Today we go north of Mauritania and find ourselves in the Moraccan mountains and join what was once described by a maveric writer "a 4,000 year old rock & roll band" it has to be said William S. Burroughs had a tendency for having wide eyed drug induced vistas but his words brought plenty of attention of other artists. Time to join the party .....N'joy
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The Master Musicians of Joujouka have a long history being recorded by Western artists. Their first L.P. was produced by Arnold Stahl and released in the early 1960s. This double L.P. was released by the Musical Heritage Society. It listed the musicians as the "Mallimin Ahl Shrif" or Masters of the Ahl Srif. The name Master Musicians of Joujouka was first used by Brion Gysin and William S. Burroughs in the 1950s, Timothy Leary and Rosemary Woodruff Leary in the 1960s and 1970s and on the Brian Jones L.P. released in 1971. A 1974 release utilised the title Master Musicians of Jajouka. In the 1980s the musicians were sometimes called by the names Master Musicians of Jahjouka, Master Musicians of Jajouka and Master Musicians of Joujouka in both articles and on official documents.
The Joujouka brotherhoods play a form of reed, pipe, and percussion music that relies on drones, improvisation, and complex rhythms, much of which is unique to Joujouka. Their flute is called the lira and is considered the oldest instrument in Joujouka. The double-reed instrument is called the rhaita; it is similar to an oboe, but possessing a louder sound and more penetrating tone. The drum is called the tebel and is made of goat skin and played with two wooden sticks. There is also another goat-skin drum called the tarija which allows for more fast-paced virtuosity.
The music itself is considered to be part of the Sufi tradition of the Rif Mountains. Prior to the colonization of Morocco by France and Spain, master musicians of the village were said to be the royal musicians of the sultans. Before the Alaouite dynasty, the masters used to play in medieval times for sultans in their courts, travelling with them and announcing their arrival to villages and cities. In those days master musicians of the Joujouka village traditionally were excused by the country's rulers from manual labor, goat-herding, and farming to concentrate on their music because the music's powerful trance rhythms and droning woodwinds were traditionally considered to have the power to heal the sick. The music of the region has a strong connection to Pan. According to the tale, thousands of years ago a goat-man called "Bou Jeloud" appeared to an Attar ancestor in a cave, and danced to his music. The musicians of the village re-enact this event annually.
A schism exists between two similarly-named ensembles from the same village. Two groups of musicians claiming to be the 'real' Master Musicians OF Jajouka/Joujouka (they're even arguing over the spelling). One group, the 'Jajouka' faction, is led by Bachir Attar, whose father was the leader of the group in the 60s when Brian Jones and Ornette Coleman made their visits.... The 'Joujouka' faction is in the care of Mohammed Hamri, who has been involved with the village since the 50s and 60s, and who had a hand in bringing Brion Gysin and Paul Bowles there.
The Master Musicians of Joujouka adhere to the traditional Sufi trance music of their patron saint passed down for 1200 years. Timothy Leary having visited the village in September 1969 wrote an essay on his time with Mohamed Hamri and the master musicians in his 1971 book Jail Notes called "The four thousand year old rock'n'roll band". Leary based his dating on Burroughs's belief that the ritual Boujeloud, performed in Joujouka, owes its origin to the Ancient Greek deity Pan.
Their first exposure to Western audiences came through their introduction to the Beats. Painter/folklorist Mohamed Hamri, whose mother was an Attar from the village, led artist Brion Gysin to Joujouka to meet the group. Gysin became fascinated with the group's music and led William S. Burroughs to the village. Burroughs described it as the world's oldest music and was the first person to call the musicians a "4000-year-old rock and roll band". In Tangier, Gysin and Hamri founded the 1001 Nights restaurant, in which the musicians played throughout the 1950s to a largely Western audience in what was then an international zone, the "Interzone" of Burroughs' fiction.
When Rolling Stones Brian Jones visited Morocco in 1968, Gysin and Hamri took him to the village to record the Master Musicians of Joujouka for the release Brian Jones Presents the Pipes of Pan at Joujouka, whose original release featured cover artwork by Hamri before a controversial 1990s redesign. Ornette Coleman recorded with the musicians in January 1973, some results of which featured on his LP Dancing in Your Head. A second LP, Master Musicians of Jajouka, was released in 1974.
The Master Musicians of Joujouka, now led by Ahmed Attar, released their third album Joujouka Black Eyes, on Sub Rosa in 1995. In 1996 Sufi: Moroccan Trance II was released, an album featuring the Sufi music of Joujouka's saint Sidi Ahmed Scheech and also Gnawa music from Marrakesh. The same year 10%: file under Burroughs featured the Master Musicians in collaboration with Marianne Faithfull on "My Only Friend," an homage to Brion Gysin, as well as a prayer giving blessings and a vocal track by the musicians.
Hamri continued to promote Joujouka music as President of their collectives organisation Association Srifiya Folkloric until his death in Joujouka in August 2000. Despite Hamri's death, the musicians continue to work in Joujouka and abroad. Those living in the village include Ahmed El Attar, Abdeslam Boukhzar, Mohamed El Attar, Abdeslam Errtoubi, Ahmed Bousini, Mustapha El Attar, Radi El Khalil, Abdullah Ziyat, and Mohamed Mokhchan, as well as other members of their Sufi community and their children. The musicians travelled to perform at Casa Da Musica, Porto, Portugal in spring 2006. Their most recent CD Boujeloud recorded over a four-year period, documents the music of the Boujeloud or Pan ritual, was released in September 2006.
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In 1968 Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones traveled to Morocco and taped parts of music at the Rites of Pan Festival. It's uncertain whether this should be considered a Brian Jones album, or an album by the Pipes of Pan at Jajouka, or an album by the Master Musicians of Jajouka, as the performers on this recording are most commonly known in the West. The important thing to know is that it's a document of Moroccan traditional music that achieves trance-like effects through its hypnotic, insistent percussion, eerie vocal chanting, and pipes. Originally divided into two untitled, unbroken LP sides (although these are broken down and officially titled on the CD reissue), it should be kept in mind that these are merely edited excerpts of performances which can last for hours, and thus they offer only a taste of the live event. Although the first part in particular builds and builds in relentless energy to whirling climaxes, there are discrete and different performances here, some featuring female chants, others less intense male vocals, and others passages of unaccompanied instruments which sound like flutes (credits and details on the original release are sparse). While this music had been performed in this fashion for a long time before Jones documented it, this was among the first of such recordings to receive reasonably wide exposure (although it was released after Jones' death) in Europe and North America. Thus this recording anticipated the wider popularity of trance-like music among both electronic rock and progressive African musicians later in the 20th century.
Master Musicians Of Jajouka - Brian Jones Presents The Pipes Of Pan At Jajouka (flac 221mb)
01 55 (Hamsa Oua Hamsine) 0:58
02 War Song / Standing + One Half (Kaim Oua Nos) 2:22
03 Take Me With You My Darling, Take Me With You (Dinimaak A Habibi Dinimaak) 8:06
04 Your Eyes Are Like A Cup Of Tea (Al Yunic Sharbouni Ate) 10:35
05 I Am Calling Out (L'Afta) 5:55
06 Your Eyes Are Like A Cup Of Tea (Reprise With Flute) 18:04
Master Musicians Of Jajouka - Brian Jones Presents The Pipes Of Pan At Jajouka (ogg 104mb)
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The Master Musicians of Jajouka are an ensemble of full-time Moroccan musicians who live in the small rural village of Jajouka, which is in the Jibala hills south of Tangier. For them, music isn't a part-time interest or a mere hobby; it's an integral part of their day-to-day lives. Their passionate music was documented in 1991, when Apocalypse Across the Sky was recorded using a digital 12-track recorder. Some of the songs on this CD favor chanting vocals and use of the call-and-response technique, while the instrumentals make extensive use of percussion and the ghaita, an African wind instrument with a high pitch and an oboe-ish quality. The ghaita has been heard as a solo instrument on many African recordings, but on Sky (for which ghaita player/singer Bachir Attar serves as leader), listeners are given the chance to hear several ghaitas in unison. This is enriching music that shouldn't be overlooked.
Master Musicians Of Jajouka - Apocalypse Across The Sky (flac 411mb)
01 Gabahay 6:01
02 A Habibi Ouajee T'allel Allaiya 4:12
03 El Medahey 7:04
04 Bujioudia “Bujioudia Dancing with Aisha Qandisha" 5:46
05 Alalilla “About the Night” 5:03
06 The Middle of the Night 5:53
07 Bujloudia 6:26
08 Jajouka Between the Mountains 5:53
09 Memories of My Father 7:17
10 Mohamed Diha Utalla Fiha (Take Care of Her or Leave Her) 3:28
11 Sbar Yagelbi Sbar 3:29
12 On Horseback 5:12
13 Talaha L'badro Alaina 3:00
Master Musicians Of Jajouka - Apocalypse Across The Sky (ogg 172mb)
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Talvin Singh was reportedly pleased and amazed to win the Technics Mercury Prize in the U.K. in 1999, a highly commendable trade achievement, for his eclectic CD OK. His instant reaction to receiving the award was to disappear off the European club and concert circuit to jam for months with the famed Master Musicians of Jajouka, heroes of the Rif mountains in a less than easily accessible region of Morocco. Beat author William Burroughs once described the Master Musicians as "the World's Only 4,000-year-old band," and Brian Jones recorded a tremendous album with them in 1969 shortly before he died. The outfit of long, strange, and wonderful renown achieves something heretofore unexplored in the company of Singh. Here the guest introduces a hallucinogenic, soulfully high-tech texture to the primordial rhythms and riffs of the masters, creating one of those rare syntheses of past and present, a gorgeous (of loosely hooked) carpet of colors and shapes. There is a whiff of the controlled jam here, not as fresh or far from the studio as one might expect from the high Rif, but this may be due to the production hand of Singh himself in the elaborate remix. A heartfelt and utterly noncommercial collaboration, probably meaning that winning the Mercury doesn't mean that everything, stylistically, must be cast in stone.
Master Musicians Of Jajouka feat Bachir Attar (flac 384mb)
01 Up To The Sky, Down To The Earth 6:29
02 The Truth Forever 10:23
03 Searching For Passion 3:37
04 Taksim 2:51
05 You Can Find The Feeling 5:46
06 The Blessing For The World From God Only 6:46
07 Jamming In London 4:10
08 The House Of Baraka 7:39
09 Above The Moon 4:30
10 The Magic Of Peace 5:47
11 The Magic Of Peace (D.B.A. Remix) 8:48
12 You Can Find The Feeling (Radio Edit) 3:46
Master Musicians Of Jajouka feat Bachir Attar (ogg 152mb)
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