There's something intensely mystical about the effective blend of organic soundscapes with the more artificial output of machines, and Simon Green - under primate eponym Bonobo - is certainly adept at cracking that balance. The thrills of meticulously produced ambient electronica cut with vibrant, organic jazz rhythms and rich live instrumentation - a dynamic blend, and one that's always contributed too, and often lead, the burgeoning trend of half-human electronica.

Certainly Green's central axis has shifted. Days To Come (2006) - along with its arguably less-refined predecessors - is the album that best typifies this signature blend. From the opening buoyancy of its rich string quartet, to the closing melancholia of live and dynamic woodwind, to the minimal placement of electronic percussion - tactile instrumentation takes primacy. Black Sands (2010) and this year's The North Borders forage deeper into the realms of electronic soundscapes, organic sentiments partially overcome by richer bass and refined production - interestingly the space and environment evoked on both these records is one of natural and expansive beauty, it's simply conjured by the precise and insular tactics of predominantly artificial production.

Yet live the emphasis shifts almost exclusively to the natural elements of Green's production heritage. Though on his most recent records the electronic elements have demanded recognition - and certainly encourage the crowd's kinetic bounce when played out live - in terms of visceral quality and the immediacy of what were witnessing, live instrumentation and the tactile creation of sound is this evening's central focus.

It's a spectacle that draws on the processes of production. We begin with a sole figure, Green positioned inside a podium encircled by various synthesisers, switches, pads and gizmos. The whole gesture is vaguely Sci-fi, Green a kind of Hal figure - of 2001: A Space Odyssey fame - part acting organism, part inanimate polymer. The ambient chime of single 'Cirrus' begins with one movement, its minimalist beats stir with a second, and we bask momentarily. Things grow exponentially from this initial nucleus. The drummer shuffles into sight and begins, followed moments later by a guy on keys, and eventually by a duo of woodwind - each element inviting new textures. We witness, both aurally and visually, a construction - a slow and meticulous build.

This ebb and flow is consistent throughout, each tracks' intricacies mirrored by the physical transition of musicians on and off stage - it's very a human ordeal. A minimal to maximal flux, Green a gestural cynosure, convergence point for the various limbs of live instrumentation, including a collect-em-all set of guest vocalists - Szjerdene, Cornelia and Andreya Triana all featuring, their unique presences filtering in and out of the fray.

In the rare moments when Green interacted with the crow his gratitude was evident. Not only humbled by the crowds terrific reaction, but also thankful for the ability to translate Bonobo live in such a vivid and momentous way, allowing his tracks to breathe freely - without an overbearing amount of artificial aid.

Main support came from Flako, whose set was somewhat overshadowed by poor sound levels. All I could hear was the drone of conversation interrupted by the odd pang of bass. A supreme shame because he weaves some of the most captivating and aesthetically slick electronica being released today, playing it out live with the use of seriously clever vocal manipulation. Had the set been allowed its full vibrancy, the evening would have been almost faultless - and that's not an easy thing admit, in this beloved age of cynicism.






















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