once during the show! He is typically joined by a keyboard, drums, and various woodwind instruments, such as a flute, clarinet, or saxophone, depending on the song.
His production was simple enough, yet amazing in depth; Gray Reverend played an acoustic set with just his voice and his guitar for about an hour before Bonobo came on and played for just over an hour and a half. It felt like the perfect set time for both of them, but at the same time of course, as with any amazing gig, nobody wanted it to end. It was a magical night, one of the best gigs I've ever seen, and I cannot recommend his show enough to anyone, whether they are into downtempo beats or not. Now, let's check out some of the variety in Bonobo's music. We'll start with a song called First Fires from his latest album, The North Borders: [youtube id="62Z4ibZFA6c" width="620" height="360"] Now listen to a track called Kiara from his older album, Black Sands: [youtube id="L-kyRh7N-kE" width="620" height="360"] And another great song from Black Sands: [youtube id="lZbgyKJkHxQ" width="620" height="360"] Seeing the differences? Bonobo showcases even more variety as we move to the last track I have to show, and my personal favorite, Ten Tigers from The North Borders: [youtube id="ME3tnG2AFEE" width="620" height="360"]