Disco Europa: The Joy of Jimi Tenor

by Alex Needham, The Face, November 1996

Finland's not really known for its pop stars, is it? Sibelius was about as close as it got -- and he conked out hundreds of years ago (actually, that was in 1957 -ER). But Warp's new signing Jimi Tenor wants to change all that. "In concert I'm wearing a glamorous sequinned outfit," he offers hopefully. "Then, at the high point of the show, a fake palm tree rises up. There's also a model-type girl serving me a glass of champagne." He's influenced, if you hadn't guessed, by Liberace. On record, Jimi's odder still. The B-side of his single "Can't Stay With You Baby" sounds like two fax machines fighting to the death. The A-side, meanwhile, is a cheesy lo-fi racket set to a tinny disco beat. "I'm not really a techno act," he mutters with some accuracy. So should we dance to it? "Dancing would be OK," confirms Jimi. "But you can dance to any music." He's currently recruiting a band, the stringent proviso being that only black girls need apply. "I think they look good on stage," he reckons. Very PC. In the meantime, Jimi's working on a trilogy of short films to go with his singles. "The first shows me in a peep show. I don't know about the second..." he says, "but in the third I'm like a rent boy." Jimi plans to film this one in New York, where he once attempted to make a living photographing freaks. "I didn't sell any pictures, no. My photography wasn't that good." Jimi still likes to think of himself as something of a voyeur. He speaks with horrified fascination about the antics that took place in the S&M club his old band used to play in (microwaved dog shit was, apparently, a house speciality). Finally, he likes London, but is reluctant to move there and abandon his pet cat. That'll be the Liberace in him, again.

"Can't Stay With You Baby" is released on November 18, followed by "Outta Space" on January 20. Both are on Warp.

Copyright © 1997 The Face

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