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by El Rego
El Rego by El Rego
Released: Oct 2011
Label: Daptone Records
Fela Kuti is the household name, but Nigeria wasn't the only African funk scene going in the 1960s. In Benin, El Rego et ses Commandos instigated their own funk movement, called "jerk," but their recordings were mostly lost to all but the most diligent crate-diggers -- until now. This comp repositions the band at a crossroads where global politics, American soul and African pop intermingled in a heady, heavy brew. You'll hear echoes of JB (grunts and all) but also plenty of African elements, like the Orisha-haunted bell pattern of "Vive Le Renouveau" and the close harmonies of "Kpon Fi La."
Rachel Devitt

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