Bonobo Brings the Beat Back

The Bonobo is actually a great ape, formerly known as the “dwarf chimpanzee.”

Bonobo (Simon Green) is also a great musician, DJ and producer, who also was dwarfed at Fortune Sound Club last night by old ladies flashing their orangutan titties; some dude in a tropical shirt, MDMA-jiving roughly into everyone around him; some drunk chick crowd-surfing in stilettos; and a tedious opening DJ, billed as “guest”, who was competent at mixing a dope beat, but got really boring, really fast.

Anyway, it was still Bonobo, still mad respect, and Black Sands is still one of my all-time favourite albums. Throwing down incredible, flawless style with beautiful, thought-provoking soundscapes and imagery, Bonobo stands apart from the bland sheep who play their macbooks at a party and then demand the respect of a disc jockey.

So like I was saying, there was that opener, whoever the fuck he was, doing mashups of old songs to a pretty solid bass. He kept a good flow, but the crowd was there for Bonobo, and this guy wasn’t even trying. Chugging Jack Daniels, bloodshot, half-open eyes and sluggish stage presence… if Jabba the Hutt was a DJ, then it’d be this guy.

The general crowd conversation circulated around how people wished Bonobo was playing with a band, that Black Sands was his best album yet, and how they wished Jabba would wrap it up so we could all get to it.

FINALLY the set started; Jabba closed his macbook and staggered off the stage. Everyone crushed in. Fortune is a small club. It looks like the kind of place you’d go to drink tacky cocktails and listen to that vague ambient shit they play in the clubs in movies.

Playing a satisfying amount from Black Sands, Bonobo did an impressive job of blasting those tracks into danceable beats and people were definitely losing it with the thrill. However, most of them looked like they were also high on MDMA, and Tropical Shirt Man was practically injuring those around him with his frantic dancing. One girl jumped the stage and started humping the DJ booth and that’s when Granny got onstage and pulled down the front of her shirt to flash her goods. Then Stilettoes started crowd- surfing.

I chose that as my cue to bounce. Bonobo’s music was completely drowned out as mere background club beats for the half-wits to hump to and it was a bit disappointing in that regard.

On a final note though, if you could pick your way through the trash of distraction to get down to the bare bones of the beat, (which I mostly could and tried really hard to do) you were still getting to see one of the finest DJs around right now, sharing music that is an incredible contribution to what we’re all doing.