Analog Africa V.A. : Legends Of Benin (BE,1969-1981,re.2009)****
Another perfectly compiled album from the Analog Africa vines. Funk-flavoured tracks, fast Afro-Funk, Afro-Latin and Afro-rock. What is so incredible is that while the music sounds so easy in the ear and loop-like repetition is used, the complexity in layers can be incredible, where each musician adds his own independent idea on top of the other, completely within the basic loop, but free in direction of its own loop creation on top of it or some soloing freedom, keeping up a clarity which keeps each section, member and contribution equally visible in its own space of movements to a hypnotic effect in the totality. This is dance-as well as listening music. Occasional call-response themes, bossa nova elements, funky guitars, use of accordeon, organ solos, and all sorts of different rhythm origins : it is all there. Again, the Poly-Rhythmo band seems to show some the most complex patterns of all of the kind I mentioned, keeping song and accompaniment equally cooperative. Good stuff!
PS. Another album that is repressed this year is The Kings of Benin: Urban Groove 1972-80 (originally released 2005) on Soundway recordings.