Vaudou Game Are Bringing Togolese Vodun Funk To Hot Casa

Led by Togolese singer/composer Peter Solo, Vodun Funk band Vaudou Game will make their LP debut with 'Apiafo' (9/22 via Hot Casa Records).

It may come as no surprise that the label housing the funk of Vaudou Game is Hot Casa Records, the Paris-based afro soul and tropical funk label founded by Julien Lebrun and Djamel Hammad. The link-up was natural and automatic, just like the sounds flowing from the group's forthcoming Apiafo LP. The record, which is due out September 22nd, delivers funky, danceable sounds that may seem new in jaded digital playgrounds. They've already won over the heart of Gilles Petersen, who showed them love when he inducted them into his record of the week club on BBC, and now the group is about to hit hard on the concert circuit.

The band of six is led by Peter Solo, a singer and composer born in Aného- Glidji, Togo, birthplace of the Guin tribe and home to voodoo culture. Solo is joined by Vicente Fritis on keyboards/backing vocals, Jerôme Bartolome on saxophone/percussions/backing vocals, Guilhem Parguel on trombone/percussions/backing vocals, Simon Bacroix on bass/backing vocals, Hafid Zouaoui on drums, and sound engineer Stephane Pauze. Their debut album Apiafo was entirely produced and recorded, mixed and mastered with old tapes and vintage instruments. Solo formed Vaudou Game in Lyon, France, with the vision of codifying the musical scales that are found in sacred songs of Beninese and Togolese vodun music. The terms "vadou" and "voodoo," which come from the word "vodun," refer to spirit and name a blended culture of voodoo practices from different West African ethnicities. Translating tradition into modern instrumentation, Solo states that he composed Apiafo based on the two main musical scales of voodoo tradition. The first track, "No Problem," comes out clean as it sets up the blueprints for the rest of the album to pull from tradition with a spirit of celebration.

The first of the two 'voodoo scales' that inspired Solo takes a deep draw off raw funk, linking in the flavor of 70s bands like L’Orchestre Poly Rythmo De Cotonou to El Rego. The funkiest tracks off the record, “Pas Contente” and “Wrong Road,” have guest vocals from Solo’s uncle, 70s soul pioneer Roger Damawuzan. Their collaboration on "Pas Contente" is a true highlight that smacks with psychedelic trance. The second of the two scales has never been translated for modern instruments. It evokes deep feelings and a sacred ambiance. The moving "Ata Calling" is an invocation to a supreme divinity, and a precious golden nugget off the record. The idea of integrating these haunting lines, sung in honor of the divinities, to an energetic 70s afro-funk was an obvious extension in Solo's mind of the analogy he found between this vodun tradition and Blues and Funk, as well as the R&B of James Brown, Otis Redding and Wilson Picket. “Meva” is another stand-out that moves listeners along the two scales. Upholding tradition with blazing psychedelic riffs, Vaudou Game are about to embark on a full European tour. See a list of dates and watch their latest video for "Pas Contente" below. Apiafo is due out September 22nd via Hot Casa Records.

Tour dates:

August 29th : Plein les Feuilles festival - Pavie - France

September 4th : Rotown - Rotterdam - Netherlands

September 5th : the Great Wide Open festival - Netherlands

September 6th : Merleyn - Niejmegen - Netherlands

September 7th : Rasa festival - Utrecht Netherlands

September 13th : L’esplanade - Bègles - France

September 19th : la Sirène - La Rochelle - France

September 27th : Afrikokoa party at the RichMix - London - UK

October 11th : la Cave à Musique - Macon - France

October 24th : Nuit Zébrée Radio Nova at La Bellevilloise - Paris - France

October 25th : Cosmic Groove party at Rockstore - Montpellier - France

November 1st : Le Sucre - Lyon - France

Novembre 7th : la Clef - Saint Germain-en-Laye - France

Novembre 21st : Le Plan - Ris Orangis - France

Novembre 27th : le Pédiluve - Chatenay Malabry - France

November 28th : l’EMB - Sannois - France

November 29th : le Noumatrouff - Mulhouse - France

December 6th : les TransMusicales à Rennes

Image: Nabsolute Media

Reekado Banks Recalls The Carnage of The #EndSARS Protests In Single 'Ozumba Mbadiwe'

The Nigerian singer pays his respects to those lost during last year's #EndSARS protests.

Nigerian singer and songwriter Reekado Banks is back with a track that is as socially important as it is a banger. It seems fitting for the singer's first solo release of the year to be a tribute to his fellow countrypeople fighting for a country that they all wish to live in. The 27-year-old Afrobeats crooner has returned with endearing track 'Ozumba Mbadiwe', honoring the one-year anniversary of the #EndSARS protests that saw the Nigerian government authorize an onslaught of attacks on Nigerian citizens for their anti-government demonstrations.

The protests took the world by storm, additionally because the Nigerian government insists that none of the police brutality happened. In an attempt to gaslight the globe, Nigerian officials have come out to hoards to deny any and all accusations of unlawfully killing peaceful protesters. Banks mentions the absurd denials in the track, singing "October 20, 2020 something happened with the government, they think say we forget," in the second verse. Reekado's reflective lyrics blend smoothly and are supported by the upbeat, effortless Afrobeat rhythm.

In another reflective shoutout to his home, 'Ozumba Mbadiwe' is named after a popular expressway on Lagos Island that leads to the infamous Lekki Toll Gate where protesters were shot at, traumatized, and murdered. Although packed with conscious references, the P.Priime produced track is a perfect amalgamation of the talents that Reekado Banks has to offer; a wispy opening verse, a hook to kill, and an ethereal aura to mark this as a song as a hit. On "Ozumba Mbadiwe," all the elements align for Reekado's signature unsinkable sound to take flight.

Check out Reekado Bank's lyric video for his single 'Ozumba Mbadiwe'

Reekado Banks - Ozumba Mbadiwe (Lyric Video)

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