Born out of the heat of Nigeria’s 1970s funk scene, William Onyeabor is the great synth pioneer who self-released eight nearly impossible-to-find albums between 1978 and 1985 in South-Eastern Nigeria, and then became a Born-Again Christian, refusing to ever speak about himself or his music again.
Only recently musicians and audiences have been waking up to Onyeabor’s formidable force, after Luaka Bop, the label founded by David Byrne, tracked down the man – a process which took about five years – and released one of the most acclaimed reissues of 2013, World Psychedelic Classics 5: Who is William Onyeabor?.
Oyneabor is already becoming a major influence on musicians today, and tonight’s stellar cast of artists are gathering to celebrate his mystery and the infectious genius of his electro-funk, playing the music live for the first time – ever!
'It’s little wonder that the likes of Four Tet, James Holden, Caribou and more have already been buzzing with their accolades for the man and the weird funk of "Fantastic Man" could easily be mistaken for a modern Dam-Funk track' Pitchfork, Best Reissue of the Year 2013
‘Gonna blow minds!’ Four Tet
‘The world might just be better off not hearing [Onyeabor's ‘Atomic Bomb’], which will burrow and propagate its seed exponentially by the second, into the hearts and souls of all humanity. It's the catchiest song I've ever heard; when it gets in my brain, I can't sleep...He's a mythical character from Nigeria.’ Devendra Banhart
‘Anyone out there who is making music at the moment...will be quite excited by this...’ Damon Albarn