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Boomkat Product Review:
Revelatory reissue of prototypical Mbalax-Psych from legendary Gambian group, Guelewar. 'Diamonoye Tiopité' documents their last performance, live at the Canari Club de Kaolack in Senegal, 1982, mixing traditional compositions influenced by indigenous MBalax and Kora rhythms with Congolese drumming and the crucial, modern addition of a Mini-MOOG. Up until the time of this gig, the group were essentially the main group in The Gambia, alongside the equally renowned Ifang Bondi, originally playing a blend of traditional music and imported foreign sounds int he countries first and only nightspot, Bambo No.1 club, before moving to a more traditional style rooted in the Senegambia and Malian traditions, but eventually evolving their own uniquely Gambian sound. The group disbanded in 1975, but later reformed as Guelewar II and from recording sessions during this period, someone illegitimately released their only three albums to date. This one however, is all official and was mastered from poorly degraded tape, yet manages to beautifully capture the band in fine style, playing a deadly style of deeply funky, rolling and hypnotic groove which sounds quite unlike anything else we've encountered around here.