Album: Various Artists, African Scream Contest (Analog Africa)

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The Independent Culture

African Scream Contest reveals another hidden area ofAfrican music, in this case a form of psychedelic Afrobeat popular in the Seventies in Benin and Togo: an exuberant blend of Cuban, Congolese and highlife strains, streaked with slithery psychedelic guitar fills.

James Brown is an obvious influence on the likes of Roger Damawuzan, whose barked instructions on “Wait For Me” have the command of the Godfather, and Gabo Brown & Orchestre Poly- Rhythmo, whose mesmeric groove to “It’s A Vanity” recalls the JBs.

Hypnotic guitar licks drive contributions from Quinsou Corneille & Black Santiagos and Napo De Mi Amor Et Ses Black Devils.

Elsewhere, Nigerian influences can be heard in the Fela Kutiesque Afrobeat of Lokonon Andre & Les Volcans.

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