Album Of The Week // 14–18 December
Aulos is a woodwind instrument from ancient Greece, an age-old counterpart to today’s tenor saxophone. In its mythological meaning the aulos symbolises ecstasy and this-worldliness. It was played by the Satyrs who surrounded Dionysos, the god of earthly bliss.
Aulos is Jimi Tenor’s second album for Philophon. The record features musicians seen on his Philophon debut Order of Nothingness. Beside our Finnish singer and multi-instrumentalist we have again drummers Ekow Alabi Savage from Ghana and Max Weissenfeldt from Germany, the latter of whom is the producer of the album.
As early recordings were cut at Weissenfeldt’s former Tonstudio Blütenring in Berlin- Kreuzberg, the album was completed at Philophon’s newly established Joy Sound Studios in Kumasi, Ghana. Therefore, the album also presents some local guests from Ghana. First and foremost, the two Frafra-Gospel queens Florence Adooni and Lizzy Amaliyenga, who are featured on lead vocals on ‘Vocalize My Luv’ and the Frafra-Gospel classic ‘Ki’igba’. We hear a young shooting star of the vibrant music scene in Kumasi, Kofi Emma. He is featured on kpanlogo, a Ghanaian drum and forefather of the conga. Last but not least, we hear Pat Thomas’ guitarist Sergio Manuel on the krautrock-ish piece ‘128 Cosmic Rock’.
This bridging of African and European styles also runs through the cover artwork. Ghanaian artist Babs provides his very personal interpretation of the epic painting ‘Väinämöisen Soitto’ by Finnish painter Robert Wilhelm Ekman, who worked in the 19th century, which puts Jimi into a scenario surrounded by characters from Finnish mythology.
Jimi says: “Like the name of the album Aulos suggests, I wanted to feature flute quite heavily on it. I love complicated melodies and structures, so there are a couple of songs where we just went for it. Of course the core of the album is groove-based music, with African-style bass lines”.
Aulos is another landmark in Jimi’s fruitful career, which started back in the 80s in the dark corners of industrial music, and which evolved consistently into his very own kind of a bright and playful nature music. You can hear tracks from the album all this week on Morning Mari*, every weekday 9:00–9:15 GMT.