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« VA - Wild Thing: The Songs Of Chip Taylor | Main | VIEUX FARKA TOURE - Fondo »
Tuesday
Jul142009

VA - Legends Of Benin

The accelerated pace of African reissues is working toward a collective deepening of understanding of the wealth of music to be found on the continent in a logical, non-jarring way. Following up from their survey of heavy jams from Togo and Benin on last year’s African Scream Contest, Analog Africa returns with a focus on four artists from Benin’s classic funkified '70s period. Only El Rego et Ses Commandos appeared on the previous comp, and here they show a strong Clyde Stubblefield (James Brown’s “Funky Drummer”) sense of funk. Honoré Avolonto limns closer to the Fela model of Afro-funk, while Gnonnas Pedro & His Dadjes Band open things with an unusual and infectious dance track, “Dadje Von O Von Non”, that shows unlikely and subtle new-wave quirkiness. The real revelation here, though, is the astounding Antoine Dougbé, whose songs are the most relentlessly rhythmic and danceable tracks I’ve heard all year. A full disc of his work would be much appreciated.

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