El Rego Compilation

As if Daptone hasn’t already done enough for the preservation of old artists as well as the preservation of this sound through newer bands like The Budos Band and Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, they’re keeping in tradition by releasing a compilation by African legend El Rego on October 25, 2011. With the help of legendary Afro Funk and Soul DJ/ Collector Frank Gossner aka Voodoo Frank (in this site’s opinion the authority on African music), Theophile Do Rego (aka El Rego) was tracked down in his home of Benin in West Africa. The 12 tracks we have here, are a result of that meeting. Hand picked by Daptone Records themselves, the music of El Rego, which previously had only available through Label Analog Africa, who reissued already some of the best tracks on “African Scream Contest” and “Legends Of Benin”, hard to get 45’s or Frank’s mixes, is now available to the public. Digitally remastered, these songs from the 60’s and 70’s are exactly what you’d be hearing out of local jukeboxes of the period: drums galore and searing guitars that got people out of their seats, dancing and moving to these rhythms.

The music itself goes all over the place genre wise.The tune “Feeling You Got” is James Brownesque Afro-Funk you have to have. If James Brown had been born in Africa, he’d be El Rego. It’s a great opening track, a tribute to JB done in an African style. “Vive Le Renouveau” is a John Lee Hooker or Lightning Hopkins Blues inspired tune you’d hear in the Southside of Chicago, one amp, a foot drum and some back ups drinking whiskey in between verses, but it’s in Benin. I suppose there are Blues all over the world, and that influence reaches far away places like West Africa. “Achuta” is an organ/ horn freakout: infectious African groove with a drum break that can’t be stopped. “Djobime” is another JB type. With a bass line that would make Bootsy proud and screams that echo the Godfather, how can you not get out of your seat on this one? “Cholera”, the African version of “Tighten Up”, upbeat percussion without the breakdowns. It also doesn’t “make it mellow“, but sure cooks throughout. The vinyl version comes with a bonus 45 (while supplies last) of “Se Na Min,” one of El Rego’s most sought after Afro-Funk tracks, backed with “E Ma Non Tin Me”, while the CD offers a 20 page high gloss hardcover booklet that comes with the package which includes personal photos, original 45 artwork, and El Rego’s personal story. This is one you do not want to miss. If you’re not familiar with Afro-Soul/ Funk, this compilation is a great introduction to the passion, the struggle, and the beautiful ways of the people and music.

El Rego Tracklisting:

1. Feeling You Got
2. Zon Dede
3. E Nan Mian Nuku
4. Djobime
5. Dis-Moi-Oui
6. Hessa
7. Kpon Fi La
8. Do Do Baya
9. Vive Le Renouveau
10. Achuta
11. Cholera
12. Ke Amon-Gbetchea

*Bonus 45:
Se Na Min B/W E Ma Non Tin Me

Download the free track “Hessa” via the Wax Poetics site (I can’t get the widget to work here, but I’m working on it) HERE

Visit the Daptone Records website.

Keep Diggin’!

2 responses to “El Rego Compilation

  1. This LP will also be awesome! But note, that the Label “Analog Africa” reissued already some of the best tracks on “African Scream Contest” and “Legends Of Benin”.

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