Legends Of Benin comprised of fast-paced Afro Latin funk rhythms has been carefully selected by Ben Redjeb. Spanning four genres and three decades, the album highlights the work of four of Benin's great musicians: Gnonnas Pedro, Antoine Dougbe, El Rego and Honoré Avolonto. Each adds a unique vibrancy to the album, contrasting with and complimenting each other.
Traditional rhythms form the base of many of the tracks, Gnonnas Pedro's Abadja Rhythms underscore Okpo Videa Bassouo, while Antoine Dougbe's music combines Vodoun and Congolese rhythms in the 'Afro Cavacha' style he pioneered. His track Ya Mi Ton Gbo is one of the funkiest tracks here. Legendary percussionist and composer Honoré Avolonto offers some of the grittiest music on the album. His style, similar in parts to Fela Kuti, is enormously energetic.
The album leaps from Afro-funk to Afrobeat to Soul to Cavacha seamlessly. This variety has a lot to do with when the music was recorded: the 70s was a politically turbulent decade for Benin, reflected in the raw unrelenting beats.
Legends Of Benin is praiseworthy for contextualizing Benin's contribution to Afrobeat and African music as a whole. --Johnny Lais
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Legends of Benin is a collection of extremely rare and highly danceable masterpieces recorded between 1969 and 1981 by four legendary composers from Benin - Gnonnas Pedro et Ses Dadjes, Antoine Dougbé, El Rego et Ses Commandos and Honoré Avolonto - each one of them with their own distinctive sound.
Following on from the compilation African Scream Contest - Raw & Psychedelic Afro Sounds from Benin
and Togo 70s and Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou’s The Vodoun Effect (Vol.1)
this new Analog Africa release continues to unearth incredible Beninese music, once again lovingly compiled by label boss and vinyl collector Samy Ben Redjeb.