Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Guiss Guiss Bou Bess: Set Sela [Helico, 2019]
No, you silly Amazon autofill, I didn't mean "guess guess boy boss." I meant what I typed, and am rather shocked that you didn't even guiss the climactic "bass," because both musically and verbally bass is the very foundation of this coherent sabar-Eurodance trio. The conceptualizer and connection is French "bass culture" specialist Stéphane Constantini, but dominating both the flavor and the power of the trio's sound are two Senegalese movers and shakers, hereditary griot Mara Seck and sabar rhythmatist Aba Diop. Whatever the fusion's connections to "trance step," "deep dubstep," "afrobeats/house," "bass house," "trap-ditional" (ughh!), and to be sure "afrobass," it's conscious lyricist Seck and conscious rhythmatist Diop who put this unapologetically amelodic piece of West African propulsion across, although it's true enough that the whole thing was mixed and mastered by Chico Correa, who's from Brazil. A-