Magazine article New Internationalist

Rûwâhîne

Magazine article New Internationalist

Rûwâhîne

Article excerpt

RûwâhÎne by Ifriqiyya Electrique (Glitterbeat, GB 046 CD, LP, digital)

While trance-inducing music is nothing new, the ways it is used and disseminated have changed radically since recording technology has been available. Every culture has always had its own version of a highly rhythmical music capable of inducing altered states of consciousness - but what happens when the music is moved from its original ritualistic focus ? Is it a way of preserving a culture or transmuting it?

Ifriqiyya Electrique's Rûwâhîne is an interesting case in point. From southern Tunisia's Djerid, a desert area abutting the Sahara, the greater part of Ifriqiyya Electrique are musicians who take part in the Banga rituals of the Sufi saint, Sidi Marzûq. With drum and chant, raspy metallic percussion and (here's the modern bit), a bit of computer technology and electric guitars, the Electrique ensemble make an impressive noise and it's worth tuning into YouTube to watch and hear 'Arrah Arrah Abbaina', the powerful piece of music that closes this album. …

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