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Bonobo at Le Plan after winning Best Album award

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Bonobo at Le Plan, 17 December 2010

After winning DJ Mag’s Best Album award this week for Black Sands, Bonobo performed at Le Plan in Ris Orangis on Thursday night. Alongside vocalist Andreya Triana and a barrage of other musicians, Simon Green, AKA Bonobo, captivated French fans with a mix of down-tempo house, atmospheric soundscapes and more bassline heavy electronica.

Interview: Bonobo AKA Simon Green

“It’s such a nice end to a crazy year,” is how Green described receiving the award from the monthly dance music magazine. “This year has been quite nuts since the record came out, we’ve been touring non-stop.”

He describes Black Sands as being somewhere “remote and very bleak, but with signs of human interaction” while each track is more of a “suggestion than an actual statement”.

The album was released in March and since then Green has been on an extensive tour across the United States and Europe.

During Thursday’s Le Plan performance Green shifted between bass guitar, computer and synthesizer, while orchestrating a horde of talented musicians.

The philosophy of Bonobo’s concert is free-flowing but balanced. Each musician has the time and space to take centre-stage and show off their place in the ensemble, before it comes back together again to remind you where it left off.

Notably for one five minute interlude vocalist Triana spent time singing a capella with the aid of a sampler, building up harmonies of her voice using it as a texture to accompany her lead vocal. Quite amazing.

One of the attentive crowd’s favourites was Kiara, which begins with a lush, flourishing sound before exploding into a driving, funky booty-shaker.

“Tunes like Kiara started out as editing, mutating, abstract noises, and then applying rhythm and harmony to them,” Green told RFI.

The Le Plan venue suits Bonobo’s style – cozy, but engaging, intimate, though not overbearing, frenetic at times, chilled-out and relaxed at others. It also has to be said that the club’s adjoined restaurant is a nice touch. Typically French, food comes first.

Bonobo’s tour comes to end in Belgium on 21 December and he expects to spend a well deserved rest during Christmas time at his home in New York. Meanwhile he’s looking forward to 2011.

“The idea now is in the New Year to get back home and make some more music. Initially mine, but also hopefully some of Andreya’s as well, and Professor Green who I’m going to be doing a couple of tracks for,” he says.

Radio France Internationale

Written by Daniel Finnan

17 December 2010 at 11:27

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