Ifriqiyya Electrique- Ruwahine

Ifriqiyya Electrique- Ruwahine

19.99

Sufi trance musicians and rituals - from the depths of the Tunisian desert - in conversation with post-industrial sonics. To get your bearings, you might first have to dive into a basement club somewhere in Southern Europe: Barcelona, perhaps, or Taranto or Palermo. For Ifriqiyya Electrique's François Cambuzat - a guitarist and field recordist (Turkey, China, Central Asia) - is a veteran of the Mediterranean punk and avant-rock scene, which has always been more politically charged than its counterparts to the north and (far) west. With bassist Gianna Greco, he is one half of Putan Club or one third when these two fierce and uncompromising players are joined by legend of the NY underground, Lydia Lunch. Ifriqiyya Electrique was formed in the Djerid Desert in southern Tunisia, home to the Banga ritual of Sidi Marzûq. The Banga is a key annual event in the lives of the black communities of the oasis towns of southern Tunisia, descendants of the Hausa slaves transported from sub-Saharan Africa. It is a ritual of adorcism not of exorcism: of accommodating the possessing spirit rather than expelling it. The invitation has been issued by the rûwâhîne themselves, the spirits from whom the record borrows its title, and is taken up primarily in the streets and in private houses. In short, the music can only be fully understood in the context of the events that gave rise to it. Happily, Ifriqiyya Electrique is a film and documentary project as much as a band. The footage is astonishing: of wild, ecstatic gatherings that seem, to us, the un-initiates, by turns other-worldly and utterly familiar. It is familiar because we all recognise the need for "new ways of forgetting", in Cambuzat's words. But we surely need to remember too. For here is another deep tradition, another precarious music, on the brink: a vital part of a Sufi culture being pressed on all sides by the forces of reaction. Ifriqiyya Electrique will not be lamenting its passing because they will refuse to let it pass.

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