ÌFÉ

BOMBYX Center for Arts & Equity (130 Pine Street, Florence MA)

Art + Entertainment + Music + Music

No hyperbole here — Otura Mun’s ÌFÉ is one of the most breath-takingly original, genre-crushing groups we’ve ever heard. Collider curator, Edo Mor has been trying to get this group to Western Mass since the release of their debut album “IIII + IIII” in 2017... and the day has finally come. ÌFÉ is an incredible fusion of hip-hop, dancehall, trap, and Afro-Cuban rumba. The feeling of the music is both earthy and other-worldly, suffused with feelings of ritual, rebirth, release, and social activism.

Modern sounds often meet traditional folkways in a particular way — rhythms, scales, and sounds are rephrased through electronica. Unfortunately, often the traditional instrumentation and organic improvisation can be lost in the process. But through a unique creative process, Otura Mun’s band has found a futuristic way to preserve and honor an ancient sound.

The seven-piece ensemble is not like anything you’ve heard before — synth triggers under the drum-heads unveil gorgeous electronic complexity in already sophisticated interlocking Afro-Cuban rhythms.Yoruban chants are auto-tuned and looped in devotional circles that create an expansive, buoyant sound-scape. Mun’s sense of timing and devotion to the beat is impeccable.

Awo Orunmila Otura Mun aka ÌFÉ is a New Orleans-based African American artist, songwriter, producer and Santeria priest. An internationally-respected rumbero percussion master and auteur of electronic roots music, ÌFÉ has drawn from a deep well of life experiences where world-class competitive drumming, illicit drug sales, personal tragedy, Yoruban priesthood, Black American trauma and perseverance, Latin American sojourn, and a Baldwinesque return home have all played a part on this next chapter of his work.