Simon Green (born 30 March 1976), known by his stage name Bonobo, is a British musician, producer and DJ based in Los Angeles. He debuted with a trip hop aesthetic, and has since explored more upbeat approaches as well as jazz and world music influences. His tranquil electronic sound incorporates the use of organic instrumentation, and is recreated by a full band in live performances.
Green's work has attained a cult following, and he has collaborated with a variety of other artists.
Green debuted in 1999 on the Tru Thoughts compilation When Shapes Join Together. His stage name Bonobo, is a reference to the Bonobo chimpanzee species. Following the releases of the EP Scuba and the single "Terrapin", Bonobo was offered label deals with XL recordings and Mute records, but he chose to remain in Tru Thoughts.
His first album Animal Magic was released on the same label in 2000. It received mixed reviews; Pitchfork stated that despite not being a ground-breaking chill-out album, Bonobo "[showcases] smooth breakbeat loops, synth sounds, and aforementioned dub effects. [And his] electronic music draws on live playing," according to PopMatters. Reviewer Dean Carlson also said that the album "slowly takes shape as a solid debut of narcoleptic downtempo." In spite of reactions, Animal Magic has given Bonobo a cult following. Its accompanying compilation album titled "One Offs...", was issued in 2002 and contains reworked songs and rarities.
In 2001, Bonobo was signed to Coldcut's label Ninja Tune and in 2003, he released Dial 'M' for Monkey. John Bush of Allmusic stated in a review that Bonobo's influences were drawn more towards alternative rock and world music rather than hip-hop or trip hop. The album tracks "Pick up" and "Flutter" were featured in the snowboarding game SSX on Tour.
In 2005, Bonobo contributed to the Solid Steel series, with It Came from the Sea. The mix features several exclusive tracks as well as remixes and re-edits. His third album, entitled Days to Come, was released on 2 October 2006. An AllMusic review states that "[Bonobo] breathes new life into a well-worn genre." With the album as well as his future work, he featured vocalists such as Bajka, thus "adding [an] organic and vibrant musicality that's rare in electronic music." Days to Come was voted Best Album of 2006 by Gilles Peterson's listeners. The song "Nightlite" appeared on UEFA Champions League 2006–2007, and "Recurring" was used in a surfing film broadcast on Fuel TV.