Bonobo at Shapes
Hackney-based nightclub Shapes played host to UK producer and DJ Bonobo this weekend, making way for an extensive array of electronica, trip hop and downtempo house. The club features one large room with a bar and dance floor, while the stage holds the industry standard DJ set-up: two CDJs and a matching pair of Technics 1210s. Both supporting acts contribute a different vibe, using their instruments of choice to overwhelm the audience.
Even before the headline act, the crowd is lively, already bobbing their heads. Bonobo opens with an expectedly minimal beat, with heavy bass and orchestral sounds building to one of his famous songs, Kiara. This is an excellent choice for the opening track, preparing the crowd to go through his back catalogue. His mixing is impeccable, seamlessly transitioning from song to song.
The first 15 minutes are tight, each song only lasting up until its drop before Bonobo progresses onto the next track. The beats shift into samba-styled rhythms, moving away from the classic 4/4 sounds and then, suddenly, he’s mixing in the songs from his new album. The rarely seen DJ set allows the artist to merge his music with other proficient artists on the scene, mixing The Track I’ve Been Playing That People Keep Asking About by Four Tet straight into his own Cirrus, whose bells form luscious ripples in the crowd.
Bonobo builds further in his future beats with Cushion’s Erdbeerschnitzel, which whistles gently over an immense bassline. The set glides gently from there into a number of euphoric songs that are both musically pleasing and impossible not to dance to. A tickle of a smile crosses his face as he drops Kaytranada’s Leave Me Alone (feat Shay Lia), leading the crowd into the final hour of his set. A notable song here is his own production Flashlight, which lifts the atmosphere from darker, more dancehall-orientated songs to a memorable guitar line, steeped in that classic Bonobo sound. Not only does he show his skills as an accomplished producer, but proves himself as a master in the craft of DJing. Nuits Sonores by Floating Points is thrown in among the final, bass-head-orientated tracks.
For the final moments of the set, he goes into more of a post-dubstep sound; the long piano riffs of Cid Rim’s Draw – a Dorian Concept remix – resonate across a half-step beat complemented by a series of strobes on each drum note. 16 years after coming onto the scene, Bonobo continues to provide timeless, outstanding entertainment to a vivacious crowd.
Photos: Glynn Churchill
For further information about Bonobo and future events visit here.
Watch the video for Kiara here: