For SF WEEKLY: Electronic dance music shows often have a similar vibe: A DJ on a stage above a large dancefloor or tucked away in a small booth you can’t quite see. A sea of head-bobbing, dancing fans. Flashing lights, high volume, heavy bass, even heavier beats. Depending on your personality, such an experience can be dreadful, exhilarating, or transcendent.
Either way, 36-year-old British DJ, producer, and musician Bonobo, aka Simon Green, is aiming for something slightly different. Although he does create electronic music, he’s touring with a band that he hopes will add the thrill of live instrumentation and performance to the jazz, house, and techno sounds of his fifth studio album, The North Borders.
Green is certainly not the first to do this; Flying Lotus has toured with a live band that included Ravi Coltrane on tenor saxophone. But the Bonobo show will include as many as 13 members on stringed instruments, brass, and percussion, as well as vocals from Erykah Badu. “If people are going to watch, they need something to see,” Green says. “It’s a show. DJing is more about the vibe and the journey, but this will be a performance.”
Image courtesy of bonobomusic.com