Jimi Tenor

Best described as techno's first cabaret star, Finland native Jimi Tenor is what you might imagine Detroit's answer to a cheesy lounge artist would be. Coming off as a kind of lo-fi Prince cross-bred with Maurizio, Atom Heart, and perhaps Jean-Jacques Perrey, Tenor's recordings are released through Sähkö/Puu (home to most of the scant Finnish techno scene); despite the fact that they stick out of the label roster like a sore thumb, they have attracted something of a devoted cult following, mainly among the IDM/electronica crowds. Unlike most electronica artists, however, who routinely name-check Kraftwerk, Juan Atkins, and Carl Craig as influences, Tenor leans more toward names like Barry White, Isaac Hayes, and '70s B-movie and blaxploitation soundtracks. Classically trained, Tenor gained the attention of influential Sheffield label Warp after releasing the full-length Europa in 1996, leading to a recording deal and reissue plans for some of Tenor's Sähkö releases. Warp featured the previously unavailable Tenor cut "Downtown" on their Blechsdottir label comp and released the 7"/CD single "Can't Stay with You Baby" a few months later, with two additional singles appearing in early 1997.