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African Scream Contest: Raw & Psychedelic Afro Sounds From Benin & Togo [CD]

Various Artists Audio CD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
Price: £13.90 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
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Frequently Bought Together

African Scream Contest: Raw & Psychedelic Afro Sounds From Benin & Togo + The Vodoun Effect: Funk and Sato from Benin's Obscure Labels 1973-1975
Price For Both: £26.83

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Product details

  • Audio CD (17 Mar 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Analog Africa
  • ASIN: B00142Q7WI
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 58,990 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Mi Kple DogbekpoLokonon Andre, Les Volcans 3:54£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Mi Ma Kpe DjiPicoby Band D'Abomey 4:06£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. It's a VanityGabo Brown, Orchestre Poly-Rythmo 4:22£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Se Na MinEl Rego et ses Commandos 3:21£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Leki SantchiNapo De Mi Amor et Ses Black Devils 3:25£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Gbeti MadjroOrchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou 2:54£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Wait for MeRoger Damawuzan 3:19£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Vinon So MinsouOuinsou Corneille , Black Santiago 4:57£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Ye Nan Lon AnOrchestre Super Jheevs des Paillotes 3:03£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Djanfa MagniTidiani Koné, Orchestre Poly-Rythmo 9:51£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Houiou Djin Nan Zon AklumonDiscafric Band 4:18£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Congolaise Benin YeLe Super Borgou de Parakou 2:59£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Ou c'est lui ou c'est moiVincent Ahehehinnou10:06Album Only
Listen14. Oya Ka JojoLes Volcans de La Capital13:23Album Only

Product Description

Product Description

After releases by Zimbabwean 70s bands the Green Arrows and Hallelujah Chicken Run Band, the Analog Africa label now delves into the amazing history of music from 1970s Benin and Togo. This compilation highlights forgotten raw and psychedelic Afro sounds, and the well-researched liner notes tell fascinating stories to accompany the mind-blowing music. The essence of Analog Africa is clear; searching in dusty warehouses for forgotten music to keep the sound alive! Label owner & vinyl collector Samy Ben Redjeb arrived in Cotonou, Benin, "without any special expectations, just hoping to lay my hands on few good records - what I found in the process cannot really be described in words". Like most modern music in French-speaking West African countries, the music of Benin and Togo was influenced by a few main musical currents: Cuban, Congolese and local traditional music, as well as Chanson Francaise. Additionally, the geographical location of Benin and Togo - sandwiched between Ghana and Nigeria - exposed Beninese and Togolese musicians to Highlife music. The cultural and spiritual riches of traditional Beninese music had an immense impact on the sound of Benin's modern music. Benin is the birth place of Vodun (or, as it is known in the West, Voodoo), and some of the rhythms used during traditional rituals - Sakpata, Sato, Agbadja, Tchenkoumé and many others - were fused to Soul and Latin music as early as the mid-1960s and later to Funk. In the late 60s and early 70s rock and soul music started creeping into the region. In particular, the music of James Brown and Johnny Halladay became immensely popular with university students. It was then that the music scene in Benin really started to take off. That fusion is the essence of this compilation. CD includes a well researched 44-page booklet & rare photographs.

BBC Review

In the 1970s there was no 'world music'. Benin was a Marxist republic recently born out of Dahomey and Togo was in the first decade of what would turn out to be the epic dictatorship of General Gnassingbé Eyadéma. Unless you were born in one of these countries, you'd never have got to hear the voodoo funk music that was being conjured up in what must be two of the richest cultural melting pots on the planet.

Fusion is almost as abused a term as folk. But this is what it sounds like. Pick a track. Mi Kple dogbekpo, the opener, has Cuban brass, a Congolese chorus, a psychedelic riff shaped solely for shaping. On the next one, Mi Ma Kpe Dji, the spirit is blues, but moulded by James Brown and Nigerian High Life. It's A Vanity is more soul, more sex. The band on this, as well as two other tracks, is the Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou, who took the Afro sound to new levels by ensuring that even while they copied Western rhythms, there was always a fiery injection of Beninese passion or, when relevant, politics. Their big hit, Gbeti Madjro - track five here - was written during a period of turmoil and stirred up its own revolution in the local music scene.

Ouidah, on Benin's Atlantic Coast, is home to a large Brazilian community - the Agoudas, descendants of slaves who returned from Brazil at the end of the 19th century. They brought back dances and proto-samba sounds, which worked their way into the mix in the 70s.

These artists also heard French chanson, Johnny Hallyday - an icon in the West African university scene - US funk, as well as local rhythms on the radio. Out of this chaos, comparable at the time to the far more widely known Brazilian coastal music scene, came great riches. Everything, somehow, gels. Why, it's harder to fathom. Few of these musicians were trained, and all had to learn how to blast their way through out-of-tune solos and off-beat drummers. Perhaps it's the screams and the psychedelic state that holds together the random elements and disparate talents. After all, Benin is the birthplace of Vodun, as in voodoo, which was all about melting pots and losing yourself in wild traditional rhythms such as Sakpata, Sato, Agbadja, Tchenkoumé, to name only a few.

Africa Scream Contest - what a title - is the third compilation to come from Analog Africa compilation. Like the others, this disc proves that music doesn't have much truck with geopolitics. When New York slicksters thought they were at the centre of the universe - Studio 54, say - these bands were taking the coolest parts of funk, soul and disco, reinventing it and, at the same time, transforming their own music and culture. A lot of the reaction to West African blues has focused on origins and a going-back-to-roots, but the groove in Benin and Togo was far deeper and far more inventive than that. --Chris Moss

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Customer Reviews

4 star
3 star
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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So you think you can't dance...? 11 Jan 2010
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
...anyone can move to this!

I can only re-iterate what the first reviewer has said. Influences from James Brown, High-life and Voodoo added to the local sounds of Benin and Togo make for a thrilling album. There are some fabulous 1970's African compilations around at the moment and this is another. Classic sounds from the cradle of music.
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I almost choked on my cornflakes in delight when I put this record on.

Samy Ben Redjeb has certainly done some hardcore searching, sifting through thousands of dusty vinyl stored in scorpion-infested warehouses to put together a compilation of such high quality it's left me scraping around for superlatives. I'm trying to think of ways to fault this record to provide some balance but, in truth, the best I can come up with is the usual problem with compilations, particularly African ones, in that each track leaves me begging for more of the same artist, yet with little clue as to how I'm going to get hold of it.

That aside, it's also pretty difficult to describe. Imagine mooching about in Benin or Togo [I think I need to revisit these countries and do some musical exploration of my own], looking East and West at your more illustrious neighbours. I'm hungry. A dollop of Juju, a smattering of Highlife, mix it all up with Afrobeat sauce and sprinkle in some funk and soul from the States. Maybe add a little Congolese guitar, just to taste, and a tiny bit of the prevailing Cuban sound. Hmm. Something's missing. Oh yeah - whack in the meat; local styles and beats such as Sato, Agbadja, and...BAM! The result is a musical feast that will blow you away and make you want to shake your derrière in the kitchen window without a care in the world about what the neighbours think.

From the very first track, this album explodes into life and doesn't give up. It comes highly recommended. More, please!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No Contest 25 April 2010
By degrant
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
On current form Analog Africa are unlikely to fall foul of the Trade Misdescription Authorities for this fantastic release is raw, psychedelic, likely to provoke a scream of joy or astonishment and very, very fine. There is little to add to the above two reviews. Analog's first six releases have been my musical discovery of 2010 and ASC is the ideal place to start. The music is indeed a melting point and all the stronger for it and makes much western funk of the same (or indeed any) period tinny, plastic and disposable. ASC provides incredible quality and value for money over its 70 minutes. The whole product is lovingly compiled from the evocative sepia-tinged photos and engaging and informative sleevenotes to the incredible consistency of output. There are no weak tracks but newcomers can do no worse than the opening "Mi Kple Dogbekpo" with its rousing call to arms refrain and almost mariachi-sounding brass or "It's a Vanity" by Gabo Brown & (the very wonderful) Orchestre Poly-Rythmo. Brown's wonderfulm rich voice soaring over that incredible backing track. In short, African Scream Contest: Raw & Psychedelic Afro Sounds from Benin 7 Togo does what it says on the tin and then some. Wonderful.
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