An essential set, Absa Gueye Vol. 1 collects some of the earliest recordings of the seminal Senegalese pop outfit Étoile de Dakar, whose career oversaw a major shift in Senegalese music, away from the Afro-Cuban influenced rumba, soukous, and pachanga styles of ‘70s-era outfits like the Orchestre Baobab and toward a more modern, heavily percussive style known as Mbalax. The group also launched the career of singer and percussionist Youssou N’Dour, who'd soon achieve international stardom for his arrestingly expressive tenor and his effortless fusion of Senegalese forms with Latin American and Western influences. The recordings collected on Absa Gueye include some of N’Dour’s most virtuosic early performances, including “Thiely,” a Wolof-language love ballad that matches N’Dour’s penetrating vocals with some truly psychedelic guitar work from Jimi Mbaye. During this period, Etoile de Dakar was a cohesive, collaborative unit, and with remarkable contributions from members like vocalists El Hadji Faye and Eric M’Backe N’Doye and guitarists Badou N’Diaye and Jimi Mbaye.