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