Personal Soundtrack

26 Feb

The Song

We Could Forever by Bonobo


Bonobos are a species of great apes that aren’t as well known as chimpanzees, their close relatives in the animal world.  Their relative anonymity is a shame, because they are amazing creatures that love to party.  Seriously – they are most known among anthropologists (people in the know) for their high levels of sexual behavior.  They use sex in nearly all of their group interactions, and have been observed employing and enjoying a staggering variety of sexual positions.  Bonobos are great, so it makes sense that their musical namesake is top-notch as well.  Simon Green is the man behind Bonobo, and under that moniker he’s released laid-back, dynamic electronic music that draws upon jazz, hip-hop, and distinct global sounds.

“We Could Forever” comes from Bonobo’s 2010 album “Black Sands,” and it provides the backdrop for the best international dance party you’ve never had.  The track has a humming energy from the get-go, with an urgent cymbal tap backing a percolating rhythm.  The song’s frenetic jam nears a cresting point near the halfway point, but right when you take a breath, a flute goes bananas in a breakdown and the groove continues.  “Forever” exemplifies the unique greatness of Bonobo’s music – it has instruments and sounds culled from all areas of world music, combined with electronic touches that create an immensely satisfying groove.  Sometimes Bonobo provide a funky rhythmic backdrop to your chillout time, and sometimes with songs like “We Could Forever,” they drop the subtlety and implore you to start dancing.

The Activity

You’re trekking through a lush jungle somewhere near the equator, alone with your thoughts and the low buzz of insects.  Your shirt clings to your back in the humid air and even though it’s nighttime, you have no problem finding your way under the brilliant pearly light of the full moon.  You came on this trip to get away from the grind of everyday life, and find some adventure that you’ve been sorely lacking lately.  So far, everything’s been great with your stay in this tropical and foreign land, but you still don’t feel as if you’ve had any truly crazy experiences.  You took a local’s suggestion and ventured out on a night hike, hoping to find something, and were disappointed until the faint sounds of music reached your ear.

You stopped to gauge direction, and followed the rhythmic pounding of drums as they got louder and louder.  Finally, you come upon a clearing among the vines, and find a vibrant, throbbing circle of people dancing and playing instruments around a bright fire.  There are people from all walks of life, from locals to the beautiful Australian travelers you noticed at your hostel earlier, and they are all in varying states of dance and disrobe.  You move cautiously forward into the clearing, and are noticed by a young Brazilian couple who smile and groove over your way.  The woman grabs your hand as you ask What Is This Place?  The man hands you a gourdlike instrument to shake, and simply says Dança.  And you do.


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