Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Etoile 2000

  • Etoile 2000 [Dakar Sound, 1996] A-

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Etoile 2000 [Dakar Sound, 1996]
Imagine a bunch of garage musicians whose main technical limitation is that they grew up too poor to own instruments. Two genius guitarists clashing, three drummers beating the hell out of each other, crazy sax man coming and going, and then, because this is a garage band only in theory, two singers who can outwail the average gospel strongman, never mind the average Iggyphile. That's this short-lived, hot-headed Senegalese crew, who undertook the literally garage-recorded "Boubou N'Gary," all unkempt echoplexed fuzzbox and excitable tama, to give their old boss Youssou N'Dour what for, and began hearing it on the radio--constantly--about two hours after they'd finished. None of the other five tracks is quite as intense or chaotic. But this will shut up anybody who believes Afropop is too slick and anybody who believes it's too primitive simultaneously. El Hadji Faye, we salute you. A-