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BONOBO

Bonobo - Photo by Alfred Gorman

Bonobo – Photo by Alfred Gorman

Oisima/Craig Hollywood/Allstate

Villa

Saturday, March 21, 2015

The rise of Simon Green aka Bonobo, continues, as the talented British multi-instrumentalist and producer took a break from the studio and touring with his band, to indulge himself in a DJ tour. The sell-out crowd was testament to Bonobo’s popularity, once a more underground artist on the Ninja Tunes label – he’s now one of their biggest stars. While some producers may DJ just as a way of touring, Green is very much a great DJ in his own right as he proved tonight.

Local techno luminary Craig Hollywood displayed his range, starting off the night with a well-chosen setlist of a more down-tempo, ambient variety than most fans would be accustomed to seeing from the man. A nicely pitched mix of deep grooves and beats, as the club rapidly filled up, including Orbital’s classic Belfast.

Adelaide’s Oisima was a fitting support, the SA producer and musician makes music in a similar vein to Bonobo’s melodic, jazzy, textured, sampled beats. Playing live behind a bank of equipment, the bearded beanieman’s fast fingerwork on his Maschine was impressive. His short set took us through a range of styles, including the lush sounds of his track, Sun Of Truth, featuring Perth’s own Mei Saraswati on vocals.

With the club now fully packed, Bonobo’s appearance onstage just after midnight caused the crowd to erupt. Opening with the sounds of symphonic strings, as the familiar beat and driving bassline of Kiara kicked in, the dance floor moved as one and didn’t stop for the next two hours.

It quickly became apparent that he was going to be mixing in a lot of his own tunes, a welcome surprise for fans who’ve heard some of his mixes online that usually only contain a few Bonobo tracks. But tonight was a monkeymegamix of sorts, with Ten Tigers and the awesome Banks remix of The Keeper soon following on.

All aspects of everything Bonobo produces are always of the highest calibre and tonight was no exception. Apart from his silky smooth, immaculate track selection, his set was elevated by an awesome, custom lighting show that illuminated the smoke filled stage with a strobing array of colours.

One of his biggest tracks to date, Cirrus, invoked a roar of approval, its delicate, chiming melody filling the room before that heavy bassline kicked in, making it impossible not to move. As a bassist first and foremost, Green’s tracks really work the lower frequencies, and it’s only on a big sound system you can fully appreciate them.

A real highlight was Pedestrian’s Hoyle Road, and his new track, Flashlight, sounded great. He really knows how to build a set, picking it up in his second hour with some harder beats, dropping some fresh new dub, two-step and electro sounds.

He took us home with a big remix of Sapphire, the syncopated beat of Know You and finished just after 2am with the awesome Emkay. Getting on the mic, Green humbly thanked the crowd, leaving to a huge round of applause and chants of ‘Bono-bo!’

Allstate was left with the unenviable task of following on and did well to keep a good chunk of the dance floor who had some party left in them, though many were happy to end on that high, having witnessed a superb set from a supremely talented guy.

ALFRED GORMAN

 

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