Legendary Benin musicians Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou have released their new album Madjafalao and it’s out now! The album follows the release of Cotonou Club in 2011, their first new record since the early ’80s. The band, founded in Benin in 1968 by bandleader Mélomé Clément, reached popularity across West Africa throughout the 1970s, recording over 50 albums and playing alongside greats such as Fela Kuti. The name “poly-rythmo’ was born out of the plethora of influences and rhythms that inspired the band who brought together sounds from traditional Vodoun rituals to funk, Nigerian Afro-Beat, Ghanaian high-life and more. The 80s saw the band go into indefinite hiatus,  only returning to action following re-releases from labels like Soundway and Analog Africa. The band reformed in 2008 and toured the world to critical acclaim. Despite the death of founder Mélomé Clément in 2012, singer Vincent Ahehehinnou, bass player Gustave Bentho and singer Loko Pierre decided to keep the Poly-Rythmo flame alive and after a few months hiatus they resumed rehearsals and started composing new songs, tracks which would eventually form the basis of Madjafalao.

To celebrate, Africa Express have teamed up with Because Music to bring 4 luck winners a copy of the album. Simply share this post on twitter or facebook to be in with a chance to win! Competition winners will be contacted on Monday 5th Dec at 12pm. Good luck.


Poly-rythmo photo by Florent Mazzoleni

Header photo TP Orchestre Poly Rythmo session at bar Coco Beach, Cotonou, taken by Youri Lenquette 06/2016