Mar 3, 2017

Togo Soul 70: Selected Rare Togolese Recordings From 1971 To 1981



 Hot Casa Records present Togo Soul 70 (Selected Rare Togolese Recordings from 1971 to 1981). A treasure-trove of rare and unusual recordings mostly recorded in Lomé during the 70's, a fusion of traditional voodoo chants, raw soul and Afro jazz. Finding these tracks and their rights holders hasn't become any easier even after few trips all over this west African country bordered by Ghana, Benin & Burkina Faso.

We, at Hot Casa Records, decided to select 13 tracks, a snapshot of some hundreds of rare and often forgotten tapes from the most prolific, professional and exciting phase of the country's recording history, including international stars like Bella Bellow (who even performed to Maracana stadium in Brazil), or Roger Damawuzan, compared as the James Brown from Lomé, and forgotten tapes and brilliant songs in Mina, Kabyié and Fon languages. Many of the tracks featured here are peppered with innovation and experimentation highlighting how diverse the music scene in Togo was at the time, even if the political context influenced their creation.

A must have for all music lovers, also used as the soundtrack of the documentary Togo Soul 70, directed by Liz Gomis & DJ Julien Lebrun!


A fantastic little collection – and one that's way different than the usual Afro Funk compilation! Instead, this is an album that takes the "soul" in its title seriously – and goes for unusual tunes from the Togo scene of the 70s – almost all of which feature incredible vocals that soar out with boundless, righteous energy! There's definitely a bit of funk, too – but in modes that are very different than Nigerian sounds from the time, and very fresh, too – musical elements that are used in such compelling ways, we really want to dig deeper into the scene of this tiny nation. Titles include "Senye Na Na" by Aime Orchis Mathey, "I Tcho Tchass" by Akofa Akoussah, "Mais Dis Donc" by Toite Sandja, "Adome Nyueto" by Yta Jourias, "Loxo Nye" by Roger Damawuzan, "Woukunyeya" by Gabelo, "Mi Kpede Dunye" by Dk Pilo, and "Agbemenyawo" by Vewonyi DD.  


Hot Casa present Togo Soul 70: Selected Rare Togolese Recordings From 1971 To 1981. A treasure-trove of rare and unusual recordings, mostly recorded in Lomé during the '70s - a fusion of traditional voodoo chants, raw soul and Afro jazz. Finding these tracks and their rights holders hasn't become any easier even after few trips all over this west African country bordered by Ghana, Benin and Burkina Faso. With Togo Soul 70, Hot Casa have selected 13 tracks, a snapshot of hundreds of rare and often forgotten tapes from the most prolific, professional and exciting phase of the country's recording history, including international stars like Bella Bellow (who even performed at Maracana Stadium in Brazil), or Roger Damawuzan, referred to as the James Brown from Lomé, and forgotten tapes and brilliant songs in the Mina, Kabyié and Fon languages. Many of the tracks featured here are peppered with innovation and experimentation, highlighting how diverse the music scene in Togo was at the time, even if the political context influenced their creation. A must have for all music lovers. This selection was used as the soundtrack for the documentary Togo Soul 70, directed by Liz Gomis and DJ Julien Lebrun. Features: Akofa Akoussah, Napo De Mi Amor, Aimé Orchis Mathey, Toite Sandja, Gabelo, Wini & Fefe, Adamah & Agbote, Vewonyi DD, Dk Pilo and Yta Jourias. 


It is fortunately still pioneering in the reissue and compilation camps to be found. You can not talk about gold diggers. Most of the compilations that have unearthed historical tapes in Western and East Africa, in the Sahara or the Sahel, have certainly arisen not for profit but for love. To clear up the rendezvous is sometimes a detective game - you just have to try to get the rights for only one track. »Togo Soul 70« h from the house of Hot Casa is exactly for this reason already in advance. How wonderful it is that labelmaker DJ Julien Lebrun and the journalist Liz Gomis made a search and dug 13 songs. Togo, which lies between Ghana and Nigeria on the Ivory Coast, is, despite its vital capital Lomé, mostly underrepresented in cultural discourse. After Togo became independent of France in 1960, there was a social boost. And even when the autocratic president, Gnassingbé Eyadéma, was elected (and ultimately remained in power for more than 40 years), the economic situation continued. Lomé has become a cultural center in West Africa and countless bands have appeared. Between 1971 and 1981, this compilation is a monument. With stars like Bella Bellow or Roger Damawuzan, who was also known as the James Brown of Lomé. But also unknown pearls in Mina, Kabyié and Fon; Which besides French are still country languages. At Hot Casa you can see a post-colonial approach in your own work to reverse the distribution routes and not export music to Africa, but to import. So you can and should be back in the souly seventies.


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