Simon Green (born 30 March 1976), known by his stage name Bonobo, is an English musician, producer, and DJ based in Los Angeles.[2] He debuted with a trip hop aesthetic and has since explored more upbeat approaches as well as jazz and world music influences. His electronic sound incorporates the use of organic instrumentation and is recreated by a full band in live performances.

Bonobo
Bonobo appearing to perform onstage, holding an acoustic guitar
Bonobo in 2017
Background information
Birth nameSimon Green
Also known asBarakas[1]
Born (1976-03-30) 30 March 1976 (age 48)
OriginBrighton, England
Genres
Years active1999–present
LabelsNinja Tune, Tru Thoughts
Member ofNirobi and Barakas[1]
WebsiteOfficial website Edit this at Wikidata

Career

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1999–2009

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Bonobo in 2007

Green debuted in 1999 on the Tru Thoughts compilation When Shapes Join Together.[3] His stage name Bonobo is a reference to the great ape species.[4] Following the release of the EP Scuba, on the Brighton-based label Fly Casual Recordings, and the single "Terrapin", Bonobo was offered label deals with XL Recordings and Mute Records, but he chose to remain with Tru Thoughts.[2]

His first album, Animal Magic, was published on the same label in 2000, to mixed reviews.[5][6] Paul Cooper of Pitchfork stated that it "breaks no new ground for chill-out",[7] while PopMatters said Bonobo "[showcases] smooth breakbeat loops, synth sounds, and aforementioned dub effects. [And his] electronic music draws on live playing."[8] Reviewer Dean Carlson also said that the album "slowly takes shape as a solid debut of narcoleptic downtempo".[9] In spite of these reactions, Animal Magic has gained Bonobo a cult following.[6] Its accompanying compilation album, titled "One Offs...", was issued in 2002 and contains reworked songs and rarities.

In 2001, Bonobo was signed to Coldcut's label Ninja Tune,[2] and in 2003, he released Dial 'M' for Monkey. John Bush of AllMusic stated in a review that Bonobo's influences were drawn more towards alternative rock and world music rather than hip hop or trip hop.[10] The album tracks "Pick up" and "Flutter" were featured in the snowboarding game SSX on Tour.[11]

In 2005, Bonobo contributed to the Solid Steel series with It Came from the Sea.[2] The mix features several exclusive tracks as well as remixes and re-edits. His third album, entitled Days to Come, was released on 2 October 2006. An AllMusic review states that "[Bonobo] breathes new life into a well-worn genre." With the album as well as his future work, he featured vocalists such as Bajka, thus "adding [an] organic and vibrant musicality that's rare in electronic music."[12] Days to Come was voted Best Album of 2006 by Gilles Peterson's listeners.[13] The song "Nightlite" appeared on UEFA Champions League 2006–2007,[14] and "Recurring" was used in a surfing film broadcast on Fuel TV.[15]

2010–2015

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Bonobo in 2013

The song "The Keeper", featuring vocals by Andreya Triana, was issued in September 2009 as the lead single from Bonobo's fourth album, Black Sands, released in March 2010.[16] A BBC review by Paul Clarke stated that "Green has progressed from predominantly sample-based production to more live instrumentation [and] has become equally adept at mastering [...] multi-layered atmospheres." In the same review, Clarke also commented that the song "We Could Forever" "saddles an Afro-inflected guitar and skittish flute to deep sub-bass" and "Kiara" combines "oriental strings with cut-up beats".[17] After their collaboration for Black Sands, Green produced Triana's debut album, Lost Where I Belong.[18] The Bonobo song "Kong" was used during a scene in an artist's studio in the eighth episode of the second season of House of Cards.[19]

In February 2012, Black Sands Remixed was released on Ninja Tune, featuring tracks from the original Black Sands record remixed by electronic producers such as Machinedrum, Lapalux, Floating Points, and Mark Pritchard.

The first single off the next Bonobo album, "Cirrus", was given its worldwide debut on Gilles Peterson's BBC Radio 6 program on 19 January 2013. The album, titled The North Borders, was set for release on 1 April 2013 but came out early in its digital format after a promotional copy was leaked prior to the planned launch date.[20] The North Borders marked Bonobo's first UK and US album chart entries, where they respectively reached numbers 34 and 122. "Cirrus" was featured as the closing song of the pilot episode for the AMC show Halt and Catch Fire.[21]

Bonobo produced the song "Pulls" by DELS for his 2014 album, Petals Have Fallen, which was released under Big Dada—a sister label of Ninja Tune.[22]

2016–present

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Bonobo released his sixth album, Migration, in January 2017.[23] In an interview with Billboard, he stated that he conceived the album from "living and being in various locations", as he toured extensively and did not "have a home base for about a year".[24] The album and the track "Bambro Koyo Ganda" were nominated at the 2018 Grammy Awards for Best Dance/Electronic Album and Best Dance Recording, respectively.[25] The record peaked at number 5 on the UK chart and 59 in the US. In 2018, it won Album of the Year at the Electronic Music Awards, and the artist was nominated for Live Act of the Year.[26]

On 1 July 2019, Bonobo released a new song, "Linked", online.[27] The track was later nominated for Best Dance Recording at the 62nd Grammy Awards but lost to "Got to Keep On" by the Chemical Brothers.[28]

The following year, Bonobo remixed Michael Kiwanuka's song "Final Days".[29]

Bonobo's seventh studio album, Fragments,[30] was released on 14 January 2022, with five singles issued ahead of its release. The first one, "Rosewood", debuted on 6 October 2021, followed by "Tides"—a collaboration with Jamila Woods—on 20 October. "Otomo"—a collaboration with O'Flynn—came out on 10 November, followed by "Shadows", with Jordan Rakei, on 1 December. The fifth and final single, "From You", with Joji, was released on 3 January 2022.

Bonobo was nominated for the Brit Award for British Dance Act in 2023.[31]

Bonobo is set to produce music for the upcoming Japanese anime television series Lazarus, directed by Shinichirō Watanabe.[32]

Musical style

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Bonobo performing in a live band with Andreya Triana in April 2010

Bonobo's sound is oriented on beats and samples but typically "soothing", combining influences ranging from club to world music.[33] Pitchfork named him a key figure in the 2000s downtempo electronica scene,[34] while The Guardian associated him with the recent popularity of "ambient world electronica".[35] While his earliest work was firmly based in trip hop,[36] his style soon became more upbeat and delved into genres such as jazz (which has led him to be described as a nu jazz artist) and traditional Indian music. He has collaborated with various artists, including Bajka, Andreya Triana, Erykah Badu, and Rhye, who have contributed vocals to songs on several of his albums.[33]

Green has also performed with Robert Luis of the Tru Thoughts label under the aliases Nirobi and Barakas.[1]

Whilst often touring solo and performing DJ sets and residencies, in 2010, Bonobo opted to start touring with a full band for the Black Sands tour. The group plays live renditions of studio material, with a singer, keyboardist, guitarist, saxophonist, string section, electronics, and drummer, often with improvisations and solos.[37]

Discography

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Bonobo discography
Studio albums7
Live albums2
EPs11
Singles27
Remix albums2
Other albums3

Albums

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Title and details Peak chart positions Certifications
UK
[38]
AUS
[39]
BEL (Fl)
[40]
BEL (Wa)
[41]
FRA
[42]
NED
[43]
SWI
[44]
US
[45]
Animal Magic
  • Date released: 25 July 2000
  • Record label: Tru Thoughts, Ninja Tune (2001 re-release)
Dial 'M' for Monkey
  • Date released: 9 June 2003
  • Record label: Ninja Tune
Days to Come
  • Date released: 2 October 2006
  • Record label: Ninja Tune
Black Sands
  • Date released: 29 March 2010
  • Record label: Ninja Tune
105
The North Borders
  • Date released: 21 March 2013
  • Record label: Ninja Tune
34 51 119 54 52 39 122
Migration
  • Date released: 13 January 2017
  • Record label: Ninja Tune
5 12 6 20 35 10 5 59
Fragments
  • Date released: 14 January 2022
  • Record label: Ninja Tune
5 6 11 10 59
[47]
9 8
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released.
  • Scuba (2000)
  • Terrapin (2000)
  • Silver (2000)
  • The Shark (2000)
  • Kota (2002)
  • Pick Up (2003)
  • Flutter (2003)
  • The Keeper (featuring Andreya Triana) (2009)
  • Ten Tigers (2014)
  • The Flashlight (2014)
  • Bambro Koyo Ganda (2017)

Live albums

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Remix albums

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Other albums

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Singles

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DVDs

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  • Live at Koko (2009)
  • The North Borders Tour – Live (2014)

See also

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References

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  1. ^ a b c "Barakas". tru-thoughts.co.uk. Retrieved 13 September 2023.
  2. ^ a b c d Carlson, Dean. "Bonobo | Biography". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 30 July 2018. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  3. ^ "When Shapes Join Together 1 (by Various), Tru Thoughts releases". Tru Thoughts. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 3 May 2013.
  4. ^ Hughes, Tim (3 August 2017). "No monkeying around: Bonobo swings into Wilderness". Oxford Mail. Archived from the original on 24 December 2018. Retrieved 23 December 2018.
  5. ^ "Tru Thoughts". Tru Thoughts. 28 April 2013. Archived from the original on 12 May 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2013.
  6. ^ a b "Complete Guide: Bonobo". Clash Magazine. Archived from the original on 4 December 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  7. ^ Cooper, Paul. "Bonobo: Animal Magic Album Review". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on 19 October 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  8. ^ "Bonobo: Animal Magic". PopMatters. 12 November 2001. Archived from the original on 28 February 2018. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  9. ^ "Animal Magic – Bonobo | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 19 October 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  10. ^ "Dial "M" for Monkey – Bonobo | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 27 February 2018. Retrieved 26 February 2018.
  11. ^ "SSX on Tour Soundtrack Announced – Xbox". News.teamxbox.com. 12 September 2005. Archived from the original on 10 November 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2013.
  12. ^ "Days to Come – Bonobo | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 28 February 2018. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  13. ^ "Myspace". myspace.cn. Archived from the original on 7 July 2011. Retrieved 3 May 2013.
  14. ^ "UEFA Champions League 2006–2007 Soundtrack". IGN. 2 March 2007. Archived from the original on 20 July 2011. Retrieved 3 May 2013.
  15. ^ "The Most UFC, Motocross, Surfing, and Snowboarding on Television". Fuel TV. Archived from the original on 25 May 2006. Retrieved 3 May 2013.
  16. ^ "Bonobo releases: Black Sands". bonobomusic. Archived from the original on 11 September 2011.
  17. ^ Clarke, Paul. "BBC - Music – Review of Bonobo – Black Sands". Archived from the original on 11 April 2018. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  18. ^ "Lost Where I Belong – Andreya Triana | Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 23 January 2019. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  19. ^ "Bonobo 'Kong' used in House of Cards s02e08". Just Isn't Music / Ninja Tune. 10 March 2014. Archived from the original on 10 March 2015. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  20. ^ "Statement on 'The North Borders' Early Digital Release". Ninja Tune. Archived from the original on 25 March 2013. Retrieved 23 March 2013.
  21. ^ Perkins, Dennis. "Halt and Catch Fire: "I/O"". TV Club. Archived from the original on 27 February 2018. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  22. ^ "DELS – Petals Have Fallen | Albums | musicOMH". musicOMH. 9 November 2014. Archived from the original on 18 April 2018. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  23. ^ "Bonobo Announces New Album "Migration", Shares Video for New Song "Kerala"". Pitchfork. 3 November 2016. Archived from the original on 10 August 2017. Retrieved 9 December 2016.
  24. ^ Klock, Jayme (12 April 2017). "Bonobo Talks 'Visual' New Tour, Creating His 'Migration' Album & More". Billboard. Archived from the original on 12 November 2018. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  25. ^ "2018 GRAMMY Awards: Complete Winners List". The Recording Academy. 28 November 2017. Archived from the original on 1 February 2018. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  26. ^ "Album of the Year – Bonobo, Rufus du Sol, Eric Prydz & More Win 2017 Electronic Music Awards". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 28 May 2018. Retrieved 28 May 2018.
  27. ^ Bain, Katie (1 July 2019). "Bonobo's New Single 'Linked' Is Deep, Dreamy & Dance Floor Ready". Billboard. Archived from the original on 1 July 2019. Retrieved 1 July 2019.
  28. ^ "Bonobo receives Best Dance Recording Grammy Nomination for 'Linked' on Ninja Tune". Decoded Magazine. 9 December 2019. Archived from the original on 11 December 2019. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  29. ^ Stewart, Josh (13 July 2020). "New meets old in Bonobo's remix of Michael Kiwanuka's 'Final Days'". TOPi.Radio. Archived from the original on 15 July 2020. Retrieved 13 July 2020.
  30. ^ "Bonobo announces new album 'Fragments' and 2022 world tour dates". Nme.com. 6 October 2021. Archived from the original on 23 October 2021. Retrieved 8 December 2021.
  31. ^ Smith, Carl (12 January 2023). "Brit Awards 2023 nominations revealed". Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on 12 January 2023. Retrieved 12 January 2023.
  32. ^ "Adult Swim Greenlights Anime Legend Shinichirō Watanabe's New Series "Lazarus"". wbd.com. 20 July 2023. Retrieved 15 September 2023.
  33. ^ a b Jones, Richard (12 January 2017). "Complete Guide: Bonobo". Clash. Archived from the original on 4 December 2017. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  34. ^ Saxelby, Ruth (12 April 2013). "Bonobo: The North Borders". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on 4 December 2017. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  35. ^ Gibsone, Harriet (12 January 2017). "Bonobo: Migration review – pensive ambient electronica from a nomadic soul". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 5 December 2017. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  36. ^ "Pop & Rock Listings for June 10–16". The New York Times. 9 June 2016. Archived from the original on 18 April 2018. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  37. ^ Ranta, Alan. "Bonobo / Brasstronaut – Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver BC June 30 • Concert Reviews •". Exclaim.ca. Archived from the original on 16 June 2012. Retrieved 3 May 2013.
  38. ^ "BONOBO | Full Official Chart History". Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on 29 September 2018. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  39. ^ "Discography Bonobo". australian-charts.com. Archived from the original on 21 January 2022. Retrieved 21 January 2022.
  40. ^ "Ultrapop Belgian Charts". Ultratop. Archived from the original on 13 November 2018. Retrieved 13 November 2018.
  41. ^ "Ultrapop Belgian Charts". Ultratop. Archived from the original on 13 November 2018. Retrieved 13 November 2018.
  42. ^ "Bonobo discography". lescharts.com. Hung Medien. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 26 April 2013.
  43. ^ "Dutch Charts". MegaCharts. Archived from the original on 13 November 2018. Retrieved 13 November 2018.
  44. ^ "Die Offizielle Schweizer". Swiss Hitparade. Archived from the original on 13 November 2018. Retrieved 13 November 2018.
  45. ^ "Bonobo". Billboard. Archived from the original on 30 April 2018. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  46. ^ a b c "British album certifications – Bonobo". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 28 May 2022. Select albums in the Format field. Type Bonobo in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  47. ^ "Top Albums (Week 3, 2022)" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Archived from the original on 24 January 2022. Retrieved 24 January 2022.
  48. ^ Bein, Kat (25 January 2019). "Bonobo sets a tropical mood on 'Ibrik': Listen". Billboard. Archived from the original on 30 January 2019. Retrieved 2 February 2019.
  49. ^ Bain, Katie (1 July 2019). "Bonobo's New Single 'Linked' Is Deep, Dreamy & Dance Floor Ready". Billboard. Archived from the original on 1 July 2019. Retrieved 27 July 2019.
  50. ^ Martin, Josh (25 September 2020). "Bonobo teams up with Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs for disco tribute 'Heartbreak'". NME. Archived from the original on 14 October 2020. Retrieved 14 October 2020.
  51. ^ Kenneally, Cerys (15 October 2020). "Ólafur Arnalds and Bonobo unite for new single 'Loom'". The Line of Best Fit. Archived from the original on 31 October 2020. Retrieved 1 November 2020.
  52. ^ Leight, Elias (16 November 2020). "Bonobo, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs join forces on dreamy '6000 Ft.'". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 20 November 2020. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
  53. ^ Hussey, Allison (6 October 2021). "Bonobo announces new album Fragments, shares new song 'Rosewood': Listen". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on 14 November 2021. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  54. ^ Darville, Jordan (20 October 2021). "Bonobo shares 'Tides' featuring Jamila Woods". The Fader. Archived from the original on 20 October 2021. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  55. ^ Masim, Austria (15 November 2021). "Bonobo releases new single 'Otomo' with O'Flynn ahead of upcoming album". Dancing Astronaut. Archived from the original on 15 November 2021. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
  56. ^ "Bonobo previews 'Fragments' with new track 'Shadows'". DIY. 2 December 2021. Archived from the original on 8 January 2022. Retrieved 7 January 2022.
  57. ^ "Bonobo teams up with Joji for 'From You'". DIY. 4 January 2022. Archived from the original on 8 January 2022. Retrieved 7 January 2022.
  58. ^ "Bonobo's new single features the sounds of an influential Ghanaian composer". EDM. 8 September 2022. Archived from the original on 24 October 2022. Retrieved 24 October 2022.
  59. ^ "Bonobo shares surprise thumb piano-led single 'Defender'". EDM. 20 October 2022. Archived from the original on 24 October 2022. Retrieved 24 October 2022.
  60. ^ "Bonobo and Jacques Greene link up on new single, 'Fold': Listen". DJ Mag. 25 January 2023. Retrieved 24 April 2024.
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