Bonobo has invited you over for mid-week dinner. You have been fed well, you now are just finishing a bottle of red. Switch on shuffle and the Late Night Tales of Bonobo is what comes next. Rather than just listening to an Artist’s work, Late Night Tales instead allows a small glimpse of their prised music collection, the collection is however strictly afterhours vibes.
The Late Night Tales series of compilations are each carefully selected by the guest producer or musician. Looking through the library of mixes you will find collaborations with the likes of Four Tet, The Cinematic Orchestra, Röyksopp , Fat Boy Slim, Nightmares On Wax and now to join the membership is Bonobo. I like to imagine that the these little collections are perhaps, what Nightmares on Wax would put on at an after party, or maybe what Fat Boy Slim would put on back at yours after hitting that club… but what does Bonobo put on after dinner?
Simon Green (aka Bonobo) says he wanted to curate this mix aside from his DJ character, allowing the track list to be more like the influential sounds that have “informed” his music. This much is true when listening to a number of his jazz and funk choices; New York’s Menahan Street Band with “The Traitor” and the beautifully brassy Hypnotic Brass Ensemble with “Flipside” do reflect the cool and classy sound of Bonobo. His decision to include the works of Shlomo, Romare and the Floating Points mix of “Wing” by The Invisible, I think is showing Bonobo’s slightly more digital side. To me, his last album The North Borders released earlier this year fitted in smugly with the very housey trend of popular music, which at the time the clubbing youth was listening to. Pulsing drums, continuous synths and use of sped up/slowed down, high pitch vocal samples meant his work could now be mixed in at clubs. Future garage, new wave house or whatever you want to call it, Bonobo has accurately selected a handful of artist from this borderless subgenre with Shlomo, Floating Points, who have both been in the game for a while as well as new riser Romare all deserving a spot on the track list. Calming the night’s atmosphere back down, Bonobo’s tale is also told by the 70s soul and funk beats of Nina Simone with “Baltimore” and “Didn’t I” by Dorando and while on this more soothing jazz side of the album it is fair to mention the harp strings of Dorothy Ashby who equally adds to the reminisce.
Top tracks for me however are firstly; “get thy bearings” an exclusive cover of Donovan by Bonobo himself, featuring Szjerdene. Its new, its chilled, its cool, its delicate its… definitely Bonobo. The other track which is worth checking out is “one thing” by Peter and Kerry. Known as a YouTube sensation the two solo artists have again come together this time covering Amerie’s “1 thing” – yes that slightly annoying R&B song from 2005, but don’t worry this cover is one thing that will stick in your head.
You will not be buying a Bonobo album but you will be able to find him within the music choice. As I mentioned before Late Night Tales offers to you chance to hang out with Simon and get let into his after-hours selection, after all everyone likes stealing your mate’s favourite secret tracks.
Written by Fearghal O’Reilly