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Live recordings: The Master Musicians Of Joujouka special

August 2019

The Wire writer Daniel Spicer recently went to Jajouka in Northern Morocco to attend their annual Sufi trance festival. This mix presents some of what he heard

The area of Jajouka is famous for Sufi trance, a traditional form of music that's been passed down from generation to generation. Now held twice a year, the village holds a three day event hosted by The Master Musicians Of Joujouka led by Ahmed El Attar (and not to be confused with Bachir Attar's rival group The Master Musicians Of Jajouka). This year Wire contributor Daniel Spicer was there. He recorded the musicians play and with their agreement compiled this mix.

“I recorded this music in the village in the Rif mountains of Northern Morocco, using a hand-held Zoom recorder,” explains Spicer. “The first part features drummers and flute players and was recorded on Sunday 26 June 2019 possibly some time in the late morning or early afternoon (time has less of a definite meaning in Jajouka). This gently undulating music is how the Masters Musicians Of Joujouka prefer to begin a day of music making. The second part captures the last 40 minutes of a high-energy, hour-and-a-half performance by drummers and players of a double-reed horn called a rhaita. It was recorded in the early hours of Saturday 25 June 2019, ending some time around 2:30am. Once the performance reaches its crescendo, the village settles into silence and the music is over for another day.”

On the recording you can hear rhaita players Mohamed El Attar, Abdellah Ziyat, Abdeslam Rrtoubi , Mustapha Selmouni, El Touhami Talha, Mohamed Mokhchan, Ali Ezouglali and Abdeslam Bata; tebel players Ahmed El Attar, Ahmed Talha, El Khalil Radi, El Ayachi Guennouni, Mefedel Chlouchi and Mohamed Majdobi, and Mohamed El Hatmi performing as Boujeloud.

The Joujouka musicians will release their forthcoming album Live In Paris as a double LP on Unlistenable Records in November. Subscribers can read Dan's full review of the event in The Wire 427, also available online via Exact Editions.

The recording is copyright Master Musicians of Joujouka/Schut Productions all rights reserved. Management: Frank Rynne:

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