Sunday 24 January 2016, 8pm
Great to welcome back the mighty King Ayisoba, this time with full band! Joining him on the bill with be Zea – aka Arnold de Boer of The Ex – and fellow kologo player, Ayuune Sule.
“The music of King Ayisoba is not mainstream music . It is part of the fringe of committed African music and haunting” – Songlines
“Infectious and masterful music that contaminate souls and bodies, the mind is joy and sweaty skin” – Ears For Eyes
Born in 1974, near Bolgatanga northeast Ghana, King Ayisoba plays Kologo (small guitar with two strings attached to a calabash) from a young age. He took care of livestock and carries his instrument in the bush and villages where he discovered traditional harmonic , ceremonies and ancestral rites !
He joined the capital and plunged into the Accra cosmopolitan urban jungle, and a draft style between tradition and modernity. He met Terry Bonchaka whom he worked with for several years and Panji Anoff the music producer . His first album « Modern Ghanians « was recorded in 2006 The album was immediately welcomed by the Ghanaian public. The single « I want to see you my father» won the Ghana Music Awards in 2007, King was invited to participate in numerous collaborations. He continues in the same aesthetic , fusing electronic beats with his gravelly voice, with traditional instruments. He became one of Ghana’s artists who exports himself the most out of the African continent. In 2008, King released his second album, «Africa « and he played in Europe (Sweden , Norway, Denmark , Holland, Germany , Russia , UK , Belgium, France , Switzerland... ) alongside Arnold de Boer aka Zea , lead singer of the Ex group and producer of the label Makkum Records. They set out a compilation LP from the last two albums in 2012. The band performed at numerous festivals , and was noticed at Roskilde Festival (Denmark ) and Fusion Festival (Germany) ...!
The world of King Ayisoba is unique and complex. The rhythms and frenzied dancing mingle with its distinctive voice , alternately smooth and suave turn, then rocky and tribal . Their concerts are unique experiences where musical codes are shattered in a raw energy delivered bluntly . King Ayisoba offers a world where the spirit world merges with the painful origins of Kologo music, concrete and urban Hip Life , and the cries of a rebellious youth who is still seeking his identity. Trance between the mystical forest and concrete cracked Accra.
The Ex vocalist Arnold de Boer's solo performances are always a complete blast. He deploys guitar and sampler for an almighty bout of crazily high energy songs - urgent lyrics over guitar, roughshod beats and grimy bass lines. "One guy stands playing his guitar like he’s trying to saw it in half with his bare hands, the other bashes at the vocoding keyboard devices like he wants them to explode, and they end up making one almighty racket that could be called ‘dance’ music. If you happen to dance like a malfunctioning washing machine, that is. Ace." Drowned in Sound
"It's incredibly bonkers, that's for sure, but it's so bloody energetic, so bull headed and so schizophrenic in its approach to crafting a tune that you simply can't fail to be impressed by it...The results are astonishing." Incendiary Magazine
Ayuune Sule brings the Soul into Kologo Power. In Kumasi, the second city of Ghana and capital of the Ashanti region, Ayuune Sule is the main kologo star. The most famous kologo player these days in the whole of Ghana and abroad is King Ayisoba. In Europe we know Ayuune Sule as a member of King Ayisoba's band and as a solo artist who often opens up for his shows. In 2015 he released his 7″ single with the songs "What A Man Can Do A Woman Can Do More Better" and "Who Knows Tomorrow" on Makkum Records (MR12), which put his name out into the western scenes.
And now there is the full length album of Ayuune Sule! When listening to Sule’s guest vocals on King Ayisoba's albums you hear the warm velvet voice of Ayuune Sule as a striking contrast to King Ayisoba's forceful rasping vocals. We Have One Destiny is full of that velvet tone and true West African soul power. Living in Kumasi makes it easy for Ayuune Sule to be influenced by southern Ghanaian music styles such as Azonto and Hiplife and fuse those with the rhythms and scales from the north. This album is a true mix between modern and traditional as Ayuune Sule included the song “Senyaane”, an acoustic song with just the sinyaka (the kalebas filled with hard berries that sounds like a giant maracas and is hit and thrown up between two hands played by Sule in King Ayisoba's band) and his voice.