Though he was born in England, Simon Green’s home is in Los Angeles. The prolific and influential DJ/producer has lived here for the last three years or so, and he even shouted out the studio where he recorded Migration, his sixth masterful album as Bonobo, last night from the Greek Theater stage.
“I made this record literally three miles away, I could see this park when I did,” he said, adding: “This is a homecoming show for me.” Green has been on a massive North American tour behind his new album since the end of the summer, and it won’t wrap up until mid-October, but last night, at least, he got to experience the familiarity of coming back to the city where he made the album.
Bonobo is a legend in the electronic music world, and the news that he was releasing a new album in 2016 was met with from his fans and newcomers alike. When that album eventually came in 2017, it was clear that by pairing with current artists like Rhye and Nick Murphy (formerly Chet Faker), Green continues to push his own sound ahead, even fifteen years after the first Bonobo project was released.
That’s a rare feat for any artist, and a particularly impressive one considering the massive scope of Bonobo’s sound, and the way electronic music has moved into the pop mainstream in America over the last decade. His work dwells in the downtempo synth world, more aura than electronica, though both feed in.
As the title suggests, Green’s latest record is concerned with patterns of movement and space and rhythm, and his live show brilliantly reflects and emulates those concepts in a way that many electronic musicians fail to, even with a whole host of technology at their fingertips. Instead, a Bonobo show is all cold light and shimmering sound, visuals shifting along with the dancing bodies gathered around, Green anchored in the middle, with his synthesizers, and surrounded on all sides by orchestra players and various vocal guests, who filter in and out as the night goes on.