Various Artists: The Rough Guide to the Music of Morocco (Rough Guide)

 |   |  1 min read

Les Imazighen: El Aloua
Various Artists: The Rough Guide to the Music of Morocco (Rough Guide)

This is not the first Rough Guide to Moroccan music but, given how diverse the sounds are coming from that place, another edition is certainly necessary.

And when you hear the stuttering trip-hop of the dub-influenced El Aloua here (by Amiri Saqati, a side project of an earlier electronica outfit Aisha Kandisha's Jarring Effects) you know that this one is keeping abreast of the new sounds.

There are also funky manoeuvres (London-based rapper U-Cef with Boolandriks from his Halalwood album) and gritty hip-hop (K-Kayne have perfected the sandpaper vocals chantdown).

But the traditions are also respected (Les Imazighen, the master Musician of Joujouka) and formative older acts are also represented (Lemchaheb who were enormously popular in the Seventies and Eighties).

RGNET1266_2So this is quite some mix'n'match but it is held together by the Gnawa traditions and trance-like quality of much of this music. There are also fascinating instruments -- shakers, what sounds like slack single-string bass, cheap electronics -- alongside hypnotic string sections, scraped fiddle and those vocals which sound like they coming from atop a mosque at dawn.

With a bonus disc by Groupe Mazagan, this is a fascinating insight into some of what is happening in (recorded) music in Morocco. 

One for samplers too, I think. Much of this will be refreshingly strange to Western ears.

Like the sound of this? Then check out this and this.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   World Music articles index

Various: Bar Mexico. Classic and New Mexican Flavours (Demon)

Various: Bar Mexico. Classic and New Mexican Flavours (Demon)

Elsewhere claims absolutely no expertise (or even much prior knowledge) in Mexican music other than what has been picked up on the long journey of life, time in the Tex-Mex territory and an open... > Read more

Various Artists: Musical Explorer Series; Deben Bhattacharya, Waves of Joy (ARC Music CD/DVD)

Various Artists: Musical Explorer Series; Deben Bhattacharya, Waves of Joy (ARC Music CD/DVD)

Elsewhere has happily been down this path previously but we acknowledge these Indian music collections of field recordings with an archival film are not for everybody. As we mentioned before,... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Robert Plant: If It's Really Got to be This Way (1994)

Robert Plant: If It's Really Got to be This Way (1994)

When the unexpected, Grammy-grabbing album Raising Sand by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss arrived, it reminded many of what a great interpretive singer Plant could be outside of his throat-abusing... > Read more

The Wonders: That Thing You Do! (1996/1964)

The Wonders: That Thing You Do! (1996/1964)

In his Grammy-grabbing career -- between Philadelphia, Forrest Gump, Apollo 13 and Saving Private Ryan, You've Got Mail and The Green Mile -- Tom Hanks did a small, cute, mostly inconsequential and... > Read more