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Bonobo – Live @ 2932 East

THREE. HOUR. SET. This weekend may have had most of London focusing on Queenie and her Gary Barlow curated Jubilee concert (featuring many, many music criminals committing further crimes against music), but for a lucky few in East London (those who could afford the £19 entry fee!) this weekend was all about Si Green’s THREE HOUR Bonobo set.

Now, it’s worth quickly mentioning the setting: a new(ish) warehouse space called 2932 East, situated at 2932 The Oval, Hackney, and sometimes confusingly referred to as The Oval. A commodious 6000ft warehouse floor with a large stage at the front, the pointed ceiling made it resemble some form of village or school hall. However, for what it lacked it atmosphere it made up for with energy, with a spirited (bordering on boisterous) crowd propelled by a surprising loud, all-encompassing sound system.

First up tonight (June 1st) is Bonobo’s Ninja Tune label-mate Raffertie, who plays a up-hill live set of tech-house laced electronica, starting with mid-paced, techno-inspired chillout (where the venue is 20% full, and the crowd unfussed) and finishing with a banging, electro-heavy series of remixes featuring The Prodigy and Daft Punk (where the venue is 100% full, and the crowd manic).

Bonobo appears – a little later than scheduled – to ridiculous cheers. Backed by little more than a few basic light structures, he launches into the intro (‘Prelude’) of his career best album ‘Black Sands’ – a brooding collection of heart wrenching strings that almost move the cheers to cries and screams. From here it’s all world-class, with Si Green effortlessly mixing his newer ‘Black Sands’ tracks with remixes and instrumentals. The (nearly) three hour set seems to be neatly divided into sections, with the start heavily dominated by moody, soothing electronica – along the lines of the ‘Black Sands’ material – all of it with such a high attention to subtle detail that’s difficult to register all the different bleeps and instrumental flourishes at once.

Next, Bonobo mixes in an odd series of brass-heavy instrumental dance tracks, using it to up the soul, funk, and amusement of the crowd, before unveiling an experimental, post-dubstep-heavy mid-section. Then comes a devastating, balls-out mix of dubstep and bass-heavy electronica, which has the crowd writhing about in a hostile, sweaty mess. It’s quite electro-heavy, but Si Green always manage to retain a degree of restraint, never allowing the music to get too away from him and out of control – the focus always remains on Bonobo and not on any external elements of the music (as inevitably happens when one plays a big, pop remix, or features lots of well-known vocals, as when Raffertie played The Prodigy and Daft Punk).

Finally fully amerced in the accomplished DJing finesse of Bonobo, the end of the set is a bit of blissful blur (it all became too hard to concentrate on why Si Green sounded so masterful, and became imperative to just enjoy Si Green sounding so masterful). Highlights include anything he played off ‘Black Sands’, and versions of Jacques Greene’s ‘Another Girl’ and Clams Casino’s ‘Illest Alive’.

An incredible set by a producer and DJ at the very top of his game. Just imagine if Bonobo had been in charge of the Jubilee Concert, or better yet, the Jubilee anthem – Bonobo could have created something truly timely and atmospheric to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee, rather than that dreadful, uninspiring mush ‘Sing’, for which Gary Barlow and Andrew Lloyd Webber should be condemned and eternally exiled by our dear Queenie. Now Imagine that…

Originally published by AAA Music…

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~ by cliveparisrozario on June 5, 2012.

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