Review in Wire Magazine 01/2009 Jimi Tenor's bizarre solo career path began in the mid-90's with minimal electronic music that paid unlikely tribute to both Sun Ra and Barry White. Now he's running an Afrobeat big band with West African rhythm section Kabu Kabu. Given that highlife seems to be the flavour of the month - see Vampire Weekend et al - Tenor's timing is top. He still looks like ITV comic Harry Hill, the surprised geek with outsize glasses and someone else's clothes. But years of Finnish classical training underpin his antics, and the new album has considerable musical weight. Given Tenor's reputation as an electronica maverick, the listener suspects some lounge-drenched joke. I presumed "4th Dimension" would offer the missing link between Stereolab and Fela Kuti. Actually the priority seems to be to make a party record: the sound is warm, the playing live from Berlin's Lovelite club, and the mix pushes percussion well to the fore. "It's imperative to groove" chants the chorus on "Mystery Spot", and the album follows through on this promise. For someone who is not an Afrobeat devotee, the least rewarding moments are when Tenor sticks firmly to his brass and chorus big band template - when he takes liberties the magic starts. An angry wasp of a keyboard or an episode of understated flute frottage lifts the track out of the ordinary. "Mega Roots" is Tenor fooling around at home, a lo-fi flute and marimba miasma, hallucinatory and cunningly assembled. Then it's back to the voodoo funk of "Floating Orange" and "High Styx", getting steadily more convincing as the album progresses through it's generous 70 minute length. Clive Bell

Jimi Tenor: Vocals, Tenor Sax, Flute, String machine, Synth, Noise box, Organ
Ekow Alabi Savage: Drums, Percussion, Vocals
Akinola Famson: Percussion, Vocals
Patrick Frankowski: Electric Bass, Percussion
Kalle Kalima: Electric Guitar
Ilkka Mattila: Electric Guitar
Jukka Eskola: Trumpet, Vocals, Hand-claps
Juha Jay Kortehisto: Trombone, Hand-claps
Daniel Allen Oberto: Trumpet, Vocals, Percussion
Hilary Jeffery: Trombone
Mariamu Morris: Vocals
Djatou Touré: Vocals
Tero Lindberg: Trumpet
Aleksi Saraskari: Tuba

Produced & Composed by Jimi Tenor

Second collaboration between electronic-minded Finn Tenor and the West African trio. When signed to electro pioneers Warp in the late 1990's, über-clever techno-lounger Jimi Tenor (born Lassi Lehto) was a style-mag staple, but his profile has mysteriousy bottomed out since he moved base back to Finland. His eigth album, 2007's Joystone, came and went despite it's sinewy Afrobeat joy and the presence of Kabu Kabu's hot-to-trot rhythm section. Recorded 'studio live', 4th Dimension picks up the baton with boosted jazz panache, as on Aligned Planets or Triple Helix's intergalactic blowing in Gil Evans fashion. The overriding vibe, though, remains Afro party, full of snake guitar, rattling percussion and splashing horns (including Tenor's own masterblaster saxophone) woven into n intense rhythmic lockdown. When the strands of jazz and Afro merge into psychedelic soul on Mogadishu Ave. or detours into Mega Roots' heart-of-darkness voodoo, the hallucinatory pleasures can only increase. Martin Aston

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