Master Musicians Of Joujouka
Guy Lochhead, 22/04/12
A group of Berber Sufi trance musicians from the caves of Jajouka, a small village in Morocco. They achieved international fame in 1971 when Rolling Stone Brian Jones released his recordings of them performing in 1968, having been introduced to them by Beat writer Brion Gysin, who had found out about them from a Morrocan artist friend, Mohamed Hamri. The music is rhythmic and repetitive, using reed drones (made by the rhaita), goat-skin drums (tebel) and flute (lira). Many of the characteristics of this music are unique to Joujouka. This is a historic musical tradition that has survived colonisation and modernisation. It is grounded in the court, not religion, so I don’t feel strange about including it despite its Sufi background. I like the way the group has collaborated with modern musicians without losing their cultural identity. This is a relic of a very small, very talented group of people that is made all the more exciting for being really interesting, immersive, transportive, complex music. I will include the iconic first recordings that introduced their music to the rest of the world, ‘Brian Jones Presents the Pipes of Pan at Joujouka’.

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