Thursday 30 March 2017, 7.30pm
“Modern kologo in this style is taut, sinew-stretched roots music, aching with modern political frustration and spiritual depth, and it is in no small part Ayisoba’s creation. This was a masterclass.” – Francis Gooding, The WIRE, review of King Ayisoba at Cafe OTO, 2016
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