Beninese Grooves with Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou Anthology From The Vaults Of Albarika Store

Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou - Volume Two - Echos Hypnotiques From The Vaults Of Albarika Store 1969-1979
Four years in the making, Analog Africa finally released Volume Two – Echos Hypnotiques From The Vaults Of Albarika Store 1969-1979 (Analog Africa AACD 066CD). This is the second compilation of music from one of Africa’s funkiest bands, the legendary Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou from Benin. Volume One (The Vodoun Effect: Funk & Sato from Benin’s Obscure Labels, 1973-1975) was released by Analog Africa at the end of 2008. It was a collection of amazing lo-fi recordings produced for various labels around Benin.

Volume Two presents excellent recordings made at the EMI studios in Lagos, Nigeria, one of the best studios in the region. All tracks were recorded for the Albarika Store label and its producer, Adissa Seidou.

The idea for this collection was born a few years ago when Samy Ben Redjeb, Analog Africa’s founder and compiler, first heard the addictive funk track “Malin Kpon O”, which was originally released in 1975 on Albarika Store. Redjeb’s curiosity led him to discover more about the musical history of Benin and the history of its most important ambassador, Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou. The result: approximately 100 pictures, 120 master tapes, 20 hours of interviews and a few hundred Orchestre Poly-Rythmo vinyl records – 500 songs in total -some of which previously unreleased.

Almost half of those tracks were recorded for Benin’s number one label, Albarika Store. Fourteen out of 200 tracks were carefully selected for this compilation which comes with a massive 44-page booklet filled with amazing pictures of the band, a complete discography and a biography tracing the band from its foundation as Groupe Meloclem in 1964 via Sunny Black’s band (1965), Orchestre Poly-Disco (1966), El Ritmo (1967) and finally, Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou in 1968. During the period presented here, 1969 to 1979, the mighty Orchestre was without any doubt one of Africa’s most innovative groups.

Capable of playing any style of music, the band moved from traditional Vodoun rhythms to funk, sato, Latin, sakpata, psychedelia and Afro-Beat seamlessly and quickly became the powerhouse of Benin’s music scene.

Buy the album or MP3 downloads:

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites and Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *