Acid Jazz Records is proud to announce an exclusive licensing agreement with Albarika Store, the legendary record label that defined the sound of Benin and influenced the entire region of West Africa and beyond.
The label is home to many rare recordings, from more traditional folkloric and Sato styles, to the funk, blues and psych inspired workouts of the All Mighty Orchestre Poly Rythmo de Cotonou, as they referred to themselves. Many of the original records are sought after by DJs and collectors as prime examples of Afro-funk, Afro-Latin and Afro-psych sounds.
Indeed, in the mid 1960s, it was a young Fela Kuti who would repeatedly make the weekly journey across the border to neighboring Benin to watch Orchestre Poly Rythmo’s incredible live shows. That they were a huge influence on Fela’s emerging Afro Beat is beyond doubt.
Although some material from the catalogue has been previously reissued, this is the first exhaustive trawl of the archive and will see the label presented in a way that ensures its historical importance is recognized. Trips to West Africa have secured original master tapes and the process of transferring is ongoing. Over the next few years a comprehensive reissue campaign is planned for all formats, overseen by Florent Mazzoleni and David Hill for Albarika Store, with Dean Rudland as executive producer for Acid Jazz.
The first fruits will be a series of super-rare and in-demand original albums to be reissued on vinyl. Transferred from the original tapes and mastered by Frank Merritt at The Carvery, they are presented with beautiful artwork and packaging to match the sonics. This is the music as it should be heard. The first two albums to be released will be available digitally from the 25th of September, and on vinyl on the 20th of November. These are Ipa Boogie’s eponymous album of Afro-funk and boogie, and the near-impossible to find Poly-Rythmo album ’Segla’.
Ipa Boogie – super rare LP from 1978 that almost never surfaces in good shape. Today even average condition copies can command £500 to £1,000 on the collector’s market. Going by Popsike, only five copes have sold on eBay in its twenty-year history. These are the only known recordings by this obscure band. The Acid Jazz release is mastered from the original reel to reel tape.
Poly Rythmo ’Segla’ – hens-teeth rare Poly Rythmo album from 1978 that was originally released without a sleeve as ALS059. Or at least, if it came with a sleeve, nobody outside of Benin seems to have seen one. Recorded at EMI Lagos, Nigeria, as per most of the Poly Rythmo recordings for Albarika, the sound quality is from the tapes is dynamic and fresh.’