Attempting to keep up with new releases is exhausting. And the never-ending quest to discover an act before they hit >1000 plays on Bandcamp is all but rewarding. Having given up full-time music writing a little while ago, more often than not I find myself feeling a mix of FOMO and IDGAF about new, local music while compiling my Spotify playlists. With this feature, we (that is, I) aim to put together a weekly mixtape—without being (a) judgemental asshole(s).
For this week’s edition, I’ve put together a few Bonobo stans—some from the office and some from my life—to recommend their favourite tunes off the Brighton/LA lad. Why am I doing this? Well, he’s playing in Pune this weekend—a literal 3-fucking-hour-drive from where I am—and I can’t watch him (again) because, well, life. I reckon I’ll have to make do with this.
"Towers ft. Szjerdine"
“This song is on an old 8tracks (#youremember) playlist of mine called "Make That Play". The description was ‘background music for closed eyes and deep sighs'. Need I say more?”
—Nidhi Salian, Associate Producer and feeler of feels, going to this gig
"Bambro Koyo Ganda ft. Innov Gnawa"
“This is such an amazing travel song. A song to listen to as you look out of the window of a car and see people and places, both known and unknown, pass you by. I heard the song for the first time on a long auto ride (editor’s note: lol) and fell in love with it immediately. The chanting that goes on through the song gives me goosebumps.”
—Dipen Shah, Creative Writer and provider of mid-day entertainment via rants
“I first heard Bonobo's "Days to Come" as a delusional teenager back in Pune, some 15-odd years ago (yes, I'm old). "Ketto" takes me to physical spaces in my head, reminding me of very specific things like glass clinking together, grainy pictures, black-and-white movies, Doordarshan (?). Really random. But the track has such a hauntingly great voice and production, IMO. Arguably the best Bonobo album, this.”
—Afshaan Karim, watching Bonobo right after her court wedding this weekend.
“Prelude - Kiara (Live)”
“My introduction to Bonobo was through his Boiler Room set at Alexandra Palace, a video I devoured with devotion. Last year, on a trip to London, I learnt that he was all set to play at Alexandra Palace for the first time since that video had been shot. So, I made a pilgrimage to watch this music maestro transport me into another world, one where fluid melodies merged with all the feels. Even though months have passed since then, I still feel that electrifying excitement I felt while watching him live, especially every time I listen to Kiara, a song I had heard only once before that night but which changed my auditory experience of it. His signature sound of percussion intertwined with languid synths and accompanied by a hauntingly beautiful vibe, still remains with me. As I anxiously wait to see him in the flesh once again at Supersonic, it’s this memory that still sends shivers down my spine, especially since I found a sick bootleg to keep the vibe going.”
—Shamani Joshi, Junior Staff Writer who will also be at this goddamn gig
“Bonobo soundtrack's a good part of my mountain breaks, and whenever I need to conjure some of that stillness in the city, I turn to this track from Migration. It samples folk singer Pete Seeger's simply worded "One Grain Of Sand" and turns it into a soothing, meditative chant—the next best thing to the sound of gurgling streams.”
—Vatsala Chibber, freelance journalist currently on a break
“First, one should buy the editor of this video a drink. For someone who’s never really experienced anxiety attacks, this video perfectly describes what it must feel like. The best one by Bonobo so far.”
—Sidhant Gandhi, Head of Design and one who won’t tell me stories
“Honestly, and I’m going to say it again, I’m just bummed to be missing Green’s gig this Sunday, and I hope my friends have all the fun and come back with stories. Why? Because often enough, I’m that insufferable asshole who will tell you just how much he enjoyed a certain gig by an artist you possibly like. Good thing I watched the live set in Belgium a couple of years ago, inside of a near-perfect shed. While it’s hard to make a pick for a favourite Bonobo song, heck even an album—I’d be real bummed if he played the newest offering. Knowing that it’s highly unlikely is giving me plenty comfort.”
—Naman Saraiya, Producer who doesn’t want to hear your stories
Check out our previous editions here.