Funky Friday: Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou, circa 1970


As regular readers of this blog know, I travel with some regularity to West Africa, and there's a soft spot in my heart for Benin. I was listening to Garth Trinidad's Moja Moja podcast this week, and heard this track (Amazon MP3 album link) from a psychedelic band out of Cotonou (Benin's capital) in the early 70s. I then tracked down this YouTube clip of the same band from Analog Africa, who released this compilation album packed with afrofunky goodness from those early years. They have a very informative post up on their blog about this particular band. Shown at left, one of the Orchestre's album covers, featuring the band's super-dapper lead singer Vincent Ahehehinnou. His cheeks are adorned with the "serpent mark" tribal facial scars common in Benin. So beautiful. And the man can out-scream any punk band I ever slamdanced to in the eighties, that's for damn sure. Watch and listen.

Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou Dahomey – Gbeti Madjro (Analog Africa)