Orchestre Poly Rythmo de Cotonou

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Orchestre Poly Rythmo de Cotonou is a band from Cotonou, Benin which plays afrobeat, funk, soukous and other styles, often based on Vodun rhythms. The group is sometimes referred to as "Tout Puissant" (French for "All Mighty") Orchestre Poly Rythmo do Cotonou.


Orchestre Poly Rythmo de Cotonou first formed by bandleader Clément Mélomé in 1968 under the name "Orchestre Poly-Disco" in the coastal town of Cotonou, Benin.[1] Their debut album was originally released in 1973.[2] From the late 1960s through the early 1980s, the group recorded around 500 songs in a variety of musical styles for various Beninese record labels.


A compilation of their back catalogue released on the Popular African Music label in 2003,[3] followed by The Kings of Benin Urban Groove on Soundway Records the following year.[4] A series of compilations released by Analog Africa beginning in 2008 brought the band to greater global attention.[5][6][7][8] This interest led the band to reform and tour internationally in 2009, and release two new studio albums: Cotonou Club, in 2011[9][10][11] and Madjafalao in 2016.



In its heyday the Orchestre Poly-Rythmo released several dozen LPs and singles. The following discography refers only to the publications of recent years.

Title Label Year Annotations
Nouvelle Formule… ACP Production ca. 2000 / 2001 current recordings, without stylistic emphasis
Reminiscin’ in Tempo – African Dancefloor Classis [sic] Popular African Music 2003 Compilation with Soukous and Salsa tracks
The Kings of Benin Urban Groove 1972 – 80 Soundway Records 2004 Compilation without stylistic emphasis
The Vodoun Effect – Funk & Sato from Benin’s Obscure Labels 1972–1975 Analog Africa 2008 Compilation with Afrobeat, Funk and Vodun tracks, which were released on small benin labels originally. Many of the songs are based on the vodun rhythms Sato and Sakpata.
Echos Hypnotiques – From the Vaults of Albarika Store 1969–1979 Analog Africa 2009 Compilation of afrobeat, funk and vodun tracks originally released on the benin label Albarika Store .
Cotonou Club Strut Records 2011 current recordings, primarily Afrobeat, Funk and Vodun
Cotonou Club / Radio Poly-Rythmo Sound d’Ailleurs 2011 limited edition of Cotonou Club with the bonus CD Radio Poly-Rythmo which includes live recordings, radio coverage and videos
The 1st Album Analog Africa 2011 Re-release of the first album from 1973. Two of the four titles are in different versions than on the original album.
The Skeletal Essences of Afro Funk Analog Africa 2013 Compilation 1969–1980
Madjafalao Because Music 2016 current recordings


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