August 29th, 2005
Its 9-am, I´m in front of the Studio Satel Buildings in Cotonou waiting for Wassi and Rafiou Adisa, sons of Seidou Adisa, founder of the Legendary Albarika Store music Label. I've just paid 120.000CFA, which is the fee for renting the studio for a whole day. I didn't really know what to expect but the guys told me not to worry...."you will be satisfied !!"
They finally arrived with an hour delay, each one carrying a huge bag (the ones that are used to transport rice) full of master tapes. We had few "Fizzy Pamplemouse" and then started transferring the reels onto DAT, with a backing on CD as well. We listened to about 100 to 120 Tracks on that day. Some songs were of no interest, so we quickly skipped those, others were amazing and were directly recorded - I ended up with about 20 songs, half of which will be released in the near future. Most of the tunes were by one of my favorite band, Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou. One song in particular, Se Ba Do, composed by Amoussou William (a traditional singer) and performed by Poly-Rythmo, did get everyone in the Studio Grooving. That track is pure Sato, a traditional rhythm from Benin and probably one of the heaviest beats in Africa.
One 1/4 inch reel tape from 1973 contained 4 tracks that were completely distorted and were eventually re-recorded few month later in Lagos by Albarika and released on 45´s as ASB 97 & ASB 98 - AS stands for Albarika Store, the B (second) was added as there was already a label named African Songs (Lagos) which had the prefix AS.
I´ve had those Songs for a while now and didn´t really know what to do with them, too badly recorded to be released and too good to be forgotten, so I am glad my friends "forced" me to start this blog.
Enjoy unreleased material and...........the Distortion. (S)
1. AHOULI VOU YELLI LISTEN HERE
2. GNON A GNON WA LISTEN HERE