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Acid Jazz continues its series of re‑releases with the legendary Poly‑Rythmo Orchestra

Gilles Peterson’s label has been exchanging treasures with the great Beninese label, Albarika, and has unveiled  two reissues from the end of the seventies, when the band was at the height of its power.

It’s a New Year’s gift from Acid Jazz: two re-releases of the T.P. Orchestre Poly Rythmo de Cotonou. Get ready because this is only the beginning of an exclusive licence deal with the Albarika label.

The first reissue is a direct reproduction of the album Vol. 4 – Yehouessi Leopold Batteur released in 1978. For many DJs and dancers, this album has long been consecrated thanks to the incendiary track “Aiha Ni Kpe We,” an Afrobeat recording that elicits dancing from all listeners.

Every time I listen to the Orchestre Poly Rythmo … Wow, I just discover something new in the music

Gilles Peterson

On the other hand we have Unité Africaine, an album whose title track dates back to 1977. This second re-release is not exactly a compilation, but rather a combination of two tracks that stood out at a time when the band was at the height of its power. The Afro-Latin sounds of the title track “African Unity” were recorded in the state-of-the-art EMI studios in Lagos and “Mede Ma Gnin Messe” is taken from the vinyl Special 30 November 1978, which sees  Poly-Rythmo don their Afro-funk hats to for nearly sixteen minutes of pure groove.

Vol. 4 – Yehouessi Leopold Batteur will be released on January 22 and Unité Africaine on February 12 via Acid Jazz.

Reissues are available for pre-order here and there.