AS FAR as I’m aware, Isaac Ashe’s Sound Advice doesn’t have much of a readership in Benin.
So I’ll wager not many of you will have heard of the country’s prolific yet parochial Orchestre Poly-Rythmo De Cotonou.
However I guarantee this compilation of the group’s recordings will cast a spell over fans of funk.
The Vodoun Effect, a collection of tracks played in secret by the west African collective for minor labels back in the early 1970s while officially contracted elsewhere, cherrypicks tracks from the 500 or so known recordings by the band in their unique, energetic sound that literally drips with funk like sweat from James Brown mid-Sex Machine.
A cross between traditional African music and an extended Eddie Bo, James Brown style jam outs, the music is based on a musical style developed as an accompaniment to Vodoun – or voodoo – rituals.
As a result the LP, the first of a two-part series, is an energetic, lively collection that label Analog Africa made the right decision in resurrecting.