22–23 January 2016
We're thrilled to finally bring the legendary drummer and godfather of afrobeat, Tony Allen, to OTO alongside Finland's king of space-funk Jimi Tenor. Blasting off together fully armed with Allen's drums tripping a wall full of classic 70's analog modular synths & bathed in Tenor's vocoder voices and Moog-ed keys, this will be the world premier of the duo's first intergalactic afrofunk dance party.
“No one else can do what Tony Allen does... he's still the only person who can play the Afrobeat he invented during his time driving Fela Kuti's band, Africa 70. It's a total rhythm that allows no escape; you will dance. Imagine the peak point last time you were abandoned to music on the dancefloor, multiply it by four and hold it for two hours; that's what Allen does for a living... Anyone lucky enough to have caught his band live in recent years will know that Tony Allen has only consolidated his musical power with age.” – The Quietus
THE heartbeat of afrobeat and the drummer & musical director to Fela Kuti's Africa 70 band (1968 to 1979) - Tony Allen is one of the most adventurous and singular drummers/percussionists alive today. Having developed a hybrid sound deconstructing and fusing Afrobeat with electronica, dub, R&B and rap which he terms 'Afrofunk', he is 75 years old today and is still going strong, still keen as ever to experiment, and get those audiences dancing.
“perhaps the greatest drummer who has ever lived” – Brian Eno
Besides being a professional musician for almost 20 years, Jimi Tenor (born Lassi Lehto, 1965, Lahti, Finland) has also practised photography, directed short films and designed clothes and musical instruments. The electro-mechanic instruments built by Jimi Tenor and designer Matti Knaapi are not intended to be pieces of art on display at exhibitions, though have sometimes ended up as such. They emerge from musical needs, and are mainly made of scrap material. The instruments have been used at full blast during recording and on stage, so some of them have been wrecked.
Tenor's music, along with his design and technical innovations, springs from experimental rock. His first recording band Jimi Tenor & His Shamans (1986-1992) was influenced by the early 80s industrial rock, where instruments were made out of scrap metal and plastic. Later during the 90s Tenor moved first towards electronic music, but soon got closer to his roots: 60s and 70s jazz, psychedelic soul and African funk.
Although Tenor spent all of the 90s in Berlin, New York, London and Barcelona, his artistic approach was typically Finnish: technically practical, but saturated with black humour and a national romantic tone. So he was quite at home all over Europe in front of a crowd gone wild, wearing a glittering self-designed costume and a flowing cape, holding a noise-producing device the main components of which were a walkman made in Hong Kong and an East-German bicycle dynamo, performing a song about ancient Finnish forest gods, sounding like a mixture of Gil Evans, Jimi Hendrix and Fela Kuti.
Blood Sport bring their long running Republic of South Yorkshire afro-tronic aggro-beat Hybrid Vigour party hats with both live and DJ sets in celebration of their newly released album package on the blastfirstpetite label.