Read how animation and music collide in the intricate world of Bonobo’s videos

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Simon Green, aka Bonobo, has firmly established himself as one of Britain’s finest contemporary electronic artists of recent years.

Bonobo’s fifth studio album The North Borders took him on a seemingly endless live tour, stopping at more than 175 venues in over 30 countries across the globe. Bonobo is now set to release his first solo LP since 2013. The album is called Migration and will be out in January via Ninja Tune, which is also the reason why Simon is our artist of the month. It features guest appearances from Rhye, Nick Murphy (fka Chet Faker) and more.

The album is thoughtfully titled.

“My own personal idea of identity has played into this record and the theme of migration,” Green says. “It’s interesting how one person will take an influence from one part of the world and move with that influence and affect another part of the world. Over time, the identities of places evolve.”

Along with releasing some absolutely soul soothing music, Bonobo has the knack of dishing out intricate, hypnotic and some really riveting videos to compliment his music. We take a look at some of Bonobo’s finest videos to date:

Bonobo – Cirrus

The video starts off with loads of old vintage looking footage being played in a normal way, this is all the footage that gets looped and rotoscoped to make loads of cool looking effects. The footage starts to get more and more complex with more and more tracking and rotoscoping all the way through and it gradually gets more and more intricate. The simple rotoscoping at the beginning of the video could be done in after effects where you just create a mask and animate it frame by frame with the subject in the scene, as the video get more complex and more clockwork, the footage has been linked together and animated in different ways to give it a more gear-like feel. The more complex editing could still be done in after effects in a similar way, it would require you to rotoscope out the footage first and then you could link it all together by making varieties of different compositions and making them all move in different ways, it is very complicated by with the right organisation, very do able.

Bonobo – Kerala

Upon first watch, the music video seems simple: a repetitive series of on-the-beat cuts as lead actor Gemma Arterton runs through the streets, losing her mind for no apparent reason. But the anxiety created by that repetition serves a purpose: It forces you to pay attention to the things happening around Arterton as the scene plays out. Nothing in this video is as it seems, and director Dave Bullivant makes good on his effort to have the grasp of the world he’s created extend beyond the screen.

Bonobo – First Fires Feat. Grey Reverend

First Fires is another great video by Bonobo and his team. The plot is representing a separation story: a man and a woman who go their separate ways but still can’t forget the past. They burn in their old memories of love and passion and drown themselves in an ocean of pain. I mean it almost literally.
Both the video and the song are amazing. Such an unbelievable combination of music and vision which only Bonobo can create.

Bonobo – Break Apart (feat. Rhye)

The video combines an otherworldly landscape with the cinematography from Thelma and Louis. It’s devoid of any signs of life—says the video Art director, Neil Krug. He keeps a “mental Rolodex” of shooting locations in the Mojave desert, and chose a dozen or so rarely visited canyons and lake beds. It looks volcanic, almost bloody. That’s all manipulated. Like the desert itself, the footage had a blanched hue.

“If you look at the raw film it’s very white and milky and creamy,” Krug says. “The final result is as crunched down as one can get without being ridiculous.”

Learn more about Bonobo’s upcoming album, ‘Migration, right here.

Sagar Deshmukh
Follow me!

Sagar Deshmukh

Drum & Bass enthusiast. Exit Records and Alix Perez Fanboy.
Sagar Deshmukh
Follow me!
Drum & Bass enthusiast. Exit Records and Alix Perez Fanboy.

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