Bonobo and Brazillian Trip Hop

Music Annex By Phin Upham

Simon Green, a 38 year old producer and DJ from Britain, is better known by his stage name Bonobo. Though Green performed under the moniker Barakas, his main contributions to music come from the Bonobo name.

The first Bonobo release came in October of 1999. He released the song “Terrapin” on Tru Thoughts, followed by his debut album two years later. The album was entirely self-produced, with instrumentals that Green played himself. When it dropped, it kicked off a new style of music known as downtempo.

He soon signed to Ninja Tune, where he released his next album Dial M for Monkey. Though the album was met with moderate success, two of its tracks were used in the video game SSX by EA Games.

He began working with the vocalist Bajka around the time of his third release. Days to Come features more vocal tracks, and it was voted the best album of 2006 by the record label owner Gilles Peterson.

Bonobo’s style mixes a variety of samples to form complex bass lines. His style develops in a linear fashion, with layers of instruments and percussion coming in one after another. Bajka, his primary vocalist, compliments these sounds with a melodic harmony that builds throughout the songs.

Bonobo is primarily an electronic producer and often performs alone on stage. In 2004, he began a tour of several sets where he used a live band to back his compositions. Green himself even plays bass guitar for these sets, backed by keyboardists, guitarists, a saxophonist and a string section.

Samuel Phineas Upham

Samuel Phineas Upham is an investor from NYC and SF. You may contact Samuel Phineas Upham on his LinkedIn page.

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