Preview: Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou @ 229 The Venue (London, 31st May 2017)
For over 40 years, Orchestre Poly Rythmo de Cotonou have been producing their own indomitable brand of voodoo-infused Afro-beat, heavily tinged with highlife and soukous accents.
Having disbanded sometime in the mid-eighties, like many other long lost doyens of tribal African dance music, they were rediscovered in the early part of the century and persuaded to reform, re-enter the studio and get back on the road.
With some hypnotic grooves, born out of a hybrid of voodoo rhythms and a penchant for the funk of James Brown, Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou are back to wow a new generation of music lovers.
Quite how they slipped under the radar for so many years is something of a mystery, but like Mali’s Super Rail Band and Guinea’s Bembeya Jazz, these veterans from Benin are still producing heavy sounds to get you dancing and will be well worth catching at 229 The Venue, at the end of May. Once under their spell, you’ll understand why the band used to preface their name with the initials T.P. – tout puissant, or “almighty”.
Originally formed in 1966 in the coastal town of Cotonou, Orchestre Poly Rythmo became one of Benin’s finest exports and, consequently, a flagbearer for African music. With their exuberant brand of afro-funk and party fuelled soukous, their sound and their on-stage energy defy their advancing years. Thanks in no small…