Ouled Bambara: Portraits of Gnawa (Twos & Fews, 2009)
The CD and DVD set Ouled Bambara: Portraits of Gnawa reveals the creatively rich lives and infectious energy of various Gnawa performers from Marrakech (Morocco). The artists featured on the recording and DVD are renowned Gnawa musicians, including Abdelkbir Marchane & Ahmed Baqbou, Brahim Belkani, Hassan Zougari, and Mohamed Hamada.
The CD focuses on traditional pieces used in the Lila, which is a Gnawa healing ceremony. Gnawa music is considered trance music and includes many of the elements found in the genre: invigorating repetitive rhythms, chants and melodies that build up and lead musicians and participants into an altered state of mind. Some of the Gnawa ceremonies are healing rituals that try to remove powerful spirits from possessed individuals.
The fascinating DVD documentary shows the lives of the Gnawa musicians, including interviews and live performances by the above mentioned musicians.
This set is one of the first releases on the Twos & Fews label, which part of Drag City Records.
Ouled Bambara: Portraits of Gnawa is an explosive mix of trance, energy and vitality by some of the masters of Gnawa music.
The set is available from www.dragcity.com
Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.