Lost links & Re-ups

On any post, if the link is no longer good, leave a comment if you want the music re-uploaded. As long as I still have the file, or the record, cd, or cassette to re-rip, I will gladly accommodate in a timely manner all such requests.

Slinging tuneage like some fried or otherwise soused short-order cook

18 May 2013


T.P. Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou for many are a newly discovered treasure of 1970s African music. They play gritty guitar riff laden, warm horn infused, hypnotic Farfisa organ induced, heavy on the distorted bass African 70s tunes from the Republic of Benin that leads to frenetic body movements in all who listen.

T.P. Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou are a band from Benin, which plays Afrobeat, Funk, Soukous, & other styles, typically based on Vodun rhythms. The 'T.P.' stands for the French 'Tout Puissant', which means 'All Mighty'. The band was formed in 1966 & still records to this day, although many original band members have died (in 1982 both Bernard 'Papillon' Zoundegnon – guitar & Yehoussi Leopold – vocals, & most recently on December 17, 2012 Melome 'Boss' Clement – vocals & guitar, among others)  & new members have been added along the way. Their output has been extremely prolific, numbering upwards of 50 LPs & a hundred 45s. Between 1970 & 1983, the T.P. Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou recorded at least 500 songs. Although they had an exclusive contract with Albarika Store, the band recorded ' in secret' with a variety of small labels. The runs were negligible. Now in the 21st Century, Soundway & Analog Africa have worked at re-releasing & re-introducing Poly-Rhythmo to the modern listener.

As their name implies, the music relies on a blend of all mighty poly-rhythmic percussive elements. It draws from the French heritage of Benin along with the influence of their anglophone neighbors like Nigeria & Ghana. & it must be remembered that Dahomey, which is present day Benin, is the birthplace of vodun, so underlying all the poly-rhythms are the sounds of the voodoo rituals. These influences & rhythmic elements form the backdrop for varied styles they play, a mix ranging from: Afrobeat; soukous; highlife; jazz; soul; rhumba; & Latin music.

A partial list of band members: Melome Clement – vocals & guitar; Bernard 'Papillon' Zoundegnon – guitar & piano; Adjanohoun Maximus – guitar;  Lohento Eskill – vocals; Amenoudji Joseph Vicky – vocals; Agbemadon Paul Gabo – vocals; Kounkou Diak Theo – vocals; Yehouessi Leopold – drums; Sagbohan Danialou – vocals & drums; Vincent Ahehehinnou – vocals; Somassou Nestor – congas; Bentho Gustave – bass; Loko A. Pierre – vocals & saxophone; Koutouan Ossey Theodore – trumpet; Cakpo Cosme – trumpet; Tidiani Koné – saxophone & trumpet; Allade Lucien – vocals; Anago Cosme – vocals; Agbahoungba Philibert – guitar; D'Almeida Mathurin – drums & congas; Agonglo Bayo – drums;  Loko Moïse – piano; Hounnonkpe Léon  -piano; Guedou Thierry – brass; Ahouandjinou Martial – brass; Gnonlonfoun Samuel – brass; Alladé Vignéré – percussion; & Atohoun Sylvain - vocals), Francois Hoessou – bass & bass kalimba.

 T.P. Orchestre Poly-Rhythmo de Cotonou – Albarika Store ASB 228, 1975. 
decryption code in comments

Side A –
Houzou Houzou Na Yi Noukou (part 1)

Side B –
Houzou Houzou Na Yi Noukou (part 2)

T.P. Orchestre Poly-Rhythmo de Cotonou – Albarika Store ALS 030, 1976. 
decryption code in comments

Side A –
Houzou Houzou Na Yi Noukon
Bonne Annee

Side B –
Ehouzou Dandan
Ma Won Ye O


Now two more releases, the first featuring the backing of T.P. Orchestre Poly-Rhythmo de Cotonou with one of the Ivory Coast most notable vocalists.

Amédée Pierre was born on March 30, 1937 at Tabou, Kroo , southwestern Côte d'Ivoire. He died on 30 October 2011 at Treichville. His given name is Nahounou Digbeu Amédée. He was christened Pierre at his Catholic baptism. Amédée Pierre is Singer Nahounou. He sings in his native Bété language. Here he is backed by T.P. Orchestre Poly Rythmo de Contonou Benin.

These are a couple heavy soukous tracks along with a hybrid Afro-pop tune.

The performers are: Singer Nahounou – vocals; Zoundegnon 'Papillon' Bernard – lead guitar; Adjadohoun Maximus – rhythm guitar; Bentho Gustave – bass; & Yehoussi Leopold – drums, with Agbemadon Paul Gabo, Amenoudji Joseph Vicky, Lohento Eskill, & Melome Clement – backing vocals.

 Singer Nahounou et du T.P.Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou Benin -
decryption code in comments

Side A -
Aventure De Nahounou

Side B -

The second one here, while we are being all incestuous, is Singer Nahounou again with another excellent band from Benin, the renowned l’Orchestre Black Santiago.

Singer Nahounou et l’Orchestre Black Santiago - Albarika Store ALS 095, 1980.
decryption code in comments

Side A –
Bayi Tagro
Zoaka Nigi

Side B –
Digbeu Labato

Get up offa that thing & enjoy da homeys,


  1. I and am very thankful that you are doing this project because I was thinking about collecting more African music. I was not happy with some of the selections from your Northern African countries because they sounded too Western-ized and at least one sounded like straight jazz. The Mahmoud Guinia is very good but I already owned those.

    I am four days behind you (Mali) but I like what you have posted for the Western African countries much more. Maybe that region just has music that I prefer.

    I am curious to see what you will offer when you get to South America. Almost all of the music that I find is from either Brazil or Columbia. It will be worth waiting for although it will be a long time.

    1. Andrew,

      Much of the music from Northern African countries is definitely influence by non-African music (as well as Middle Eastern or at least Egyptian sources). It is however, much more influenced by Europe than by the US.

      As we swing around the western coast, the Caribbean influence is more prevalent. Then as we travel further south, the native African sounds are more directly blended with US blues, soul, funk etc. We are just coming to some of my favorite countries.

      With all the upheaval in the African Sahel (Sahara), many of the desert blues Tuareg groups have migrated from Mali to Niger, which is next. Also soon will be the fantastic (at least to me) Zamrock of 70s Zambia.

      I know that my posts can't please everyone, & in fact I am basically trying to please myself. I am trying to post as much variety as I can: religious; ethnic; & popular; male; female; whatever.

      I hope you stay the course & find some things along the way that both please & surprise. It will be a long time. Image how long it seems to me.

      Thanks for the comment. Hope to hear from you again.

    2. ASB228

  2. Singer Nahounou et l’Orchestre Black Santiago - Albarika Store ALS 095, 1980

    It's not quite right. The songs sound OK but all of the tracks are 20 minutes long. The songs themselves are about 8 minutes each. Downloaders will need something to cut out the dead air. Audacity is free and easy to use.

    1. Thanks for catching this. I don't know what happened when I was getting these ready for upload. I fixed them, re-uploaded them & changed the links. Everything should be fixed now. If you ever find any more fudge-ups on my part, please let me know. That is the value of visitors, friends, downloaders, & mostly commenters.

  3. Hello :)

    Thanks so much for this post, very informative! Can't wait to listen.
    The problem is that I am not able to decrypt the files, could you help me please?

    Thank you very much, Matilde

    1. Just click on the link under the cover photo. That will take you to MEGA. It will ask you to accept their terms of service & enter the decryption code. The decryption codes are in the comment above listed by release or artist name or some such. Just copy & paste where needed on MEGA & you can download the file.

  4. Thanks for the great music! For those who love this music, I would recommend "Cotonou Club
    by Orchestre Poly-Rythmo" from 2011. Great stuff!

    1. Thanks for your comment & I'm sure everyone will appreciate your suggestion for more Orchestre Poly-Rhythmo. They are always fantastic.

  5. Hi,

    I'm so moved to be able to listen to these tracks again, I cannot thank you enough!


  6. Thank you; I've been immersing in African music the last while, and your site is a treasure trove. But equally it is what you write. I do work with Indigenous language and cultural continuity, and to be able to experience a musical taste of these faraway local lineages, and the sheer spirit the music expresses, is priceless. What the masses don't get to 'feel' because they gobble up the soulless junk food is a pity. For that, I make some mixes and share with my friends, who invariably have their rhythmic bubbles burst, is a real trip! You're a worldly soul and I thank you for your effort in taking the time to teach and entertain us with your passion. Vielen Dank!

  7. Hi music lovers,
    if you really enjoy Beninese music i can show you the gates of heaven> Just visit the blogspot of ORO and you might go insane and die (with a smile on your face). What a way to go though...