Sep 10, 2011

New Daptone collection: EL REGO

El Rego is a true legend of African Soul Music. Here for the first time on album are 12 of his greatest recordings from the late '60s and early '70s hand-picked by Daptone Records. The album will be published on October 25th.

Afro-soul collector/DJ Frank Gossner had spent years combing West Africa tracking down 45s by Theophile Do Rego (aka El Rego) before finally meeting him face to face in his home in Benin. From that relationship came this album, which we present to you here in a twenty-page hardcover bookcase CD featuring El Rego’s own story of his life and music along with pictures from his personal collection and artwork from his original 45s. The music has been remastered with great care, and the vinyl contains an exclusive bonus 45 (while supplies last) of “Se Na Min,” one of his most sought-after Afro-funk tracks, backed with “E Ma Non Tin Me,” a beautiful and somewhat more traditional song about two blind men who agree to go together and leap to their deaths into a river.

If you want to listen, do it here:

The music of El Rego varies astoundingly in style and rhythm: traditional rhythms of Benin played with modern instruments, John Lee Hooker–esque blues, Fela Kuti inspired Afrobeat, Afro-Cuban clave, and straight-up James Brown–style funk. However, there is a common musical thread that runs throughout. The music has a raw soulfulness and a unique flavor that can be attributed beyond the sound of Benin, to the sound of El Rego himself. There is a timelessness to the recordings that ties all of the traditions that inspire them directly to the grooves that were dominating the radios and jukeboxes of the early ’70s. The record is teeming with breaking drums and twanging guitars, twisting bass lines, and undulating percussion. But most importantly, the rhythms are all crafted by a man that not only performed, but also owned nightclubs and had an intimate understanding of the importance of dancing.


1. Feeling You Got
2. Zon Dede
3. E Nan Mian Nuku
4. Djobime
5. Dis-Moi-Oui
6. Hessa
7. Kpon Fi La
8. Do Do Baya
9. Vive Le Renouveau
10. Achuta
11. Cholera
12. Ke Amon-Gbetchea

Bonus 45:

1.Se Na Min B
2. W E Ma Non Tin Me

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