GNAWA STEPPAS

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Bob Marley casts a long shadow. Most reggae influenced music from locales without a substantial Caribbean population takes its cues from roots reggae. In much of the world, it’s as if 1985’s Sleng Teng revolution never happened, with ‘reggae’ bands still playing cover songs from twenty or thirty years back.

On the flip side, there are hotspots – in Germany, corners of Africa, Yokohama, etc. – where the scene is shockingly up-to-date, contemporaneous, apace.

But that’s rare in Morocco, where ‘reggae fusion’ usually means rootsy cheese, or at least dubby cliches. So it’s refreshing to hear a Moroccan-Parisian take on UK steppas (i’ll take whatever i can get, patiently waiting for Stephen McGregor’s influence to go global) —

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Gnawa Njoum Experience – Kami Ni Mantara (from Boum Ba Clash)

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and to keep the weekend calm, Dr Auratheft’s recent Gnawa mix, Moulay El Hassan Essaouira: tracklist. direct mp3 (59 MB)

7 thoughts on “GNAWA STEPPAS”

  1. This is so awesome… just listening to the first few seconds, by reggae influence I thought you meant a kind of subtle influence on the melody construction and the plucked rhythm on the low strings… but then in comes this dope dubbed out drum-machine beat.

    Is this recorded in Morocco or Paris?

  2. Oh wow – such a nice mix! My default Gnawa listening is Gnawa Halwa – maybe a ten year old CD called Rhabouine. It’s kinda scratched up at this point but is out of print. It’s perfect, mesmerizing, and raw – no Bill Laswell ambient fusion stuff. If anyone’s interested, I can upload it!

    This mix scratches that same itch – thanks!

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