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Electronica

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Maalem Mahmoud Guinia / Floating Points / James Holden - Marhaba - Border Community https://www.whatpeopleplay.com/albumdetails/Maalem-Mahmoud-Guinia-Floating-Points-James-Holden-Marhaba/id/106766
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Maalem Mahmoud Guinia / Floating Points / James Holden - Marhaba - Border Community https://www.whatpeopleplay.com/albumdetails/Maalem-Mahmoud-Guinia-Floating-Points-James-Holden-Marhaba/id/106766 An indeed spectacular release on Border Community: Moroccon artist Mahmoud Guinia teams up with James Holden and Floating Points for a fascinating view on traditional north african Gnawa music (which one of its Maalems (means: masters) is Guinia). The "Marhaba"-EP includes four tracks consisting of recordings of Guinia and his band performing with Holden (on three of them) and Floating Points at the Gnawa World Music Festival in Essaouira, Morocco.   The Holden cuts impress with virtuously manic basslines (actually it’s guembri lines, the guembri being the sound-defining instrument of Gnawa music) and rattling drum beats (“Marhaba”) forming shifting and winding rhythms, repetitive but permanently evolving. Holden gets into the groove, contributing great freeform modular synths, forging a bridge to even bands like Can (“Bania”) while Guinias vocals, incantatory chants in typical Gnawa call-and-response-style, top the whole thing. The result is sometimes rough and uncut, sometimes floating and easy ("Toro Toro Torko Lila") but always electrifiying. And though the songs all cross the 10 minute mark you wish they’d last way longer (as they would normally do in Gnawa). If one ever is in need of an example for the (slightly overused) term “hypnotic music”: here it is. In contrast to Holdens basically untreated live takes, Floating Points did quite a lot of studio work on “Mimoun Marhaba”. The sounds are more minimalist, comparable to some Ricardo Villalobos moments. Reduced sequencers amalgamate with feverous handclaps and a dry guembri bass sculpture, turning the spotlight on the enlightened voices. (There are also similarities to the new Harmonious Thelonious-album “Santos” (Italic) though the approach is a different one. Also a great record btw..))   This is immensely intense music that (and i know that this is the oldest cliché about any african music there is but what can you do?) puts you in a trance right away. Highly recommended! (Written by João Geck)  
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