Blog Archives

Video: Bonobo – Rosewood

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 WoodsJojiKadhja BonetJordan RakeiO’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.

Kadhja Bonet – For You

LA-based singer and multi-instrumentalist Kadhja Bonet returns with her first solo release since 2018’s acclaimed ‘Childqueen’ album, sharing the hypnotic new single ‘For You’, which arrives on her new label home: Ninja Tune.

Featuring Kadhja’s dreamy vocals layered with warm synths, ‘For You’ is a personal and heartfelt ode to creating space for yourself and “showing up for yourself in any form that may take”, she says. The track showcases her undeniable talent as a vocalist and songwriter but also hints at a new alternative direction for the artist, “I wanted to create something new for myself, not to overthink or be held onto a certain genre,” she explains.

It arrives as Kadhja’s first solo music to be released since 2018, following a run of impressive collaborations with Childish Gambino, Free Nationals, SiR and Anderson .Paak to name a few. She was most recently featured on Khruangbin’s “Mordechai Remixes” project and opened for the group at Red Rocks Amphitheater. But new single ‘For You’ finds her excited to “shift gear” and work on her own music again, arriving after an extended period of reinvention and reflection. “My forced hiatus from music has created an urgency in brand redirection,” says Kadhja. “I began making music to get to know myself and fortify connections, and in many ways, I have derailed from that intention. I reflect on my last few years as a recording artist and see someone trying desperately to fit the mold, despite making music that does not. To be pretty, to be liked, to be relevant, good, or accepted”.

‘For You’ is out now marking Kadhja Bonet’s first release for Ninja Tune, with more music coming soon.

Video: Bicep – Saku feat. Clara La San

Taken from the album ‘Isles’, released 22 January on Ninja Tune: https://bicep.lnk.to/islesYo

Bicep – Sundial

Taken from the album ‘Isles’, released 22 January on Ninja Tune: https://bicep.lnk.to/isles

Video: Bicep – Apricots

Taken from the album ‘Isles’, released 22 January on Ninja Tune: https://bicep.lnk.to/islesYo

Bonobo & Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs – Heartbreak [Strobe Warning]

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.” 

Actress – Angels Pharmacy feat. Zsela

Taken from the album ‘Karma & Desire’, released 23 October on Ninja Tune: https://actress.lnk.to/karma-desireYo

Machinedrum – Star feat. Mono/Poly & Tanerélle

Taken from the album ‘A View of U’, released 9 October on Ninja Tune: https://machinedrum.lnk.to/avouYo

Actress – Walking Flames feat. Sampha

Taken from the album ‘Karma & Desire’, released 23 October on Ninja Tune: https://actress.lnk.to/karma-desireYo

Video: Jaga Jazzist – Apex

Taken from the album ‘Pyramid’, out now on Brainfeeder: https://jagajazzist.lnk.to/pyramidYo