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Old African Music

T. P. Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou: Unité Africaine

Mélomé Clément Chef d’Orchestre

Unité Africaine will be rereleased this February:

Two monumental full-side tracks from a pair of late 70s Orchestre Poly-Rythmo albums, Unité Africane isn’t exactly a compilation, more a combination of the standouts at a time when the band was at the peak of its powers.

Originally released in 1977, the title track is an infectious Afro-Latin workout that is interwoven with driving horn stabs by master trumpet player Tidiani Kone. Unité Africaine was recorded over the Nigerian border at the state-of-the-art EMI Studios in Lagos, yielding majestic sonic results.

Mede Ma Gnin Messe is taken from the 1978 Special 30 Novembre, and this time Poly-Rythmo wore their Afro-funk hat to deliver almost sixteen minutes of dancefloor fire. Propelled by Poly-Rythmo’s super-tight beats and underpinned by a relentless keyboard refrain, the magic is the stellar horn parts that take this track to another level.

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