Picked up a treasure on vinyl this weekend, a new compilation from the Analog Africa label called African Scream Contest. The subtitle, written in small print at the bottom of the LP jacket says "Raw & Psychedelic Afro Sounds From Benin & Togo 70s." I had to whip out the iPhone to remind myself exactly where Benin and Togo are (they're next door to Nigeria) but even before I had done that, I was carrying the record under my arm towards the check-out counter. With a description like that on a front cover that looks like this:
You trust your gut instincts and you just pick it up.
Turns out that Samy, the guy who painstakingly put together this compilation, has a blog called Analog Africa where he posted a link to one of his recent mix tapes. Definitely download it if you're into that perverse culture mash of African polyrhythms, James Brown wailing and organ-driven voodoo soul. But really, who isn't?
Samy also posted some video footage of one of the bands on the comp, Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou Dahomey. Most of the footage here is culled from live performances, but the song is a studio recording. Still, adds some flavor by allowing your eyes to relate to what your ears are taking in:
And here's the same band rendered as puppets. No joke.