Bonobo Rifflandia, Victoria BC, September 16

Bonobo Rifflandia, Victoria BC, September 16
Photo: Kim Jay
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If you've never caught Bonobo on tour with a full band, I'm sorry. Appearing solo initially, with other musicians slowly filling in and taking up their instruments, the spot-lit stage began to take form. The beautiful Szjerdene, saccharine vocals permeating the airwaves, took the stage for second track "Transits," followed closely by "Towers." Often on tour with Bonobo, her sweet, sweeping cadence adds a brilliant level to their live shows, a depth not found with programmed vocals.
 
To watch the intricacy with which Bonobo crafts his tracks, bass slung across his shoulders, eyes on his mixer, fingers jumping nimbly, shows the care and knowledge this legendary producer brings to his shows. Huge tracks like "Cirrus" and "Kiara" garnered huge response, and were brilliant to see in the making — the latter coming together with a solid backbeat, followed by the crack of rim shots and live saxophone.
 
Bonobo had solo moments, when just programming and unbelievably thick bass provided by him reached across the park. Szjerdene took the place of Hundred Waters' Nicole Miglis on Migration's "Surface," followed by the lazy walking bass of "Kong," live flute flitting in to fill it out. Catching Bonobo live is one thing, but with his full band it's an experience to watch the construction of a song, piece by beautiful piece.
 
 

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