Orchestre Poly-Rythmo - The 1st Album (1973)
- Jan Fairley
- 13 June 2011
Sensationally funky West African music from a 16–piece with brooding organ melodies
In 1970s West Africa, various creative ensembles emerged in the former French trading post of Cotonou, Benin; notably the vibrant Orchestre Poly-Rythmo. Their distinctive earthy grooves mined a musical axis involving neighbouring Nigeria and Ghana.
This is sensationally funky music from a 16–piece with brooding organ melodies delivered ‘wowow’ style over layers of gritty percussion, guitars and brass while founder member/ singer Vincent Ahehehinnou raises the pulse with chanted vocals.
The four extended tracks recorded in nearby Lagos in 1973 exhibit gorgeous sensuality rather than brazen sexiness: they prove conclusively that not all innovation in the 70s was to be found in Anglo-US sounds.