Orchestre Poly-Rythmo De Cotonou Live in London May 31st

Benin is home to the renowned T.P Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou. Formed in 1996, the band released around 50 albums and over 100 singles, garnering well earned legendary status. A flourish of interest in the band in the late 2000s surged as labels such as  Soundway Records and Analog Africa took turns in re-issuing their old classics. In 2011 Strut Records released Cotonou Club a record of entirely new music and performed at Scala to celebrate. Six years on, the band have returned to London to promote their latest album, Madjafalao (which we gave away two copies of when it was first released!).

Catch the Orchestra live at 229 on May 31st. Tickets available here.




Orchestre Polyrythmo

Oumou Sangare's New Album: Mogoya out on May 19th!

Luckily for Africa Express, Oumou Sangaré has graced our stages twice, once at BBC Electric Proms at Koko in 2008 and at Paris’ Hotel De Ville in 2009. Now we’re delighted to hear that the Malian superstar is releasing her new album Mogoya (meaning “people today”) on Nø Format on May 19th 2017! Whilst last year saw the re-issue of her seminal debut album Moussolou, this is the first taste of new solo music from Oumou Sangaré since 2012.

You’ll hear a mix of traditional instruments including the kamele n’goni (harp), karignan (metal scraper) and calabash blend with electric guitar, keys, bass and synths on the album. “It was new for me because my music has never had this kind of arrangement and sound before. I’ve been totally in the tradition for years now so to get out of that and have a look around elsewhere was a total pleasure,” said Oumou in describing the creative process behind the album.

Oumou will also be performing at Scala in London with her own band on 16th May for the first time since 2011, a show not to be missed. Tickets are on sale here now.

Wrap your ears around the “colourfully invigorating” first track off the record ‘Yere Faga’ which features master drummer and long time Africa Express friend Tony Allen.

Stream it here:

Header photo by Susan Schulman.