Just Wanna Know

Revolutionary Propaganda Organ

Friday, February 10, 2006


Opened Tel Quel today to see an article on some work that's being done between Gnawa and electronica deejays in Marrakech.

(very) Rough translation of the first bit:

To create a new electronic music along the lines of the nights of Gnawi trance, is what the project Marrakech Undermoon is betting on. For seven years, the project has matured in secrecy in a laboratory of strange sounds, where DJs and m'allims live together. Meet them.

Dar Kamar is a strange place, nested in the maze of the Marrakech madina. One enters by pushing open a blue door, after having traveled through lanes crossed by rainwater, where kids run willy-nilly under the sleepy gaze of tired donkeys. This small riad with bleached walls could be the most banal place. Nevertheless, in a patio paved with mosaics, a French window shows a glimpse of a tiny musical laboratory, decorated with hundreds of platinum and vinyl discs. Serious and hypnotic sounds escape from here.

Opposite, in another tiny room, a meeting is held that's as improbable as the place that shelters it. Chechias on their heads, draped in heavy jellabas, three Gnawis are patiently sitting like tailors on a single bench: Abdelkébir Merchane, known as M'allim Cheb, a bit silent; Abbès Larfaoui, alias M'allim Baska, whose mutinous smile discloses chancy teeth; and Damir, a real expert of the Gnawa repertory. Two young people who look like students emerge from behind some silver discs to sit down near them: Khalid Icame and Abderrazak Akhoullil, aka DJ Zitroz and DJ Folani.


At 11:28 AM, Blogger Ted Swedenburg said...

thanks for posting and translating. do you know anything about these gnaouis?

At 9:31 AM, Blogger John Schaefer said...

Abdallah recognized Baska. I'm not sure who the techno guys are. I'm still working on the rest of the article.

At 8:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

all the infos you need are on www.kamarstudios.com


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