Lost links & Re-ups

On any post, if the link is no longer good, leave a comment if you want the music re-uploaded. As long as I still have the file, or the record, cd, or cassette to re-rip, I will gladly accommodate in a timely manner all such requests.

Slinging tuneage like some fried or otherwise soused short-order cook

01 May 2013



Morocco has a vast & varied tradition in the realm of musick. The multitudinous different regions & ethnicities that make up Morocco all have their own musickal traditions. I slightly touched on some of the styles when covering Tunisia & Algeria: although born in Algeria, Morocco has many Raï musicians; Chaabi is the form of traditional Moroccan folk music; there is also the folk music of the Berber people; there is classical Malhun music with thousands of years of history; there is classical Sufi musick created by the many Sufi brotherhoods in Morocco created to attain mystical trance states; & there is the particular form that I am posting here, Gnawa.

Gnawa is another form of mystical musick for the purpose of healing, both physical & spiritual. The Gnawa religious brotherhood are the descendants of West African slaves, transported far from home. They have held on to rituals that praise saints & spirits with songs, dances, galvanizing rhythms & trance possession. It’s the story of voudon & Santería in the Americas. It’s also the story of Gnawa music in Morocco, made by these descendants of slaves brought north from what is now Mali. Although they were from Mali, they claim their spiritual descent from Bilal al-Habashi, the Ethiopian who served as the Prophet Muhammad's first muezzin, the person who calls the Muslim faithful to prayer.

The most important Gnawa ritual is the lila (also called a derdeba), an all-night, healing trance ceremony led by a maâlem, or master musician. The ritual is a special mix of African & Arabic elements combining both music & acrobatic dancing to create an atmosphere of mystical trance that opens the channels to the healing. At the lila, the seven spirits are evoked through around 100 chants. Especially in the Muslim month of Sha'aban, which is just before Ramadan, there are lilas held in the Gnawa community.

Mahmoud Guinia (Arabic: محمود ﯕينيا‎) born in Essaouira on the Atlantic coast in 1951, is a Moroccan Gnawa musician, singer & guembri (a three-stringed percussive lute) player, who is traditionally regarded as a one of the leading Maâllem of Gnawa musick.

He is the second son of the master of Gnawa music, Maâllem Boubker Guinia (1927–2000) & the famous clairvoyant moqaddema A'isha Qabral. His brothers Mokhtar Guinia & Abdellah Guinia are both Gnawa Maâllems. Their sister Zaida is another moqqaddema & leader of a femal Gnawa group called the Haddarate of Essaouira.

Maâllem Mahmoud Guinia has put out numerous recordings, which have not been documented very well. In the 1970s & 80s Moroccan music label Fikriphone released Guinia’s records of both live Lila ceremonies & studio sessions. In the next few decades these were followed by Tichkaphone, whose materials were distributed in France by Sonodisc. Also he had releases on Agadir’s La Voix El Maarif label. The most famous western releases were with: Bill Laswell in 1994 that featured the American saxophone player Pharoah Sanders (good); another with Peter Brötzmann & Hamid Drake (great) was recorded at Wels’s 1996 Music Unlimited festival.

I am presenting here with most honored respect several releases from Fikriphone & one from Tichkaphone. These tapes are studio recordings, as opposed to live lila rituals. They feature the guembri, qraqeb (large usually metal or occasionally wooden castanets) & tam-tam & gangaa drums.

Mahmoud Guinia – FP41, Fikriphone, 197?. 
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First Face (الوجه الاول) -
Allah Allah Bulila
Yumali Ye Yumala

Second Face (الوجه التاني) -
La ilaha illa Llah
Fulani Baba Sidi

Mahmoud Guinia – FP42, Fikriphone, 197?.

First Face (الوجه الاول) -
Ya Sudani Bangara Bangara
Lalla Maymouna Sultan Gnawiya

Second Face (الوجه التاني) -
Lalla Fatima Zahra - Shay Llah Dar Dammana
'Awwenuna Rijal Allah Baba L'Arabi
Soyo Soyo Kamilana

Tichkaphone TCK 886 cassette, 198?.

First Face : الوجه الاول

Sast Demanio ساست ديمانيو
Makawyah مكاويّة

Second Face : الوجه التاني

Ed Zalba إد زالبــا
Ya Jawadi  يا جوادي


Phil Von has done some rather varied projects in his musical career.

He is one half (though only one of many members) of the name Von Magnet along with Flore Magnet. Von Magnet is best described as experimental-avant-garde. They combine multiple layers of artistry to create an experience of sight & sound. Painters, makeup artists, dancers, & even the musicians of Von Magnet all play an important role in the dramatic live presentations. The music of Von Magnet builds from minimal & sometimes metallic sounds into immense pieces using a host of instruments. A wide variety of percussion instrumentation is present, in addition to flamenco, bass & electric guitars, sitars, violins, electronics & some of the most intense vocals.

He has collaborated with Norscq (The Grief) on The Atlas Project, powerful grooving Arabian techno-trip-hop. Dance-ready beats & beautiful ambient soundscapes of desert, sand, cold nights, blue sky fit perfectly together. There are also exquisite ethno-ambient-jungle remixes.

He had a dream of teaming up with some Gnawa musicians for a project. On L’Autre Nuit he realized that dream. Von got together with The Gnawa Musicians of Fés to record this surprisingly impressive release. It may be his most refined emotional inter-cultural piece of music. It precisely captures & magnifies alike the sounds of the Maghreb. The musicians use their musickal healing. Throughout they push to the fore the North African Moroccan influence without sublimating Phil Von’s own unique flavor.

This could be called world music, but perhaps tribal is more accurate, especially on songs like "Hicham Bilali". The Gnawan mystical trance vibe shines through on "Transe Incolore" & the strong sence of ritual on "La Parole". The Von soundscapes are apparrent on "Fés Mejdoub" where a lot of voices & noises have been sampled, recreating a kind of impression of the daily life on the streets & in the markets of Morocco.

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Tracklist –

La Parole
Hicham Bilali
Transe Incolore
Eden Miseria
Fés Mejdoub
Les Esprits


The Master Musicians of Joujouka are Sufi trance musicians most famous for their connections with the Beat Generation & the Rolling Stones founder Brian Jones. These musicians hail from the village of Jajouka or Zahjouka (spelled جوجوكة or جهجوكة in Arabic) near Ksar-el-Kebir  in the Ahl Srif mountain range of the southern Rif Mountains in northern Morocco.

On a double LP released by the Musical Heritage Society, the musicians were credited as the "Mallimin Ahl Shrif" or Masters of the Ahl Srif. The name Master Musicians of Joujouka was first used by Brion Gysin & William S. Burroughs in the 1950s, by Timothy Leary & Rosemary Woodruff Leary in the 1960s & 1970s, & on the Brian Jones LP released in 1971

Their first exposure to Western audiences came through their introduction to the Beat generation by painter/folklorist Mohamed Hamri. He was born in 1932 in Ksar-el-Kebir in northern Morocco. His father was a ceramics artist who painted his pieces following the ancient Rif traditions. Hamri's mother was born into the Attar family of Joujouka musicians. His uncle was the leader of the Master Musicians of Joujouka.

Hamri took the painter & writer Brion Gysin, inventor of the ‘Cut-up technique’ that played such a large part in William S. Burroughs early writing, to Jajouka to meet the group. Gysin became fascinated with the group's music. He in turn took Burroughs to the village. It was Burroughs who first described their musick as “the world's oldest musick”. He was the first person to call the musickians a "4000-year-old rock ‘n’ roll band". In Tangier, Gysin & Hamri opened the 1001 Nights Restaurant, in which the Master Musicians played throughout the 1950s to a largely Western audience in what was then an International (Free) Zone. Many of these experiences would become Interzone, a great book of William S. Burroughs' ‘fiction’. (Burroughs himself never called his writing fiction, rather he called the sections he pieced together ‘routines’.)

Brian Jones met Hamri when Jones visited Morocco in 1967. The two developed a close friendship. In 1968, Brion Gysin & Hamri took Jones to Jajouka (along with an Olympic Studios engineer, George Chkiantz) to record the master musicians in what was to become, a few years later, the ground-breaking release Brian Jones Presents the Pipes of Pan at Joujouka. The cover of the album features an original painting of Jones with The Master Musicians of Joujouka painted by Mohaned Hamri.

Despite his seminal contributions to the Rolling Stones, Jones never did do much in the way of solo projects. But this unique recording makes up for that. As producer of this masterpiece, Jones added many trippy post-production touches, especially the generous amount of stereo “phasing” which only enhances the experience rather than diminishing it. The dancing flute on the reprise of "Your Eyes Are a Cup of Tea" is really fantastic. For Jones, the experience was to dominate the last year of his life. His obsession with trying to incorporate the music of Joujouka into the Stones's sound was yet another factor that distanced him from Mick Jagger & Keith Richards. Brian edited the album & prepared the art work together with designer, Al Vandenburg. Jones finished producing the LP only a few months before his death in 1969.

Recordings of the Rites of Pan Festival 1968 in the village of Jajouka, Morocco.

Bryon Gyson’s liner notes:
“Magic calls itself The Other Method for controlling matter and knowing space. In Morocco, magic is practised more assiduously than hygiene though, indeed, ecstatic dancing to music of the brotherhoods may be called a form of psychic hygiene. You know your own music when you hear it one day.You fall into line and dance until you pay the piper.”
“My own music turned out to be the wild flutes of the hill tribe, Ahl Serif whom I met through the Moroccan painter, Hamri. He turned me on to the Moorish fleshpots, the Magic and the misery of the Moors. The secret of his mother’s tribe, guarded even from themselves, was that they were still performing the Rites of Pan under their ragged cloak of Islam.”
“Westermar(c)k, in his book on pagan survivals in Morocco forty years ago, recognized their patron: Bou Jeloud, the Father of Skins, to be Pan the little goat god with his pipes. An account of their dances led him to conclude they must be celebrating the Roman Lupercalia which once occurred in the first two weeks of February, but attached itself to the principal Moslem feast when the Arab invaders turned the calendar back to the lunar year. Westermar(c)k never saw the dances and believed they no longer took place. Pan may soon stop dancing in the Moroccan hills but I first saw him there in 1950. Later I ran several times in the panic of the Lupercalia. It is the “holy chase” of which Julius Caesar speaks in Act 1, Scene 2 of Shakespeare’s play: “Forget not, in your haste, Antonius, to touch Calpurnia; for our elders say the barren, touched in this holy chase, shake off their sterile curse.” Marc Antony should be wearing a fresh, foul-smelling goatskin. “I saw Marc Antony offer him a crown; yet ’twas not a crown neither, ’twas one of those coronets. ..”
“Bou Jeloud wears a yokel’s big, floppy straw hat, bound round his face with a fillet of ivy. “. . . it was mere foolery; I did not mark it.” Elizabethan “Morris” dances were Moorish .”

 Bou Jeloud painted by Brion Gysin
“Pan, Bou Jeloud, the Father of Skins, dances through eight moonlit nights in his hill village, Joujouka, to the wailing of his hundred Master Musicians. Down in the towns, far away by the seaside, you can hear the wild whimper of his oboe-like raïtas; a faint breath of panic borne on the wind. Below the rough palisade of giant blue cactus surrounding the village on its hilltop, the music flows in streams to nourish and fructify the terraced fields below.”
“Inside the village the thatched houses crouch low in their gardens to hide in the deep cactus-lined lanes. You come through their maze to the broad village green where the pipers are piping; fifty raitas banked against a crumbling wall blow sheet lightning to shatter the sky. Fifty wild flutes blow up a storm in front of them, while a platoon of small boys in long belted white robes and brown wool turbans drum like young thunder. All the villagers, dressed in best white, swirl in great circles and coils around one wildman in skins.”
“Bou Jeloud leaps high in the air on the music, races after the women again and again, lashing at them fiercely with his flails-’Forget not in your speed, Antonius, to touch Calpurnia’-He is wild. He is mad. Sowing panic. Lashing at anyone; striking real terror into the crowd. Women scatter like white marabout birds all aflutter and settle on one little hillock for safety, all huddled in one quivering lump. They throw back their heads to the moon and scream with throats open to the gullet, lolling their tongues around in their heads like the clapper in a bell. Every mouth is wide open, frozen into an O. Head back and hot narrow eyes brimming with dangerous baby.”
“Bou Jeloud is after you. Running. Over-run. Laughter and someone is crying. Wild dogs at your heels. Swirling around in one ring-a-rosy, around and around and around. Go! Forever! Stop! Never! More and No More and No! More! Pipes crack in your head. Ears popped away at barrier sound and you deaf. Or dead! Swirling around in cold moonlight, surrounded by wildmen or ghosts. Bou Jeloud is on you, butting you, beating you, taking you, leaving you. Gone! The great wind drops out of your head and you hear the heavenly music again.”
“You feel sorry and loving and tender to that poor animal whimpering, grizzling, laughing and sobbing there beside you like somebody out of ether. Who is that? That is you. ”Who is Bou Jeloud? Who is he? The shivering boy who was chosen to be stripped naked in a cave and sewn into the bloody warm skins and masked with an old straw hat tied over his face, HE is Bou Jeloud when he dances and runs. Not Ali, not Mohamed, then he is Bou Jeloud. He will be somewhat taboo in his village the rest of his life.”
“When he dances alone, his musicians blow a sound like the earth sloughing off its skin. He is the Father of Fear. He is, too, the Father of Flocks. The Good Shepherd works for him. When the goats, gently grazing, brusquely frisk and skitter away, he is counting his flock. When you shiver like someone just walked on your grave-that’s him; that’s Pan, the Father of Skins. Have you jumped out of your skin lately? I’ve got you under my skin . . .”
“Blue kif smoke drops in veils from Jajouka at nightfall. The music picks up like a current turned on . . . On the third night he meets Aisha Homolka who drifts around after dark, cool and casual, near springs and running water. She unveils her beautiful blue-glittering face and breasts and coos.”
“And he who stammers out an answer is lost. he is lost unless he touches the blade of his knife or, better still, plucks it out and plunges the blade of it into the ground between her goatish legs and forked hooves. Then Aisha Homolka, Aisha Kandisha, alias Asherat, Astarte, Diana in the Leaves Greene, Blest Virgin Miriam bar Levy, the White Goddess, in short, will be his. She must be a heavy Stone Age Matriarch whose power he cuts off with his Iron Age knife- magic.”
“The music grooves into hysteria, fear and fornication. A ball of laughter and tears in the throat gristle. Tickle of panic between the legs. Gripe of slapstick cuts loose in the bowels. The Three Hadji. Man with Monkey. More characters coming on stage. The Hadji joggle around under their crowns like Three Wise Kings. Monkey Man comes on hugely pregnant with a live boy in his baggy pants. Monkey Man goes into birth pangs and the Hadji deliver him of a naked boy with an umbilical halter around his neck. Man leads Monkey around, beating him and screwing him for hours to the music. Monkey jumps on Man’s back and screws him to the music for hours. Pipers pipe higher into the air and panic screams off like the wind into the woods of silver olive and black oak, on into the Rif mountains swimming up under the moonlight.”
“Pan leaps back on the gaggle of women with his flails. The women scream and deliver one tiny boy, wriggling and stumbling as he dances out in white drag and veil. Another bloodcurdling birth-yodel and they throw up another small boy. Pan flails them as they push out another and another until there are ten or more little boy-girls out there with Pan, shaking that thing in the moonlight. Bigger village dragstars slither out on the village green and shake it up night after night. Pan kings them all until dawn. He is the God Pan. They are, all of them, Aisha Homolka.”

Rolling Stones Records COC 49100, 1971.
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Side 1 – 
Untitled…contains the songs:
55 (Hamsa Oua Hamsine)
War Song/Standing + One Half (Kaim Oua Nos)
Take Me With You Darling, Take Me With You (Dinimaak a Habibi Dinimaak)

Side 2 –
Untitled…contains the songs:
Your Eyes Are Like a Cup of Tea (Al Yunic Sharbouni Ate)
 I Am Calling Out (L'afta)
Your Eyes Are Like a Cup of Tea (Reprise with Flute)

Enjoy the fantastic trance musick of some of the finest musickians in the world that is uniquely tied to some fascinating world literary history.

1 comment:

  1. FK41
    L'Autre Nuit
    Pan Pipes