April 10th 2007
Here is a new mp3 mix with the highlights from my latest trip to Cotonou.
Please click on the image to listen.
00:00 Gnonnas Pedro -okpo videa bassouo
03:55 Ignace Souza -paulina
08:24 Les Rizos De Lome -djoyimavo
11:28 El Rego Et Ses Commandos -viman do wingnan
14:46 Les Volcans -oya ka jojo
22:52 Gilles Sala -mwad's
25:37 Les Sympathics -afrika
32:04 Christiana Essien -life is a game
35:00 Ogassa -ogassa story
42:08 The Faces -shokishoki shombolo
48:29 Black Santiago -dou dagbe we
53:08 Orchestre Poly Rythmo -blues ya de
58:17 Melome Clement -zo tche kpo dote
65:21 The Funkees -ole
The opening track by Gnonnas Pedro is an early, deep Afrobeat recording, proving that Gnonnas blessed us with much more than just the afro-cuban style that he got famous for. This was only the second release on Cotonou's famous label Satel Records. I visited Satel Studios and not only did they have an amazing recording studio but Satel also operated their own pressing plant. Unfortunately, as with many other African labels, they used the "Microgroove" process on 45s that allows a 7" pressing of tracks that are longer than 4 minutes but results in lower volume and more noise. The second track, "paulina" by Ignace Souza gives you another example for this typical "african vinyl crackle"... it's easiest to just accept it as some sort of aural patina... Next comes "djouyimavo" by Les Rioz de Lomé with some support by Orch. Poly Rythmo, followed by a supertight funk track by El Rego & Ses Commandos "viman do wingnan". Next we have "oye ka jojo" by Les Volcans. After the heavy Afrobeat intro, this transforms into a smoking Afro Latin beast that just builds and builds... amazing! The following Track "mwad's" by Gilles Sala was recorded in Congo in the late 1960s and has quite some Mod-appeal. The organ fueled afrobeat heavyweight "Afrika" by Les Sympahtics is one of my absolute favorites... "life is a game" by Christiana Essien comes from one of the lesser known albums by this highly collectable Nigerian artist. Ogassa who were from Cotonou but recorded in Lagos are another possible new discovery that none of my collector friends seem to know and no reference can be found online. The Faces from Lagos are another mega rarity from the Tabansi label that also brought us the incredible Nettey Family LP. "dougbe dagbe we" by Black Santiago is from another LP on Satel that I've never seen anywhere before. Watch out for the break in "blues ya de", another monster funk track by Orch. T.P Poly Rythmo. "T.P" stands for "tout puissant", as I've found out from their drummer Gustave Bentho which translates to "almighty"! definitely no exaggeration when it comes to this band. Next we have a track by Melome Clement, also backed by Poly Rythmo and with some serious space moog action towards the end. Last track is "ole" by the Funkees. I had their "point of no return" record before but as a french press and I sold it again because of the horrid cover design. The Nigerian sleeve looks much nicer as you can see in the latest trip to Cotonou post.
A big "thank you!" goes to RAJ from Soulstrut for hosting this mix!
Watch out for an amazing Compilation on Analog Africa that will include some of the songs that are on this mix and many more, unheard music from Benin in beautyfully remastered quality.
As this will be a legit release that the people who created this mindblowing music will make some money from, I want to urge everybody to go and buy this release once it becoms available. If you don't already own it, rush over to Soundway Records and order their fantastic Poly Rythmo Compilation.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
April 10th 2007