Analog Africa label owner and relentless crate digger Samy Ben Redjeb will release another installment of his critically lauded African Scream Contest series. Once again focused on the countries of Benin and Togo, African Scream Contest 2 is due out on June 1st, and it will feature Vodoun-inspired Afrobeat and heavy funk from the 60’s and 70’s…
Redjeb was born in Carthage, Tunisia to a Tunisian father and a German mother, and he spent much of his young life traveling between the continent and Europe before moving to Senegal as a young man to deejay and teach diving. As a deejay, he spent his off-time traveling the content in search of rare music until a friend suggested he transfer his interest in travel into a job as a flight attendant for Lufthansa Airlines. Once employed by the company, he jumped on a flight route that took him to places like Accra, Ghana, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and Lagos, Nigeria–places that allowed him to continue his interest in uncovering rare and hard to find music. In 1999, while traveling in Zimbabwe, Redjeb discovered the legendary Zimbabwean band Green Arrows, and he set up Analog Africa in October of 2001 to release a compilation of the band’s music.
Analog Africa’s label work has always been well known for it’s meticulously researched liner notes, historic photography, as well as Redjeb’s commitment to finding and paying the artists featured on his compilations and re-issues. African Scream Contest, released in 2008, was no exception. Accompanied by a 43-page booklet of detailed notes and photographs, it brought together an intriguingly funky collection of music from artists like Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Contonou, Lokonon André, Orchestre Super Jheevs des Paillotes, and Roger Damawuzan–to name a few.
African Scream Contest 2 continues these wild and heavy funk sounds, but this time with an eye to the Vodoun-inspired sounds from the region. The West African religion, many components of which can also be found in areas of the African diaspora like in Haitian Vodou, Dominican Vudú, Cuban Vodú, Brazilian Vodum, and Louisiana Voodoo, is known for a complex cosmology that features some 250 divinities–each with their own set of rhythms for summoning and communing with the deities. Using these rhythms as their inspiration, African Scream Contest 2 artists like Les Sympathics de Porto Novo, Black Santiago, and Lokonon André et Les Volcans might be seen as playing a critical role in modernizing this rich ancestral folklore.
Listen to Les Sympathics de Porto Novo‘s track “A Min We Vo Nou We.”
1. Les Sympathics de Porto Novo – A Min We Vo Nou We
02. Ignace de Souza & The Melody Aces – Asaw Fofor
03. Stanislas Tohon – Dja Dja Dja
04. Elias Akadiri & Sunny Black ?s Band – L ?enfance
05. Picoby Band D ?Abomey – Mé Adomina
06. Antoine Dougbé – Nounignon Ma Klon Midji
07. Orch. Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou – Moulon Devia
08. Black Santiago – Paulina
09. Lokonon André et Les Volcans – Glenon Ho Akue
10. Sebastien Pynasco and L ?Orchestre Black Santiago – Sadé
11. Super Borgou de Parakou – Baba L ?Oke Ba ?Wagbe
12. Cornaire Salifou Michel et L ?Orchestre El Rego & ses Commandos – Gangnidodo
13. Gnonnas Pedro and His Dadjes Band – How Much Love Naturally Cost
14. Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou – Idavi