100% Silk Artists To Perform At Ghost Ship Benefit Show In Los Angeles

The Regent Theater, via Flickr user Sean Rouse

A fundraising event benefitting the victims and families of last month’s Ghost Ship fire in Oakland is scheduled to take place on Thursday, January 26 at the Regent Theater in downtown Los Angeles.

Among the featured live acts on the bill are Pharoahs, Maria Minerva, and Magic Touch, all of whom are part of LA-based label 100% Silk, which was holding a showcase inside the unlicensed venue when the fire broke out on the night of December 2. Two of the label’s artists, Chelsea Faith Dolan (a.k.a. Cherushii) and Johnny Igaz (a.k.a. Nackt), were among the 36 people killed.

Other artists performing at the benefit show include Roche and Leech, with DJ sets from local selectors Sage Caswell, Jen Ferrer, and Cromie. According to 100% Silk’s Facebook page, funds raised will go to the Oakland Fire Relief Fund, which to date has collected nearly $556,000 in donations from more than 3,600 donors. Tickets are available here.

Last month, Nackt had a posthumous record release on Chicago label The Nite Owl Diner. Read Minerva’s emotional tribute to Cherushii, as well as our tribute to all the victims.

Moby & The Void Pacific Choir Shares Politically-Charged Video For “Erupt & Matter”

On the eve of President-elect Trump’s inauguration, Moby today shared a politically-charged video for “Erupt & Matter,” off his new album with The Void Pacific Choir, These Systems Are Failing.

The video, directed by Jeff Broadway, shows Moby and his band performing the stirring, half-shouted song onstage interspersed with footage from protestsand clips of political leaders such as Rudy Giuliani, Kim Jong-Un, Bashar al-Assad, and Boris Johnson. Among the video’s visceral images is a group of protesters holding up a flaming effigy of President-elect Trump’s head.

“We don’t trust you anymore,” Moby wrote in a Facebook post upon sharing the video, quoting the song’s lyrics. He added in a subsequent post, “Democracy is not a spectator sport. The far right are gaining in power and we need to stop them in their tracks. There are, simply, more of us than them. They only take power when we’re complacent.”

Moby has been very vocal about the current political climate, and about the incoming President. The day after the election, he shared his response via a Billboard open letter and an Instagram post, both asking, “America, what the fk is wrong with you?” Despite this, he was still approached to perform at President-elect Trump’s inauguration, to which he responded: “Hahahahaha.”

Watch Moby & The Void Pacific Choir’s “Erupt & Matter” video above.

Listen To The "Best Techno Song" Matthew Dear's Ever Made

You’ve got to hand it to them: the DJ-Kicks team had an exceptionally strong 2016, dropping fantastic mixes by Moodymann, Dam-Funk, Jackmaster, Marcel Dettmann, and Daniel Avery. While it might be hard to top that, they’re giving it their best shot and this month sees the release of Matthew Dear’s inclusion in the long-running and much-loved series.

Featuring cuts from the likes of Simian Mobile Disco, Pearson Sound, and Italojohnson, DJ-Kicks 57 flits and flutters between hard-edged club-ready techno and more experimental sounds. We liked it so much we asked Dear if we could premiere a track from it and he kindly agreed.

“Brines”which sees Dear adopting his oft-used Audion guiseis a typically minimal affair, taut and precision-engineered, a rattling, rumbling, clanking and creaking thing of dark beauty. Dear himself had this to say about it. ‘”Brines” is one the best techno songs I’ve ever made. The whole thing was done live, on my modular equipment and captures a raucous session in it’s purest form. In a perfect world, this one would be remembered as my “Spastik” or “Windowlicker”.”

Check out the track in full below.

DJ-Kicks: Matthew Dear arrives on January 27th on !K7

Is The World's Largest Nightclub Set To Open In Toronto?

Photo courtesy of REBEL

The world’s largest nightclubwith a capacity to hold more than 15,000 peoplecould soon be coming to Toronto, CBC Toronto reports.

Powerhouse Corp., which owns REBEL and adjacent bar Cabana, has applied for a new liquor license that would allow the current waterfront venue to expand its capacity to 7,584 patrons inside and another 7,971 allowed on its patios. The company is also hoping to lift the strict conditions put on its existing license, following excessive noise complaints from locals in 2006.

While a lawyer for Powerhouse told CBC Toronto there’s no plans to use the extra capacity if granted, Richard Kulis said, “There’s always a chance for everything. But in my view of it, I think we’re looking at numbers reasonably close to, if not exactly, the capacity that exists now.” Currently, the club’s limited to 3,163 people indoors and 2,510 outside.

The application is scheduled to be heard by Ontario’s Licensing Appeals Tribunal on February 9. This news follows Toronto councillor Paula Fletcher’s recent announcement that she’ll be pushing to implement an initiative requiring electronic music festivals to have paramedics on-site, to be paid for by promoters.

According to their website, Ibiza’s Privilege currently holds the record for the world’s biggest nightclub, with a capacity of about 10,000 people.

Max Mertens is on Twitter.

Between Worlds: How Field Recordings Can Challenge Our Perceptions Of Electronic Music

Black Merlin

This post ran originally on THUMP UK.

It turns out that translating sounds into words on a page is really difficult. That difficulty might explain the proliferation of phrases like “writing about music is like dancing about architecture,” or better still, “writing about Burial is like imagining you’re on a South London night bus, sitting at the back, and it’s raining outside but you can still hear the sounds of sirens over the tinny two-step compilation playing from your Sony Discman.”

So what we do, here in 2017, whether consciously or not, is skirt around direct dissection aiming instead for a kind of evocation. We distill things down to a kind of base level “electronic-ness,” and work from there. This electronic-ness has a presumed relationship with urban spacetypically western ones. We reflexively root electronic music and club culture in concrete grey world, furnished with the anxieties of alienation and disenfranchisement, punctuated by the release of hedonism.

Only, what happens to the music that doesn’t fall into that formula quite so neatly? What happens when the electronic music you want to tell the world about doesn’t adhere to the neat generic conventions we’ve created for the purpose of ease?

One of the records that got me through 2016 was Hipnotik Tradisi by London-based producer Black Merlin, real name George Thompson. Thompson’s Island of the Gods released LP saw him working with field recordings captured on an expedition through Bali, Indonesia. I was similarly thrilled to see the second volume of Electronic Recordings From Maui Jungle by Anthony Child hit shelves over the festive period. Like Black Merlin, Child (who also works under the slightly more famous guise of Surgeon) replaced the spartan techno and rigorously worked analogue machinery of previous releases with an organic looseness.

To think of Thompson or Childs’ work as revolutionary would be to ignore an already formidable history of electronic-focused musicians turning to found sounds and field recordings as a source of aesthetic inspiration. Dan Mitchell, Island of the Gods’ label boss, acknowledges how influential the likes of Brian Eno collaborator Jon Hassell has been on the music coming out of his imprint, as well as nodding towards more obviously found-in-the-club material by the likes of Theo Parrish.

Speaking to Nabihah Iqbal, better know as the DJ and producer Throwing Shade, about the field recordings she made on a recent trip to Japan, she makes the point that, “the organic sound of field recordings, of someone actually playing an instrument in real life, is something which cannot be re-created in the same way through synthesised sounds. It’s the same reason so many producers are attracted to sampling drum hooks from old funk or jazz tracks.”

Throwing Shade

George Thompson seems to agree with Iqbal’s idea that the field recording should be held in high esteem. “The great thing about field recordings is that they bring a special sonic atmosphere that no machine can replicate,” he told me. The un-replicability of the real doesn’t mean, however, that that the two can’t work together in some kind of queasy harmony. “I found a whole new world of opportunities open up in my creative process,” he added, referring to the moment he began his own process of synthesis.

Iqbal is keen to stress that frequently, in the past, the misplaced precedence afforded to the individual’s “creative process” has seen entire traditions, crafts and rituals ignored, going largely uncredited and ultimately under-appreciated. “I think it’s a good thing for people to look to each other’s cultures and traditions for ideas and inspiration, but they need to acknowledge it,” she reckons. “Did you know, for example, that contemporary American RnB has its roots in the vocal traditions of the Arab Middle East?”

Hipnotik Tradisi tackles this potential pitfall head onit’s impossible to experience it as a whole without seeing Bali. The sounds it uses, the artwork it arrives in, even the track titles themselves, are indelibly and inextricably linked to Balinese flora, fauna, and culture. From talking to both Thompson and Mitchell, it’s apparent that they’ve treated their recordings with as much respect as possibleboth in the rice fields and temples of Bali, and back in a London studio.

Mitchell himself actually lives in Bali, and outside of recording and releasing music, devotes much of his professional life to projects that help to preserve traditional Balinese culture. “The recordings,” he tells me, “were made in a truly collaborative manner. The last thing you want to do is go about things in the colonial sense of ‘We will take and we will leave’.”

The most striking reminder of this ethos can be seen in the decision to use a painting by Ubudian gamelan master Pak Ketut on the cover. “Working with Ketut was the highlight of the recordings for me,” says Thompson. Ketut sadly passed away a year after the recordingsthe record cover is a tribute not only to someone who “dedicated his life to the gamelan sound,” but who Thompson and Mitchell also came to know as a family man, beloved of his grandchildren. Speaking to Mitchell about the unexpectedly widespread and overwhelmingly positive reception that the record received, he sounds perhaps most proud when talking about the Facebook messages he still receives from the excited grandchildren of Ketut, who can’t believe that a record bearing their grandfather’s image and music is appearing on Best Of lists alongside the likes of Kanye West.

In this respectful exchange, the resultant music is able to forego the binary limitations of organic/electronic roots, and enter the realm of the extraordinary. Mitchell in particular is emphatic in his belief that the spiritual brand of Hinduism central to Balinese life is at the heart of what makes the music they’re making so special. “They play to the gods,” he says matter of factly. Thompson is not so overtin our conversations at leastthough does refer to qualities that captured the “magic” of the place. “Sometimes the things that interfere in the actual moment turn out to be the most magicthe outtakes, the mistakes, the motorbikes, the chickens and the unnatural.”

Kanye West and Ubudian gamelan masters; industrial electronics and the hissing throb of jungle life; karmic revelations and log-jammed traffic. Whether you attribute the allure of this music to spiritual qualities or not, the liminal spaces that it navigates are in themselves transcendent. We are living through a time in which the president of the free world is driven by an ego that allows him to see things only in terms of the ‘terrific’ and the ‘terrible’, all the while Europe is engulfed by false narratives of us and otherness. Music such as this bridges worlds and thrives in the in-betweens. It exists beyond the stale mechanism we’ve developed to talk about music. It is a reminder that differences are to be celebrated and embraced, and when they are the most unexpected and liberating outcomes emerge. Motorbikes, chickens and the unnatural included.

Hipnotik Tradisi by Black Merlin is out now on Island of the Gods Recordings.

James Darton is on Twitter

Hear Discwoman And Allergy Season's New Protest Compilation

Release artwork courtesy of the artists

Brooklyn producer Via App, Vancouver producer Jayda G, KUNQ member SHYBI, and more feature on a new protest compilation released last night called Physically Sick. Co-presented by Physical Therapy’s Allergy Season imprint and the NY-based Discwoman collective, the collection features a wide range of experimental dance producers working across a numerous scenes and sounds.

Among the other artists who contributed are James K, Bookworms, Fatherhood, rRoxymore, Octa Octa, and Umfang; 38 of the compilation’s 42 tracks are previously unreleased.

The cover of Physically Sick says it relieves symptoms of fascism, bigotry, violence, and demagoguery, and to that end all the profits from its sales will go to The American Civil Liberties Union, Callen-Lorde, The National Immigration Law Center, and Planned Parenthood.

A number of artists who contributed to the compilation including Stud1nt, Bookworms, and Physical Therapy will perform at a compilation launch and fundraiser tonight at Brooklyn’s Gateway venue. There is a $10 suggested donation at the door, and all proceeds aside from minor expenses will go to the aforementioned four organizations.

The organizers describe Physically Sick as “extremely listenable fuck you from the underground electronic community to the future powers-that-be” in the Facebook event description, where you can RSVP now.

With Trump’s inauguration happening this weekend, there are plenty more protest parties you can go to, in D.C. and beyond.

Physically Sick is out now on Bandcamp.

Follow Alexander on Twitter.

Inside The BPM Shooting: Drug Cartels And Corruption Threaten Mexico's Festival Scene

Photo of BPM Festival by aLIVE Coverage/BPM

The future of Mexico’s dance music festivals is in limbo after the BPM festival, one of Mexico’s preeminent electronic music events, ended in a bloody shootout that left five people dead and 15 others injured on Monday. The incident took place at a nightclub in Playa Del Carmen, a top tourist destination on Mexico’s Caribbean coast. In response to increased organized crime-related violence in the iconic Riviera Maya region, local authorities are now calling for a ban on upcoming festivals until further notice.

Almost two days after the incident, authorities have yet to shed light on what exactly happened at the Blue Parrot night club at around 2:30 AM on Monday, when a gunman entered the establishment on closing night of the festival’s tenth edition. Yesterday, Quintana Roo state attorney Miguel Angel Pech Cen said that local law enforcement are pursuing three different lines of investigation pertaining to extortion, drug dealing, or a targeted execution. But while authorities work on determining the motive, Monday’s deadly shooting is already threatening the future of a growing live music scene in the area. Local officials and businesses are now voicing their opposition to BPM’s return next year, bringing to light some of the complex tensions between a burgeoning musical tourism industry, organized crime, and public safety.

“We want is a part of that.”

Mexico’s rampant impunitythe census bureau, known as INEGI, says that less than 7% of crimes are reported to authorities, out of fear for retaliation from corrupt officerscombined with the lack of a strong judicial system in the country, means that the status quo can be very fragile.

Even in “jet-set” Tulum, the hotel owner said, owners of clubs have no choice but to allow organized crime to meddle in their businesses to a certain extent, be it by letting the cartels sell drugs on an establishment’s premises, or paying them an extortion fee. “Because if you don’t, he said, “what happened in Playa del Carmen is going to happen again.”

Kamakaze And Massappeals Share Steel-Tipped Grime Anthem "Run 4 UR Money"

Album art courtesy of the label.

The Glasgow label Astral Black first made it on our radar with futuristic instrumental grime releases from the likes of DJ Milktray and Inkke. Recently the label has branched out with a series of collaborative vocal EPs, including projects from JD. Reid and ItsNate as well as Slugabed and Ed Scissor. Their latest offering continues in this vein, pairing up the producer Massappeals with an MC named Kamakaze for an EP titled Royal Blud. Kamakaze has a cool backgroundwhen he’s not burning up the mic as a rising grime star, he’s also a midfielder on the professional UK football team Dagenham & Redbridge.

The EP drops tomorrow, and today we’re blessed to share a single called “Run 4 UR Money.” The beat combines snippets of classic grime square-wave synths with a bassline that knocks like a steel-tipped battering ram. Kamakaze pulls no punches in his lyrical assault, threatening to grab a bar of soap and “rinse out the mouth” of any would-be hater.

“This tune is one of the hardest hitting on the EP,” the MC explained over email. “Massappeals murdered the production and I brought the energy, it’s very mad indeed.”

Check out the tune below, and pre-order the EP here.

Mess Kid Shares A Blistering Rihanna Reinterpretation Off His Forthcoming 'RIH-MIX' Project

Release artwork by Nick Zhu

Latvian-American producer Mess Kid today shared “BBHMC,” a frenetic new track off his forthcoming Rihanna remix project, RIH-MIX. Combining the vocal from BBHMM with the stinging hoover synth riff from another Rihanna song, “Cake,” the track is somehow blisteringly quick yet tranquilizing and serene at the same time. It follows previously released remixes of “Sex With Me” and “Needed Me,” and will join four other tunes on the final 24-minute mixtape.

Mess Kid told THUMP over email about how the project was inspired by a hangout with the founder of Fool’s Gold Records. “RIH-MIX came about after I was invited for a one-on-one hang at Alain aka A-Trak’s home in LA this summer,” he said. “I played him a few remixes I had made for my sets, and one of those was ‘RiRi Riddim,’ my remix of “Needed Me.” Right when he heard it, he asked if he could play it the following night. I then released it for free and it did well! Shortly after the release I had my heart broken; this heartbreak inspired me to create a deconstruction of ANTI from my point of view, based on how I was feeling at the time.”

This isn’t the first time Mess Kid has taken direct inspiration from pre-existing material. On last year’s “Final Moments,” he evoked Art of Noise’s “Moments in Love” with a club-ready drum track.

Follow Alexander on Twitter.

11 Protest Parties You Can't Miss This Inauguration Weekend, In D.C. And Beyond

Photography Karol Olson via Flickr Creative Commons.

While President-elect Donald Trump has trouble finding musicians and politicians who actually want to attend his Inauguration Ceremony, the Women’s March on Washington, scheduled to greet him Saturday, Feb. 21 on the National Mall, expects more than 200,000 women and allies in the capital. Around the rest of the country, in states like New York, California, and Oregon, others will be taking to the streets to march in solidarity.

It’s been nearly 100 years since the Equal Rights Amendment was first introduced to Congress in 1923, and women still have no national legal claim to equal wages or paid maternity leave. The ERA almost passed in 1977, but fell short of its required 38 ratifications by just three states. Trump has done little to nothing to quell fears that he is ignorant to and uncaring toward the plight of American women, and the Women’s March on Washington formed in the wake of his election as a means to ensure the President-elect knows women won’t take his insults lying down. We strongly encourage everyone to read the March’s official mission statement, which outlines its goals and vision to encompass much more than just women’s liberation. It stands firmly with the struggles of the LGBTQ community as well as the ongoing fight for minorities of all genders and sexualities, a fight mirrored in the dance music world, which grew out of underrepresented communities and continues to stand for all people with positivity in their hearts.

Like club-room floors across the world, all kinds are welcome to participate in the march, and when it’s is over, everyone will have to go somewhere. D.C.’s party promoters and event planners are on hand to answer the call with dance events, live music concerts, and a captivating spread of queer-friendly fanfare. There are even a couple events listed for those participating in sister marches in Portland and San Francisco. From vogue balls, to fund-raising live shows, and all-night underground warehouse bashes, below is our list of protest parties you can’t miss.

It’s Time to Start Thinking About How Queer Nightlife Can Move Forward Under Trump

1. Love Trumps Hate Rainbow Bash

When: Thursday, Jan. 19, 9 p.m.

Where: Town Danceboutique, 2009 8 St. NW, Washington, D.C.

Music by: DJ Keenan Orr and DJ Tim Jackson

What to expect: All $10 tickets, available at washingtonblade.com, and raffle proceeds benefit Anacostia Watershed Society, La Clinica Del Pueblo, and The Washington Blade Foundation.

2. G.A.G. Ball DC

When: Friday, Jan. 20, 11 p.m.

Where: Cobalt / 30degrees, 1639 R St. NW, Washington, D.C.

Music by: Uri Dalal aka SAMURI (NYC DJ Alliance)

What to expect: Gays Against Guns serves “anti-ball realness” on Inauguration Night. MC Kevin Aviance from House of Aviance will host. Cocktail special, entertainment, interactive art, and more will help celebrate the LGBTQ community while taking a stand against gun violence. Tickets $10 via residentadvisor.

3. Sequence.121_ Discwoman

When: Saturday, Jan 21., 11 p.m.

Where: Warehouse location TBA, Washington, D.C.

Music by: Volvox, Umfang, Juadina, Claire, Jett Chandon

What to expect: Discwoman celebrates unity with a March afterparty, with proceeds benefitting the Casa Ruby LGBT Community Center. The event is for partiers 21 and older with valid ID. Tickets are about $25 via Resident Advisor. RSVP for location information.

4. House Music on H Street

When: Saturday, Jan. 21, 10 p.m.

Where: Lore Lounge, 816 H Street NE, Washington, D.C.

Music by: DJ Baby, Rita Burns, Chosen, Arthur J

What to expect: “If you want to achieve greatness, stop asking for permission,” reads the promotional flyer. This women-led afterparty wants to kick off the new year with a bang. Cover is free. Check out Resident Advisor for more information.

What to expect: San Fran’s progressive community unites for a cause after wrapping its official sister march. Two rooms of all-female DJs and producers will blast attendees with house and bass. Tickets are $10 to $30 via residentadvisor, and all proceeds benefit Bay Area Planned Parenthood Health Centers and the Women’s Community Clinic.

5. Brooklyn Mamas Women’s March After-Party

When: Saturday, Jan. 21, 9:30 p.m.

Where: Eighteenth Street Lounge, 1212 18 St NW, Washington, D.C.

Music by: Performers TBA

What to expect: Let your freedom flag fly on the dance floor to the sounds of old school hip-hop, R&B, live jazz, and more. Tickets cost $30 via eventbrite.com and reserve all guests VIP seating and two signature “Nasty Woman” cocktails. Must arrive between 9:30 and 10:30 p.m. to avoid additional entrance fees. All profits benefit Planned Parenthood.

6. Women’s March After-Party

When: Saturday, Jan. 21, 8 p.m.

Where: Lost & Found, 1240 9 St NW, Washington, D.C.

Music by: Live performances from Rachel Levitin and Maryjo Mattea

What to expect: Chicago indie rocker Rachel Levitin will inspire you to “Get Back Up” in the face of adversity, alongside local rock and power-pop singer-songwriter Maryjo Matteo. Head over to Facebook for more details.

7. WE for SHE

When: Saturday, Jan. 21, 6 p.m.

Where: Songbyrd Music House and Record Cafre, 2477 18 St. NW, Washington, D.C.

Music by: Performers TBA

What to expect: This show is all about raising money for Planned Parenthood, the Center for Reproductive Rights, and the ALU. Plus, you get the chance to win raffle prizes. It’s fun for the whole family, but turns 21-and-up after 10 p.m. Tickets are a minimum donation of $20 via eventbrite.com.

8. All Women Silent Disco Dance Party

When: Saturday, Jan. 21, 8 p.m.

Where: The Embassy Row Hotel, 2015 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.

Music by: DJs TBA but they’ll be women.

9. Unity Ball 2017

When: Saturday, Jan. 21, 8 p.m.

Where: District Architecture Center, 421 7 St NW, Washington, D.C.

Music by: DJ Edward Daniels, and DJ Alexis Moran

What to expect: A multi-level, “multimedia-infused” event with DJs, live entertainment, photo booth, light bites, and two-hour open bar. It’s all focused around getting you over that sad Trump election hangover. LGBTQ friendly but welcome to all genders, sexualities, and ages. Tickets cost $45 to $105 at unityballdc.com.

10. NXT LVL A dance party for women’s rights (Portland)

When: Saturday, Jan. 21, 9 p.m.

Where: Jade Club, 315 SW 3 Ave., Portland

Music by: Jen O, DJ Anjali, Casual Aztec, Kumari Suraj, The Jingle Kills

What to expect: Portland’s progressives celebrate a march well done and local victories with live performances and music spanning everything from reggae to italodisco, no wave, hip-hop, and Bollywood hits. You must be 21 or older to attend. Tickets cost $5 to $20 on a sliding scale, cash-only, at the door. Visit Facebook for more details.

What to expect: Three female DJs boom over three different channels, so you can choose your own dance adventure. Online registration ensures you’ll have a pair of headphones upon arrival. Event is for dancers 21 and older. Tickets cost $15 to $20 via eventbrite.com.

11. Let’s Do This! A Women’s March After-Party and Benefit (San Francisco)

When: Saturday, Jan. 21, 9 p.m.

Where: The Great Northern, 119 Utah St., San Francisco

Music by: Rache Torro, Elz, Kimba, Laura Lisbona, Haute Mess, Christina Leorosa, Charlotte the Baroness

Kat Bein is on Twitter

Queer Activists Are Throwing A Dance Party Outside Mike Pence's House Tonight

Photo by Michael O’Hara

Queer activist organization WERK for Peace will host a protest dance party tonight in front of Vice President-elect Mike Pence’s house in Washington, D.C. In advance of Pence and Donald Trump’s inauguration on Friday, the grassroots group is rallying people to “WERK it and tell Daddy Pence: homo/transphobia is not tolerated in our country!,” according to the Facebook event.

Pence has a long record of active opposition to LGBT rights, including opposition to Obama’s May 2016 directive on transgender bathrooms and support for public funding of conversion therapy. At tonight’s dance party, WERK for Peace and co-organizers DisruptJ20 say they plan to leave behind ” glitter and rainbow paraphinalia that he can NEVER forget.” There will be an afterparty fundraiser, but its location is still TBD.

In recent months WERK for peace has co-organized an intersectional summit on gun violence prevention, participated in a flash mob against Trumpism, rascism, and fascism, and a die-in on the steps of the White House protesting police and community violence.

Follow Alexander on Twitter.

Iconic Nigerian Musician William Onyeabor Has Died

News broke earlier this morning that legendary Nigerian musician William Onyeabor has passed away. According to Nigerian site Naji, the “Atomic Bomb” singer died on Monday, January 16 at his home in Enugu, Nigeria. They report his son Charles as saying, “Yea, my dad is dead. He died peacefully on Monday January 16, 2017 at his palace in Enugu.”

Onyeabor, released nine albums between 1977 and 1985, before resurfacing with the release of Luaka Bop’s seminal Who is William Onyeabor? compilation in 2013. The release of that compilation led to a critical appraisal of his work, and worldwide fame. Onyeabor painted himself as a semi-mythical figure, courting mystery and intrigue.

Our friends over at Noisey spent a few months trying to track the elusive figure down back in 2014. The result was the film Fantastic Man, which you can watch below.