Musician, producer and DJ Bonobo (aka Simon Green) has today shared another new preview of his forthcoming album ‘Fragments’ (January 14th). Listen to ‘Otomo’ featuring O’Flynn here.
‘Otomo’ is a dynamic single and builds to one of the hardest and most hip-shaking grooves that Green has ever put on tape. It was created by Green in his Los Angeles studio as the US was opening up from lockdown and captures that “light at the end of the tunnel” sense of return. O’Flynn co-produced the single, turning Green’s sample of a Bulgarian choir – called 100 Kaba-Gaidi – into a dramatic breakdown and beat drop. The process of the song coming together also helped to remind Green of the sense of dancefloor abandon and surging crowds that he had so crucially missed.
Green said on the release:
“‘Otomo’ began with a sample of a Bulgarian choir. Melodically it was working well but needed a dynamic shift. I asked my friend O’Fllynn for input. He sent it back with a dance floor ready drum section. It’s one of my favorites from the album. I’ve been playing it all year in my dj sets, there’s already a huge response and a feeling of immediate familiarity”
O’Flynn said of the release:
“Simon messaged me last year with a track he was working on and asked for some feedback. I took a punt and asked for the stems to try some ideas on. The tune had this big choir sample and chords in – I went to work trying to contrast that choir with something much harder to try and change the context, using the choir and chords as this kind of relief to this big percussive 808 drop. Luckily Simon liked what I did and we developed the tune from there.
To be approached by Simon for feedback in the first place caught me off guard. He has delivered some of my favourite music over the years and was one of my main influences growing up – but I just had to immediately push that to one side and get to work. I knew it was one thing to be asked for feedback, but to be part of the track would just be very special. So I had this driving force and pressure to come up with something that could take the idea in a new direction and hit the high bar Simon sets with all his productions.”
“Fragments” also features Joji, Kadhja Bonet, Jordan Rakei 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.
Bonobo’s set to embark on a world tour in 2022, headlining three nights at Royal Albert Hall on top of other UK dates in May.
Bonobo has announced “Fragments”, a new album that will be released 14th January, 2022 (Ninja Tune), along with a 2022 world tour. Along with the announcement, Bonobo has also shared the lead single ‘Rosewood’. “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. The artwork for ‘Fragments” is by Neil Krug who returns after creating the art for 2017’s “Migration”. Krug has also made a visualiser for ‘Rosewood’.
“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 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 ‘Counterpart’ 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.
Dinosaurs to deliver a dancefloor-driven 12” that builds on some of the foundations of electronic music, tracing a line from 1980’s NYC through to the warehouse parties of today.
Lead single “Heartbreak”—released digitally today alongside a UK rave inspired visual by Director Tom Andrew—is a breakbeat-driven ode to one of electronic music’s formative scenes: NYC’s disco revolution of the 1970’s & 80’s. Sampling Christine Wiltshire’s iconic vocal line “I can’t take the heartbreak” from the ‘83 disco anthem “Weekend” by Class Action.
Having both settled in LA around 2015, the two UK artists quickly struck up a friendship. With subsequent years spent performing at each other’s gigs and exchanging demos, they finally got into the studio together to record “Heartbreak” and B-side “6000 Ft.”. “Orlando (Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs) was playing me a fairly stripped back idea he had for something last year,” says Green. “We spent a few afternoons in his studio trying ideas out and eventually, ‘Heartbreak’ was the end result.”
With the sample at its core, the track sees both artists pay their respects to one of the formative scenes in electronic music, with additional liner notes from author Tim Lawrence provided on the 12”, giving insights into the history and evolution of “Weekend” and the lasting impact it had on the electronic music of today. “Now more than ever it feels important to be putting out dance music with deliberate acknowledgment of its history.” says Orlando. “It’s great to be releasing music with Simon, not to mention the first release on his label.”
The 12” is the first to arrive via Bonobo’s new label, OUTLIER—formed in partnership with Ninja Tune—and expands on the series of club shows and festival stage takeovers under that same banner. Launched at the iconic, though now sadly shuttered New York club Output, OUTLIER sees Bonobo playing and curating an array of nights and festivals on either side of the Atlantic which has so far included Field Day, Nuits Sonores, OFFSonar and more. The new imprint will “reflect the more club focused side of what I’m building with OUTLIER” he explains. “‘Heartbreak’ seems like a good starting point and was the track that became the catalyst to start the label. One for the dance floors in a time when they’re dearly missed.”
Fresh off the back of their hundredth mix CD, which concluded the longstanding format of one of the most important mix chronicles in electronic music, fabric records reset the clock with the inaugural chapter of their new series: fabric presents. Rising to the occasion is none other than seminal British producer, DJ and multi-instrumentalist Bonobo.
‘fabric presents’ reimagines the iconic mix series into a quarterly subscription, expanding on the roster of artists involved and upgrading the contents of the package. For the first time, listeners will be provided with full length individual tracks from each mix. The CD and Vinyl packages will also feature accompanying digital files of the music, without losing the beloved physical ownership of the original format – no more trawling the web for downloads, then!
The artists invited to participate in this series will reflect the full calendar of nights at fabric, including the more recent ‘Forms’ events, new midweek programming and festival tie-ins; not forgetting the iconic FABRICLIVE and Saturday night parties. This permits a broader musical spectrum, representing the diversity of programming that sustains fabric’s reputation as a leading source of world class bookings.
A fitting testament to this broadened musical horizon, Bonobo is an artist who transcends genre – initially exploring elements of instrumental hip-hop, electronica and ambient with live instrumentation before going on to enjoy an illustrious career with a sea of collaborators ranging from Erykah Badu and Andreya Triana to Rhye and Nick Murphy. His highly textural aesthetic translates seamlessly from an orchestrated live show to sought-after DJ gigs, which lend to his status as a tastemaker and afford him a loyal following around the world.
Bonobo’s track choices for the first ‘fabric presents’ mix reflect his penchant for expansive textures and intricate structures. Employing the multi-instrumental arrangements of his own work he builds a clear narrative across 74 minutes of house, techno, electronica and breakbeat. Each track exudes character, allowing animated melodies to wander and develop, all the while grounded by an acute sense of harmonic progression and rhythmic precision. Unheard material from Bonobo and his Barakas alias, as well as exclusives from Poté and Houndstooth mainstay Throwing Snow sit alongside a glistening 2004 house gem from Âme, euphoric breakbeat from Will Saul and a peak time remix from Laurent Garnier to name a few, all topped off by an entrancing 90s ambient classic from John Beltran.
‘fabric presents’ expands on the winning formula of its predecessor, introducing a more open musical palette without losing sight of its past. As the first entry to this new chapter, Bonobo’s mix fuses disparate sonic wanderings into one vivid storyboard, merging different timelines into a seamless narrative and ushering in an exciting new era for the label, nightclub and mix series.
To launch the mix, Bonobo takes to Room One for an extended Sunday afternoon session on 24 February. Buy tickets here.
fabric presents Bonobo
22 February 2019 / fabric Records
1. Bonobo – Flicker [Unreleased]
2. Bonobo – Boston Common [Ninja Tune]
3. Poté – Jacquot (Waters of Praslin) [Unreleased]
4. Alex Kassian – Hidden Tropics [Utopia]
5. Âme – Nia [Engoli]
6. Durante – Maia [Unreleased]
7. Dark Sky & Afriquoi – Cold Harbour [Dark Sky]
8. Bonobo – Ibrik [fabric Records]
9. Olsen – Femenine [Mister Saturday Night]
10. O’Flynn – TKOTN [Hundred Flowers]
11. TSHA – Sacred [TSHA]
12. Will Saul – By Your Side [Simple Records | AUS Music]
13. Titeknots – Buzzard Walk [Press Something Play Something]
14. Dan Kye – Focus [Rhythm Section International]
15. Barakas – Roach [Unreleased]
16. R. Lyle – Perpetrator [Unreleased]
17. Rhone – Mirapolis (Laurent Garnier Remix) [InFiné]
18. Throwing Snow – Rheged [Houndstooth]
19. Nepa Allstar – The Way [Surplus]
20. DJ Seinfeld – Stargard [Unreleased]
21. Earth Trax & Newborn JR ft. Annjet – If You (Club Mix) [Shall Not Fade]
22. John Beltran – Collage of Dreams [Peacefrog Records]
George FitzGerald & Bonobo – “Outgrown” from ‘All That Must Be’ released 9th March 2018 on Double Six / Domino.
As premiered by XLR8R, Indian DJ and Producer Lukan unveils his Lo-Fi Bootleg of Bonobo’s ‘Break Apart’.
Made solely using analog gear, Lukan weaves a tapestry of raw, electronic elements around the body of the original release. Transforming the skeleton of the once soft record, into a late night anthem, Lukan showcases his ability to tap into the darker side of electronic music.
The rest of 2017 will continue to see Lukan spearhead India towards a true and unmatched, underground sound, as well as see him release a wealth of original material. Embracing white label tracks, vinyl only releases and paying less attention to Beatport charts and mainstream productions, Lukan is fast becoming a force to be reckoned with.
Having just completed immensely successful tours in Europe and North America in support of his latest acclaimed record Migration, Bonobo has announced a new 3-song EP, out digitally today, featuring an analog version of Migration favorite “Bambro Koyo Ganda,” which heavily features Moroccan by-way- of New York City band Innov Gnawa, and the completely new song “Samurai.” The analog version of “Bambro” strips away the dizzying house-tinged atmosphere in favor of an understated pulse and synthesizer arpeggiations, highlighting the hypnotic chanting and acoustic flavour of Innov Gnawa. Perhaps more than any other tune on the album, ‘Bambro’ sonically embodies what Migration is – a journey through cultural and locational displacement and the strange familiarity that inevitably surfaces out of transient life. “Samurai” is an ecstatic track that was conceived in the same sessions that produced Migration, anchored by a stuttering vocal sample that unspools into a glorious melodic line in classic Bonobo style.
STREAM: “Bambro Koyo Ganda (Analog Version)” feat. Innov Gnawa
Bonobo also previously shared a video for the original version of “Bambro Koyo Ganda” directed by Stylewar, which is available to watch HERE.
Bonobo also recently unveiled an innovative and immersive way to see and hear his album track “Outlier”. Released in collaboration with Horizons Studio for their app on Google’s Daydream platform, Horizons VR, users are sent flying through surreal landscapes and terrains, over mountains and deep into oceans, as you manipulate the music by directing flocks of birds with the Daydream controller and progressing through the various stages of the track via your own movements and actions. As well as the music being fully interactive, the visuals are also fully generated in real-time and malleable, allowing you to carve your path through mountain ranges, control the terrain’s height by simply changing your altitude, or slow down time below the surface of the sea.
Download the Horizons App to discover the “Outlier” Virtual Reality experience here.
Amidst the waves of praise Bonobo has received both for the release of his latest record Migration and the live tour he and his band have recently embarked on comes a video for the new single ‘Bambro Koyo Ganda’, an expansive track featuring vocals from Moroccan by-way-of New York City band Innov Gnawa. Perhaps more than any other tune on the album, ‘Bambro’ sonically embodies what Migration is – a journey through cultural and locational displacement and the strange familiarity that inevitably surfaces out of transient life. The single (a highlight of the live show) effortlessly weaves Moroccan styles into his signature dance music and culminates in a near-mystical experience as Innov Gnawa’s chants echo over a dizzying, house-driven groove that manages to mesmerize and relinquish in one fell swoop. The video, directed by Stylewar, depicts scenes from around the world that unfold in synchronicity with the track, with the pulse of the environment lining up perfectly, and subtly, with the song’s beat. It reflects the universality and singularity of the world seen through the eyes of a traveller; no matter the disparate location there is a common rhythm.
As Migration was born out of an itinerant phase in Bonobo’s life– a time that saw him touring around his last album The North Borders for nearly three years fixed to no address– it’s only fitting the Migration World Tour is the sort of pinnacle and completion of his journey and one that’s received exuberant praise from all circles. Bonobo and his band will tour through the remainder of the year, with a headline slot at Wilderness Festival, dates at Fuji Rock and Manchester International Festival and a run of new European headline dates just announced, among others. The live show is an event not to be missed and the record, which peaked at #1 on the iTunes Electronic Album charts in over 50 territories and landed within the Top 5 on the main UK album charts, has proved itself to be a touchstone for both Bonobo’s career and to an audience in search of a place to land.
Quote from the Director Stylewar on the video:
“The music of Bonobo is incredibly rich and colorful. It feels as if it was inspired by the indescribable beauty of the natural world. I wanted the video to have an equally inspired and colourful feeling. The world is full of music and rhythm — look carefully and it’s everywhere you go. It’s at the core of our wonderful planet, and I wanted the video to celebrate that fact.”
“The video is a vast collection of material, including some footage shot specifically for this video as well as existing footage from around the world. Then, through the magic of editing, we endeavored to make every movement in the video correspond to the movement of the music, whether to its rhythm or to the very notes themselves. If you look closely, you should notice that the smallest details have been tweaked to sync the music to the movement. Like the music of Bonobo, it celebrates the rhythmic beauty of our world.”