Back to read


Artist Focus – Bonobo


“I’ve always been a DJ,” Bonobo recently explained over the phone. “I think people think this is a new thing — I was a DJ first. Back in the day when I made that first record, we had a weekly Saturday night and I was one of four residents. Each one of us would play open to close. That was a very informative time. You start with an empty room and you end with an empty room, somewhere in between, everybody comes in and the place is jumping. Knowing how to control a dancefloor for four or five hours is a really important thing. And you get to play a full spectrum of music in that time.”

The structure and energy of Bonobo’s sets are more in line with what you encounter at European clubs than American ones. “The European sound is a lot more subtle…it’s all about the journey rather than the hype.”

He’s currently at work on his fifth album. “It’s really coming together,” he says excitedly. “I haven’t been thinking about the overall bigger picture. I’ve just been building creative momentum, every day making music and not really worrying about it. Fifty percent of what I’ve worked on is never going to get heard, but I think the important thing is just working. I really like what I’ve got so far.”

As he heads towards the release of the next record, he’s also putting together a series of “curated events” under the umbrella “Outlier” These will push him beyond the studio and DJ sets, “possibly into small festivals, all-nighters, or one- or two-day parties. Maybe a radio show, maybe a label.”