Ibibio Sound Machine
Saturday 21st October 2017
Doors 7:00 pm
Price £14 + booking fee / £18
London-based DJ/live music collective Ibibio Sound Machine are a very exciting, colourful, explosive act, inspired in equal measure by the golden era of West African funk and disco, post-punk, and modern electro.
The band was started by producers Max Grunhard, Leon Brichard, and Benji Bouton, who were all enthusiasts of African grooves from the 1970s and ’80s. This trio began creating drum’n’bass tracks around the voice of frontwoman Eno Williams. Though London-born, she was a first-generation citizen of the U.K. of Nigerian origin. Williams’ mother, whose native tongue was Ibibo, recounted numerous folk and children’s stories from her own heritage to her daughter. Williams crafted lyrics from these sources and married them to modern themes. After the rhythm tracks were created, the three producers first enlisted Ghanaian guitar legend Alfred “Kari” Bannerman (from the band Konkoma), Brazilian percussionist Anselmo Netto, and synth/horn men Tony Hayden and Scott Baylis as a way of illustrating Williams’ singing.The band have a unique space within the current wave of modern Afrocentric sounds sweeping across the globe.
Though their inspirations are from an earlier time, Ibibio Sound Machine’s approach is distinctly modern; the band’s music holds equal appeal on-stage and on record. The band’s first single, “Let’s Dance,” was issued by Soundway in January of 2014, and became a dancefloor smash in London clubs. It was followed by a self-titled album in March. In 2016, the group appeared on the Beating Heart: Malawi compilation along with artists such as Luke Vibert and Machinedrum. During the same year, the band signed to indie rock powerhouse Merge Records. Their second album, Uyai, arrived on the label in 2017 and has been constantly playlisted on BBC6 music, along with the band booked in for multiple big festival appearances (including headlining 6 music’s stage at The Great Escape)
“A lively fusion of politically conscious Afro-beat electro pop.” – Mojo ****
Support comes from:
Afro-Canadian singer/songwriter Pierre Kwenders’ music is a response to a world that so often asks people who fit comfortably in multiple boxes to pick only one. While Pierre’s music ranges from icy R&B to futuristic hip-hop, his style is rooted in Congolese rumba, the ubiquitous sound of The Democratic Republic of Congo. With his new full-length album, out on September 2017, Pierre looks to build on the success of his debut. Produced entirely by Seattle-based Fly Guy Dai (aka Tendai Maraire of Shabazz Palaces), this new album pivots from Bantou’s house-y thump to something more instrumental, incorporating strong African influence and old-school West Coast hip-hop vibes into Kwenders’ unique recipe.