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Boomkat Product Review:
KILLER Ruffneck griot rap and tumbling mbalax from Senegal circa 1994: another stunning discovery by Awesome Tapes From Africa! Showcasing the remarkably fierce "taasu" - a form of oral poetry set to sabar and tama drums - style of Aby Ngana Diop, the undisputed "taasukat" of her generation, 'Liital' presents a shock of six cuts charged with ferocious talking drums, subtle DX7 tones, and Diop's stentorian call-and-response vocals. Whilst many of us have heard the mbalax style via classic recordings from Youssou N'Dour and even Mark Ernestus' Jeri-Jeri ensemble, we, for one, have never heard such a full on, febrile delivery of mbalax. There's six cuts, each ramping the levels to irresistible degrees, starting out with the hip house style breakbeat jag of 'Dieuleul-Dieuleul' and storming thru the horse-powered 'Ndame' to the hard dubbing and wild train sounds in 'Liital' to culminate with the incendiary holler and swingeing percussive complexity of 'Ndadje'. It's an unmissable, life-affiming record.