Get set for Bonobo


Get set for Bonobo

Five things you need to know about the British DJ and producer ahead of his Mumbai gig

By Sonam Savlani  December 9th, 2014

His jazz and hip hop infused sounds are equal parts atmospheric and lush. Here’s the essential gist on the British DJ and producer Simon Green, ahead of his performance at the second edition of Johnnie Walker The Journey.

He binged on alt rock

“Well it kind of started in Brighton. Brighton at that time was pretty exciting. I’d come up through school listening to largely American alternative rock: Pixies, Sebadoh, Dinosaur Junior, stuff like that. By the time I got to Brighton I’d really started on the idea of beats, like early ’90s hip hop, but stuff that [the label] Ninja Tune was doing and Portishead. The idea that hip hop could be emotive was exciting to me, the idea of beautiful hip hop… that was what really interested me. I felt I could do something like that.” 

The sampler changed his life – and music

“When I was a teenager I played guitar in bands, but getting a sampler really changed everything for me. Since then, I’ve gone full circle from digging through records to recording samples at a big studio session with a small orchestra. It’s really been an interesting way of doing things.”

There was always music in the house

“My parents were very into British folk. Especially my dad, who was involved in that whole Cecil Sharpe House scene in the ’70s and ’80s, so I grew up with a lot of people jamming around me.”

His latest EP, Flashlight, took a lot of work 

“It’s quite simple, really. I’ve always loved the idea of breaking the track apart again and seeing how things work. It’s a really exciting way to explore a track. I am always scouring the instrumentals, and there are all these little moments that happen within it, especially in hip hop, which are never really up front. Hiding in the background are all these beautiful instrumental breaks and I got really into exploring that with Flashlight.”

He’s always sourcing odd sounds

“The sampler is still my main tool for making music, whether it’s sampling myself or found audio. My source material is different nowadays. Especially recently I’ve been using a lot of field recordings, anything vaguely rhythmical. I have a recorder but I also have my phone on me all the time, when some interesting sound is happening you’re not always there with your field recorder. I was in an airport in Hong Kong and an escalator was making this insane clicking sound. Some of the most interesting sounds come from the most boring sources.”

Listen to his latest EP, Flashlight, here:

 

Bonobo will be performing as part of Johnnie Walker The Journey, on December 13, at Mehboob Studios, Bandra, Mumbai. Tickets available here: Bonobomusic.com