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El Rego

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A native of Benin, Theophile Do Rego (a.k.a. El Rego) is a towering figure in African soul music. Fusing traditional rhythms with modern instrumentation, he created a sound encompassing many styles, including Afrobeat (“Zon Dede,” “Kpon Fi La”), Afro-Cuban (“Do Do Baya”), and hard, James Brown–inspired funk (“Djobime,” “Hessa”). All this is augmented by El Rego’s howls and shrieks. Backed by the ferocious band Ses Commandos, El Rego's gritty, powerful voice erupts amid propulsive bass lines, searing guitars, and undulating percussion. In addition to being a bandleader, he was a famous club owner as well; each track here has what it takes to pack a dance floor. Selected and remastered by DJ Frank Gossner and Daptone Records (home of Sharon Jones, Charles Bradley, The Budos Band, and other groove-oriented artists), this collection represents a dozen of El Rego’s best singles from the late '60s and early '70s. It's a must for connoisseurs of African soul and funk. 

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Born: May 3, 1936 in Porto-Novo, Dahomey

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Pioneering Benin funk and soul musician Théophile Do-Rego, known to most as “El Rego,” was born on May 3, 1936 in Porto-Novo, Dahomey. He began his career in music in Burkina Faso as a member of the L’Harmonie Voltaique orchestra. After returning to Dahomey (now Benin) in 1961, Rego formed his first band, La Filda, and then formed his definitive unit, the Commandos, five years later in 1966. Drawing on hard R&B, soul, and funk, Rego & the Commandos blended these American forms with rumba trappings,...
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El Rego, El Rego
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