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  • The Vodoun Effect: Funk and Sato from Benin's Obscure Labels 1973-1975
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The Vodoun Effect: Funk and Sato from Benin's Obscure Labels 1973-1975

3 customer reviews

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The Vodoun Effect: Funk and Sato from Benin's Obscure Labels 1973-1975 + African Scream Contest: Raw & Psychedelic Afro Sounds From Benin & Togo + Echoes Hypnotiques Vol.2; From the Vaults of Albarika Store 1969-1979
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Product details

  • Audio CD (3 Nov. 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Analog Africa
  • ASIN: B001HAWZAU
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 127,115 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)


Product Description

Following on from the compilation 'African Scream Contest - Raw & Psychedelic Afro Sounds from Benin & Togo 70s' - which featured several tracks by Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou, including the ground-breaking "Gbeti Madjro". Arguably West Africa's best-kept secret, the band's output both in quantity and quality was astonishing. During several trips to Benin Analog Africa label boss Samy Ben Redjeb managed to collect roughly 500 songs which Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou had recorded between 1970 and 1983. With so much material to choose from Ben Redjeb decided to split it into Volumes 1 and 2. While Volume 2 will be material the band recorded under an exclusive contract with the label Albarika Store, the band also "secretly" recorded with an array of smaller labels based around Cotonou, Benin's largest city, and the capital city of Porto Novo. It is those tracks (all officially licensed) that are presented here on Volume 1. The cultural and spiritual riches of traditional Beninese music had an immense impact on the sound of Benin's modern music. Benin is the birthplace of the Vodun religion (also Vodoun, or, as it is known in the West, Voodoo) and involves the worship of some 250 sacred divinities. The rituals used to pay tributes to those divinities are always backed by music. This fourth Analog Africa release of forgotten musical gems from 70s Africa includes a 44 page booklet, full of rare photographs and record covers and introduces three important producers who were collectively responsible for some of the most amazing music released in Benin.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By degrant on 9 May 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a fantastic compilation of some of the greatest recordings by the Orchestre Poly Rythmo de Cotonou who are described in the liner notes as "arguably West Africa's best kept secret." These one-take live recordings have an intoxocating immediacy, urgency, rawness, permanence and subtlety and I defy anyone not to be moved by the music or the stories in the lush booklet of the circumstances in which therecordings were made, the dangers facing the various musicians and the miracle that some of the recordings survived.

While the entire album is a joy, the third to sixth tracks provide a run of music which I think is hard pressed to be beaten. From the urgent brass of "Se We Non Nan" to the haunting, hypontic refrain at the beginning of "Mi Ni Non Kpo" to the joyous funk of "Se Tche We Djo Mon." This compilation is a joy from start to finish. If you thought that Kela Futi represented the apotheosis of African music, think again.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Fluffty on 29 Mar. 2009
Format: Audio CD
Excellent CD. My first foray into the musical culture of Benin, and it's whet my appetite. Not one dud on the whole album. Don't play it in the car as it makes you want to get up and shake your booty.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By jay m on 2 Oct. 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a beautifully packaged comp with a well researched booklet, this and the scream contest are both excellent. a labour of love.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
Another astounding comp of Orchestre Poly-Rythmo 26 April 2009
By Justin Cole - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Like many other North Americans, my introduction to African music was Paul Simon's "Graceland" album, and later the "Love's a Real Thing" compilation on Luka Bop. The Poly-Rythmo track from the latter prompted me to buy the Soundway's "King's of Benin" compilation.

If you liked the Luka Bop or Soundway discs, you will definitely enjoy this Analog Africa compilation. I was initially reluctant to buy this disc because the music was recorded using only a two-microphone set-up, the price was a bit high for a single disc, and I was not very taken with the label's "African Scream Contest" compilation.

Oh, was I ever wrong. The sound is so remarkably clear and has such depth that I marveled at how such sound could be captured with such a relatively primitive set-up. The music rivals the Soundway set, and has left me amazed at what a deep well of great material this band produced. How it took so long for this band to be recognized in the west is appalling, but then I recall my own long reluctance to acknowledge what is collectively dismissed as "world" music. Once again, I was wrong.

As for the price, the 44 page booklet more than makes up for this. Printed on very heavy paper, it is essentially a small book, packed with photos and tales of the effort it took to make, and then rediscover, this music. As an avid record collector, I do not think I could hunt through stacks of records in which scorpions are hiding. And, as for the tales of producing the music, one of the engineers went to prison because of his love for his craft. His tale is especially harrowing, and renders the vast majority of artist claims of "suffering" for their music laughable.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
The VooDoun Effect 16 Aug. 2009
By Basheer Muhammad - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
It's a beautiful and well researched and recorded cd. When I it saw here on Amazon, I listened to the samples, and Started to buy.
I realized I wanted it sooner. The next evening I drove to my favorite record store, arriving 5 minutes before closing. I am Pleased
As Punch. They sound a little like Fela Kuti and James Brown only more original. I Scored!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
like an African version of the Meters 25 Aug. 2012
By Donald E. Gilliland - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
You can almost bet the farm that if the CD reissue/compilation is on Analog Africa it's going to be both a great collection of music, and it will have a deluxe booklet with tons of photos and information about the band (or bands) inside. This CD delivers the goods once again! Incredibly vibrant music. This band sounds like a West African version of the Meters --- and you know that's going to be ace stuff. To my ears they share the same deft musical skills; percolating instrumentals and funky vocal tracks all coming together to create a joyous sound. Lively up yourself and groove to this amazing band. And get their other albums too; I haven't heard a bad one yet.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Amazing. 24 Oct. 2009
By William R. Mill - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This album cost me a lot of money; it introduced me to the wonderful music of West Africa in the 70s, and now I feel compelled to buy as much of it as this poor westerner can get his hands on.

Amazing album and the booklet is excellent and informative. Can't wait for volume II, out in a month! (Check my few other reviews, I'm not being compensated for that, I am really just super excited.)
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