Boomkat Product Review:
Among the most obscure sides by the legendary Benin band, ‘Le Sato 2’ finally gets its flowers with a correct title and new artwork after flummoxing diggers for aeons.
Continuing Acid Jazz’s excavation of the Albarika Records goldmine in Benin, West Africa, Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou Dahomey’s follow-up to 1974’s ‘Le Sato’ is given a 2nd wind and catalogued for posterity. For reasons unknown, ‘Le sat 2’ was originally issued in the same artwork as its predecessor, with only a hand-written catalogue number on the back to distinguish the two for keener diggers.
Acid Jazz rectify the situation with exclusive new art colour and proper accreditations to seal its place in the band’s canon of some 50+ albums and 100s of singles issued during their 12 year reign over Benin’s rich music scene, knitting aspects of afrobeat, highlife, jazz, soul, rhumba and latin with lyrics in french, or local Fon, at the square root of West African music’s rhythm-driven traditions.
‘Le Sato 2’ would land mid-way during the band’s career, led by ‘Prince’ Melome Clement on deadly funky manoeuvres between the 10 min of simmering afrobeat organ and drums in ‘General Gowon’, thru the chiming, wavey latinate sway of ‘Genemou Na Wili We Gnannin’ with its glorious psych-surfy-highlife guitar sololing, to the swingeing rhumba of ‘A Non Noun Mi’, and echoes of Fela Kuti’s swagger in ‘La Verite Blesse’, and the beguiling sort of psych-soul chanson to ‘Je N’En Jeux Plus’.