Friday, August 10, 2007

the Powerfull Civillan

August 10th 2007

This last trip to Cotonou was just amazing.
Not only did I find a ton of records but I also got to meet some amazing people and in general had a real good time.

Please click on images for a better view.

Record agent Chakirou and his friend Vincent, equipped with a new cellphone and motor scooter, they literally turned up more records than I could carry...




This is the billboard from a barber shop in Porto Novo:




Here is an old photograph of Orchestre Poly Rythmo with Albarika Store owner Seidou Adisa (the tall guy in white):




This is Poly Rythmo guitar wizard Papillon:




Gustave Bentho, bass player and kamikaze scooter pilot:




Here I was visiting El Rego who next year will celebrate 50 years on stage, he also had some old pictures to show:








I've already finished three mp3 mixes with my exploits from this trip:

The first mix consists of Benin folklore and traditional voodoo music, an unusual listen and in my opinion clear proof where Afrobeat really originates from.

Then I made another pretty much straightforward Afrobeat mix

The third mix to come is all Nigerian Funk, Disco and Boogie. I'm not even going to try and make excuses about this one, it's one sleazy cheese grenade!

I don't really know when all this will be up and running though, the internet connection here is kinda fragile right now because we're in the middle of rainy season.

7 comments:

Cyril said...

Wahou !! This old photos are really great Frank. Thanks

ps : On the El Rego home pic we can see Vimado Wignan sleeve, but i think its not the one on the turntable because of the yelow color even if it's a "aux ecoutes" one. Anyway El Rego looks really sympathic !

Anonymous said...

Great to hear your operation is up and running smoothly again! Especially pleased that more evidence of the fruits of your labor are to be posted soon. I start teaching again in about two weeks and will definitely rely on your mixes as counter-balance for sanity! Dig you beautiful bastard! Dig! Thanks as always for such selfless work on this amazing blog.
All my best,
E

Frank said...

hi Cyril,

Vimado Wignan was released with a yellow and with a pinkish label. The yellow label release being a better, louder press. The record on the turntable however is Sa Na Min which has an identical sleeve design besides the different song titles printed next to the piture. Se Na Min might just be his toughest and heaviest release. I won't put it on my next mix because it will be featured (amongst other unknown killer tracks) on the upcoming Benin Comp on Analog Africa.

Arne said...

Amazing stuff - Let me know if you're coming over to Europe.

Frank said...

I'm coming to Europe for a DJ gig in Madrid on Sept 29th. I'm probably going to spend a few days in Berlin before that. I might do some sort of low key private party there if I find a nice venue...

Anonymous said...

Looking at the photo of El Rego in his crib makes me wonder if any of these great musicians every really made money from their amazing work.

Frank said...

El Rego seems to have done alright.
He used to own his own night club that was transformed into a brothel in recent years. From what I understand, he now controls at least two whore houses and is "chef du quartier" which is some kind of local mayor who's responsible for a couple of blocks.