Sunday, March 03, 2013

Raw 45s and 78s from Morocco

You should, if you are not already, be following the music blog ShellacHead which features vintage 78s from all over the globe. Check out its latest offering, a guinbri track (I don't know why the curator David Murray spelled it "gunbri" in his post) from Kachbal and Zeroual.

To me the instrument played on this track sounds not like a guinbri, which I associate exclusively with the Gnawa, but a lotar. But Murray explains, and my friend Tim Abdellah Fuson confirmed this for me, that guinbri is the generic term for a whole range of Moroccan "banjos", including the large bass one played by the Gnawa (which Gnawis, depending upon the area, call a guinbri or a hajhouj or a sintir) to smaller ones called the lotar as well as small guinbris played by the Rwais.

There is a lot of other Middle Eastern music available on ShellacHead, very good stuff, and I recommend that you explore.

David Murray has also curated a new collection of Moroccan music, called Kassidat: Raw 45s from Morocco, for Dust to Digital. It's available in England but not yet in the US. Can't wait to get it. (Vinyl only.)

Here's the blurb for it on

"Kassidat: Raw 45s from Morocco" is a full-length LP that features six extended tracks from the Golden Age of the Moroccan record industry. After Morocco gained its independence in 1956, Moroccan-owned record labels sprouted and flourished in Casablanca. The inexpensive 45 rpm format allowed the record companies to release thousands of songs during the 1960s, creating a snapshot of the raw and hypnotic Berber music that thrived throughout Morocco. Powerful traditional styles were still alive and well at this time and untouched by international pop influences. "Kassidat" looks back at this era and presents it anew for audiences hungry for intense and authentic folk music.

And the track listings:

1. Zine Mlih (Sublime Beauty) - Mohamed Bergam
2. Wahrouch Aksaid Wili Moudanine (Ask Our Brothers the Immigrants) - Rais Haj Omar Wahrouch 3. Kassidat el Hakka (The Poem Of The Truth) - Abdellah El Magana
4. Makh-Makh (Why, Why?) - Jmimi, Lekbir and Fatma Anounya
5. Ouakki Ha Howa Ha Howa (That s Him) - Bennasser Oukhouya and Cheikha Hadda Ouakki
6. Sidi M Bark (Mr. M'bark) - Cheikh Mohamed Riffi

Murray promises to do a post on the album soon on ShellacHead, so stay tuned.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Ted,

the Kassidat lp will be release on cd this September, 2013!