Categories MusicPosted on

Migration is out: Bonobo’s Long-awaited New Release

SEEN absolutely loves Simon Green, aka Bonobo, and when we heard about the arrival of a whole new album (the first since 2013’s The North Borders), it’s something we get very excited about. With the masterful ‘Migration’ (Bonobo’s sixth album), he cements his place in the very highest echelons of electronic music, and beyond.

SEEN absolutely loves Simon Green, aka Bonobo, and when we heard about the arrival of a whole new album (the first since 2013’s The North Borders), it’s something we get very excited about. With the masterful ‘Migration’ (Bonobo’s sixth album), he cements his place in the very highest echelons of electronic music, and beyond.

Lead track ‘Kerala’ was the first track that Bonobo recorded for the new offering. It’s both a classic piece of Bonobo music and a development, all arpeggiated, twisted, layered strings and shuffling dancefloor rhythms. The music gradually builds until the introduction of a sample from R’n’B singer Brandy, itself cut up and dealt with as a further texture, with the whole sitting in a sweet spot of uplifting euphoria that he’s so adept at finding.

The hypnotic video, has been directed by Bison (Jon Hopkins/London Grammar/ Rosie Lowe). It compliments the shuffling arpeggios and beats perfectly, by creating staggered loop effects where the lead actor Gemma Arterton (Quantum of Solace/Inside No. 9) battles through a mysterious, distorted reality with a meteor flying overhead.

SEEN particularly loves the themes on the upcoming ‘Migration’, eruditely put by Green as “The study of people and spaces; it’s interesting how one person will take an influence from one part of the world and move with that influence and affect another part of the world. Over time, the identities of places evolve.”

Indeed there is a transitory nature to the album, not only through its twelve themes, but also through its guests and found sounds. Michael Milosh, from the LA group Rhye, for instance, is originally from Canada and recorded his affecting vocal on ‘Break Apart’ in a hotel room in Berlin. Green, meanwhile, built the structure of the track during a transatlantic flight. Nick Murphy (formerly known as Chet Faker), on the other hand, is from Australia, but a shared love of disco brought the pair together for the hugely emotive ‘No Reason’. Nicole Miglis of Hundred Waters, originally from Florida, delivers a superbly understated vocal for the glistening textures of ‘Surface’, while Moroccan band Innov Gnawa, based in New York, provide the vocals on ‘Bambro Koyo Ganda’. Additionally, Green has used a sampler (“but not in a big boomer, wearing a cagoule kind of way.”) and woven found sounds such as an elevator in Hong Kong airport, rain in Seattle, a tumble dryer in Atlanta and a fan boat engine in New Orleans into his intricate sonics.

Bonobo’s DJ shows cannot be underestimated in importance to the overall feel of ‘Migration’. His much-loved Output DJ residencies in New York and his global ‘Outlier’ club-curated series were where he road-tested tracks. The landscape of his new home in California has provided the artwork of the record, designed by Neil Krug (Boards of Canada/Lana Del Rey). All the desert locations pictured “are close to where I now live,” Green explains. “Part of the writing process was to drive up to these places and live with the tracks as I was making them. This was a new part of the world to me, where the landscape is quite alien and Martian.”  The album cover art has been gradually appearing in London and Los Angeles as giant murals.

mural1

A contemporary of artists such as Four Tet, Jon Hopkins and Caribou, Bonobo also counts among his famous fans the likes of Wiz Khalifa, Skrillex, Disclosure, Diplo and Warpaint. His 2013 album ‘The North Borders’ went to the Top 30 in the UK, and was number 1 in the electronic charts in both the US and UK. In support of that record, the 12-piece band Green Runs played 175 shows worldwide, including a sold-out show at Alexandra Palace. Bonobo has built a large, loyal and engaged global fanbase: over half a million album sales and over one hundred and fifty million streams on Spotify point to the levels of success achieved by this quiet, self-effacing man.

It might be difficult to imagine, but ‘Migration’, which will be released on 13th January 2017, will take his beautiful, emotive, intricate music to an even bigger audience. “My own personal idea of identity has played into this record and the theme of migration,” Green explains. “Is home where you are or where you are from, when you move around?” The personal, it seems, can also be universal.

Bonobo will be taking his band out on the road once again. They’ll be in London on 25th February, 2017, at the O2 Academy Brixton. Buy your tickets for this great event at: tickets.sandbagtickets.com

Select a ticket and album bundle, in any format, by Friday 11th Nov and receive an MP3 download of new single ‘Kerala’. An e-mail will be sent within 24 hours of purchase with a link to the download.

The Deluxe Double LP includes 2 x 180g heavyweight vinyl in gatefold sleeve, with a Migration zine and 4 x 12” art card set, all housed in a clear wallet.

Seen this week

Categories DesignPosted on

Sculpture in the City, Art for Everyone

SEEN thoroughly enjoyed a preview of the 18 new artworks around the financial district’s square mile. Set up by The City of London in 2010, this excellent initiative expands its footprint every year, improving the area and proving that when people are happy, they work better.

Categories ArtPosted on

Alex Evans at the Foundry Gallery, Chelsea Quarter: LDF17

The astute reader will have noticed that SEEN loves art about London. There are many artists in this city who draw (pun intended) their inspiration from it, none more so than Alex Evans whose fractal renderings hint at the entropic nature of urban life and perhaps also our anxieties and isolation in the 21st century. His latest exhibition ‘Invisible Systems’ can be seen at the Foundry Gallery, tucked away off the King’s Road until 26th October.

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