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The Bariba Sound Original recording remastered

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, 26 Mar 2012
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Product details

  • Audio CD (26 Mar. 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Analog Africa
  • ASIN: B0070543SS
  • Other Editions: Audio CD |  Vinyl |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 150,278 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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Product description

Product Description

Lost sounds are the archives of a forgotten history. The raucously raw, Vodoun-inspired rhythms of Cotonou have confirmed Benin as a mecca of 70s Afro sounds and revived the story of its people, but the unopened vaults housing the country's catacombs of musical riches are endless. With this as our compass, Analog Africa charters its fifth expedition to Benin, traveling far north to delve deeper into the obscured repertoires and tales of the Bariba and Dendi people.

BBC Review

You might be familiar with Analog Africa by now. Frankfurt-based Samy Ben Redjeb founded the award-winning label to release the treasures unearthed on crate-digging trips around Africa – excavations that have already made us hip to old and hitherto unheard-of (in the UK, at least) bands such as Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou and The Green Arrows. It’s a diverse canon, for sure, but there is a theme to grapple with: the majority of Analog Africa reissues are from West Africa, where its 60s and 70s bands were exposed to and inspired by imported funk and soul records alongside their own home-grown traditions. The Bariba Sound is the latest instalment in this on-going anthology.

The new (11th) Analog Africa album release is another report from West Africa’s 70s Islamic Funk Belt, a recently anointed area that includes Ghana, Togo, Burkina Faso and Benin, from where this disc’s stars Le Super Borgou de Parakou originate. Extensive sleeve-notes tell us the band began as a covers outfit, performing Congolese Rumba hits. But eventually, just like musical visionaries all over the world who rediscover indigenous, home-grown musical tradition and project it into the future by drawing in other sounds, Le Super Borgou turned their attention to the musical past of their Bariba and Dendi people. At the same time they were listening to the imported records that bandleader Moussa Mama’s dad brought them.

The results collected here are, at times, like heavy, inner-city funk songs powered by claustrophobic breakbeats, stalking bass lines, and wiggy guitars and keyboards distorted and wah-wahed into agreeably tinny weirdness by wholly unsuitable amps. Le Super Borgou de Parakou appeared on Analog Africa’s third release, African Scream Contest: Raw & Psychedelic Afro Sounds from Benin & Togo, but here they enjoy a full-hour’s playing time. A good thing, too, because these propulsive, groovy tracks need time to percolate and allow the near-transcendental repetition favoured by West African, Saharan and Islamic bands to hypnotise fully. The traditional harmonies and melodies, meanwhile, are as flowery and psychedelic as anything by Brazil’s Tropicalia bands.

If there’s even a slim chance of discovering another old band as potently joyful as this lot then we have one instruction for Analog Africa: back to the Islamic Funk Belt!

--Chris Parkin

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