The legendary African Orchestre Poly-Rythmo are back on the road for their first tour since 2011, celebrating 50 years together and accompanied by the release of a "Best Of" album in June 2018, after the success of their 2016 Madjiafalou album on prolific indie/afro label Because Music (Amadou + MarBOOK TICKETS
The creator of a unique and fascinating sound, th e Poly-Rythmo is one of Africa’s biggest orchestras,for whom the term polyrhythm is not used in vain.
The author of hundreds of recordings, thisorchestra i s one of the continent’s most prolific, asis the Congolese OK Jazz, the only possible rival in
terms of published records. After five decades, the Poly-Rythmo is the oldest active African orchestra. Throughout the 1960’s and 70’s, the formation
structured itself around influences originating fromtraditional Beninese music, American soul and funk, Nigerian afrobeat, Congolese rumba,
Ghanaian high-life, French pop and Afro-Cuban rhy thms. The conductor, Mélomé Clément, chosethe term Poly-Rythmo because of the great variety
of rhythms they mastered and played.The themes of the lyrics broach subjects such asthe evolution of Beninese society and its ills, aswell as the complexities of love.
Despite strongcompetition from the other formations of the fertile Beninese music scene, the Poly-Rythm o rapidly rose tothe top of the modern African orchestras.
From 1969 to the mid-1980’s, the orchestra published hundreds of EPs and dozens of albums.
In 1982, the death of guitarist Papillon, soon followed by that of drummer Leopold, briefly interrupted the orchestra’s ambitions.
The group eked out a living during the following decades, until 2008 when the Poly-Rythmo reformed properly around Mélomé Clément, Gustave Bentho and Vincent Ahehehinnou.
Between2009 and 2012, the orchestra toured the world, visiting Europe, Japan, Brazil, North America and most of
In 2011, the orchestra released its first record in years, the album Cotonou Club.After the death of the historic conductor Mélomé Clément in 2012, singer Vincent Ahehehinnou, bass
player Gustave Bentho and singer Loko Pierre decided to keep the Poly-Rythmo flame alive. After a fewmonths hiatus, they resumed rehearsals and started composing new songs.
After visiting their rehearsal space in 2014, Florent Mazzoleni decided to record some new tracks with them.The band went back to the Satel Studio, one of the most legendary st udios of the African continent.
Situated on the road to Lagos, this studio has hosted some of the great acts of African music. This is where the history of the band was written, when the Poly-Rythmo invented afrobeat at the same time as Fela Kuti
who they often played with in Lagos and Cotonou. Directed by Eliezer Oubda from Burkina-Faso and produced by Florent Mazzoleni, this album was finished
in June 2016 and opens a new chapter in the history of the Poly-Rythmo. These ten songs feature compositions by Vincent Ahehehinnou, and also by historic members Loko Pierre and Gustave Bentho.
An instant Afrobeat classic, ‘Madjafalao’ (be careful) sets the tone of this generous record. United in the studio as on stage, the musicians of the Poly-Rythmo eloquently express the diversity of their talents.
Remarkable percussion, striking brass formation and a glorious chorus underline the supple vocals ofVincent Ahehehinnou who embodies this richly passionate album.