March 20, 2011

Orchestre Poly-Rythmo | "Pardon" & "Lion Is Burning"

ARTIST:  Orchestre Poly-Rythmo
TITLE:  “Pardon” / “Lion Is Burning”
LABEL:  Strut
REVIEW:  Orchestre Poly-Rythmo De Cotonou is possibly the oldest of the classic post-independence West African bands still in existence.  Formed in 1968, their 70's recordings are some of the most prized collectors’ items in African music; their catalog has been reissued by labels like Soundway, Analog Africa and Popular African Music.  Fans of these reissues assumed the band broke up a long time ago.  But they're still at it, with some younger members augmenting a few of the originals, and they made their first-ever European tour in 2009.  Their first new recording in over 20 years, Cotonou Club, will be released in the USA in April; here’s a two-song single from the album.  Both tracks are excellent – “Pardon” is a patented Poly-Rythmo midtempo organ-driven groover, “Lion Is Burning” is darker and more rock-influenced (reminiscent of Talking Heads’ Remain In Light), featuring contributions from members of Scottish rock band Franz Ferdinand.
REVIEWER:  Bill Lupoletti

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