El Rego Et Ses Commandos
In addition to putting out some of the finest new soul music this side of Sam Cooke, Daptone Records also scours the world in search of international sounds both new and old. For the new, check out the 2009 Daptone Gold compilation and the album by Charles Bradley. For the old, look no further than Daptone’s deluxe reissue of the works of West African soul legend El Rego. El Rego released a clutch of incredible sides in the ’60s and ’70s that merged the native sounds of his hometown Benin with rough-and-tumble American soul and more than a dash of Latin and funk grooves. Just check the man on the cover of the record, decked out in mod-ish suit and sharp-edged fedora, and you know you’re in for some heavy soundz. Pitched at that pefrect middle point between the domestic afrobeat of peer Fela Kuti and the combustible clockwork funk of James Brown, Rego immerses the American soul template in a heady stew of local music and experience, making it a very natural hybrid. And sweet mercy, oh how you’ll dance!