El Rego is a true legend of African Soul Music. Here for the first time on album are 12 of his greatest recordings from the late '60s and early '70s hand-picked by Daptone Records. Afro-Soul collector/DJ Frank Gossner had spent years combing West Africa tracking down 45s by Theophile Do Rego (aka El Rego) before nally meeting him face to face in his home in Benin. The music of El Rego varies astoundingly in style and rhythm: traditional rhythms of Benin played with modern instruments, John Lee Hooker-esque blues, Fela Kuti inspired afro-beat, afro-cuban claves, and straight-up James Brown style funk.
However, there is a common musical thread that runs throughout. The music has a raw soulfulness and a unique avor that can be attributed beyond the sound of Benin, to the sound of El Rego himself. There is a timelessness to the recordings that ties all of the traditions that inspire them directly to the grooves that were dominating the radios and jukeboxes of the early '70s. The record is teeming with breaking drums and twanging guitars, twisting basslines and undulating percussion. But most importantly. the rhythms are all crafted by a man that not only performed but also owned nightclubs and had an intimate understanding of the importance of dancing.