Streets of Dakar

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Don Snowden
Streets of Dakar is basically a hits compilation introducing the next i.e., post-Youssou N'Dour generation of Senegalese artists doing mbalax. The liner notes try to position "Generation Boul Falé" almost as defiant punk mbalax marked by a don't-give-a-damn attitude, but that must apply more to career frustrations rising from trying to break through, because the level of musicianship is pretty accomplished here. The first three tracks sound very similar -- plenty of drums, guitar riffing, keyboard toppings -- which only makes you wonder if it reflects tastes in mid-'90s Dakar or what the international pop market now expects of Senegalese music. Even when Marie Ngoné ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Don Snowden
Streets of Dakar is basically a hits compilation introducing the next i.e., post-Youssou N'Dour generation of Senegalese artists doing mbalax. The liner notes try to position "Generation Boul Falé" almost as defiant punk mbalax marked by a don't-give-a-damn attitude, but that must apply more to career frustrations rising from trying to break through, because the level of musicianship is pretty accomplished here. The first three tracks sound very similar -- plenty of drums, guitar riffing, keyboard toppings -- which only makes you wonder if it reflects tastes in mid-'90s Dakar or what the international pop market now expects of Senegalese music. Even when Marie Ngoné Ndione's "Muss" switches to acoustic guitars and kora, the pace is still rapid-fire and the arrangement borders on cluttered like most of the tracks, because the clattering drums are a constant. Fallou Dieng's "Koleuré" hits hardest because it actually leaves some space for the music to breathe. For something different, Gelongal's "Cheikh Anta Diop" brings in a taste of rap coupled with some trance cum trip-hop flavor and "Nguewel" by Bada Seck, whose 1997 cassette gave Generation Boul Fale its name, blends quasi-rap vocals with percussion and trad instruments. Alioune Kassé's "Kara" is spare and punchier, with real horns ? and synth backdrops not far from Algerian rai. With its guitar gallop and old-school organ, "Dine" is a family-affair duet between Assane Ndiaye and his cousin, the veteran Thione Seck whose younger brother Ousmane Seck also has one track here. Scene queen Fatou Guewel's singing on "Barak" is so intense you might not ID her as female, but Assane Mboup's two solo tracks stamp him as the most spectacular singer. It's really the sense of continuity, not of something new and fresh, that marks Streets of Dakar, and the best measure is that Mboup has since taken over Thione Seck's old falsetto slot in the revived Orchestre Baobab. It's hard to hear that much difference between old-school mbalax and the music Generation Boul Fale is turning out, at least for anyone unfamiliar with the inner workings of Senegalese music. It's a solid collection, but don't expect any radical breakthrough or rethinking of the form.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/19/1999
  • Label: Stern's Africa
  • UPC: 740042108424
  • Catalog Number: 1084

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Nguisstal (5:45)
  2. 2 Ndeye Mour (5:10)
  3. 3 Taru Djiguene (4:35)
  4. 4 Muss (4:50)
  5. 5 Koleuré (5:14)
  6. 6 Cheikh Anta Diop (5:50)
  7. 7 Nguewel (5:03)
  8. 8 Xalatu Africa (6:19)
  9. 9 Talibé (General Kara) (5:05)
  10. 10 Coumba Bakhaw (5:17)
  11. 11 Barak - Fatou Guewel (5:32)
  12. 12 Kara (4:58)
  13. 13 Kilifa (4:53)
  14. 14 Dine (5:05)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Bada Seck Track Performer
Thione Seck Track Performer
Lemzo Diamono Track Performer
Alioune Kasse Track Performer
Fallou Dieng Track Performer
Assane Ndiaye Track Performer
Fatou Guewel Track Performer
Technical Credits
Bunt Stafford-Clark Mastering
Alioune Kasse Composer
Fatou Guewel Composer
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