Orchestre Poly-Rythmo The Vodun Effect: Funk and Sato from Benin's Obscure Label

After a long pause between releases, Germany's Analog Africa label is back with two discs in relatively quick succession. Their early 2008 release, The African Scream Contest, slowly but surely gained widespread distribution and now they've dedicated a full volume to that disc's most interesting band. Orchestre Poly Rhythmo has been reissued before but this focuses on a tight two-year time period from 1973 to '75 where the beats hit hard with rock and soul attitude, and the prominent guitars were always acidic. Of course, this is a natural recommendation to those who appreciated Soundway's Nigeria Rock Special last year, but it's a treat to get a full compilation on one band's diverse and voluminous output, along with comprehensive liner notes. This is some of the best Afro rock ever made, and the EQ balance is great for dance floor satisfaction. Unlike their less frenetic American counterparts Mandrill and the Lafayette Afro Rock Band, they are more concerned with trying on a rebellious rock'n'roll attitude than anything else. (Anchor Bay)