Saturday, March 10, 2012

Jilala & 'Aita Down at Bir Jdid - Mohammed L3aouina

Here's one of my fave cassettes - a particularly fierce Jilala tape for ya. Picked this up in the mid-'90s, I think in Marrakech or thereabouts. The tape is from Bir Jdid (which I had to look up on Google) - it's between Casablanca and El Jadida.

The tape doesn't say "Jilala" anywhere on it, but the tunes have that same throb and rasp that identify the Jilala groove. In addition to the gasba flutes and bendir frame drums, you'll hear some qarqaba metal clappers on the tunes labeled "Buwwab". These songs invoke some of the spirits associated with the Gnawa, who are the main users of the qarqaba.

In addition to the trance material (Sidi Slimane, Sidi Chamharouch, Buwwab), the tape also contains "Al-3aloua", a piece usually associated with aita / shikhat. The recording of this song (as well as track 6, another song that seems to be non-Jilala) features only a single gasba, rather than 2. The use of 2 gasba-s adds a loopy dimension to the sound and seems appropriate to the trance material. Whatever the aesthetics of trance textures vs. non-trance textures may be, it is certainly true that most musicians working with trance repertoires also perform other non-trance genres, and that seems to be the case with this ensemble.


1) Intro
2) Chamharouche (? i guess. I can't hear the name in the lyrics, but it is written on the j-card, but then again, the tracks are all out of order too...
3) Sidi Slimane

4) Al Buwwab 1 (edited together from end of side 1 and beginning of side 2)
5) Al Buwwab 2
6) Track 6
7) Al 3aloua

Get it here.


  1. Good gawd! Wonderful!

    Now, this is what one can call real 'zar' music. It's not Jilala, mind: this cassette must have been handy whenever a group of women or men tried to invoke some spirits, perform a exorcism, or just pop it in for mere pleasure.

    The 'Chamharouche' in question is one of the arcane-names of one well-known Djin king in the Arab world. Some also say its name as 'Chamharounich'. And, the other 'Sidi Slimane', is an invocation of the olden pact between the djins and humans that King Solomon (Slimane, or Sulaiman in Arabic), wrote between the two worlds.Any zar ceremony (zaremony?), pays tribute and thanks to him because the djins get called around whenever they hear his name in a certain vibration. The literature on this matter is quite scarce. Few (if any) scholars took the trouble to study the other-worldly world of djin and the incantations, music, cults, or ceremonies involved.

    The track-list order on the back of the J-card is as follows:
    Side-1 - Chamharouche - Al-Buwab.
    Side-2 - Sidi Slimane - Al-A'alwa.

    Artists: Mohammed L'awinya/ Bou'Shaib El-Bahlouli/ Ahmad Oueld El-Oumriah.

    Did enjoy! You're great mang!
    Mucho respect.


  2. downloaded tons of stuff in every language, even when google translate gives back garbage, its always easy enough to figure out... now i've gotta get a whole new browser and a lot of plug-ins??? i;m sure the 323kb file problem is something totally easy, and it would have taken just the same amount of energy (less!) to address. thanks for the zizmp3 pages, anyway its nice to stream. the subtlety of my initial self-deprecation was missed. thank you...

    1. which would be a few additional offerings of the more interesting, obscure and diverse stuff available at the zizmp3 site? now the downloading works fine -- doing the exact same thing i did last week, or even this morning, and now it saves a full-sized file onto the desktop, whatever...

  3. Congratardualations Anon!



    1. google chrome was doing some update, or the site was, or it was temporarily blocked in my region, or every region, or something. its never been like that. but persistence pays off and now i am getting to enjoy the music, and music lasts forever. just browsing album covers & trying the ones that don't look too slick and overproduced has yielded treasures. i think i'll try that other site you had mentioned, too... Oh, I just saw that yours wasn't all a nice note, there
      s "retard" kinda woven-into the "congratulations," well anyway I know I'll see you at the drum thing either this weekend or maybe later in the month, and then we'll be on my turf & you'll have an opportunity to feel pretty low and tiny, even when I'm just trying to help, yes indeed...

  4. That word is an langlutination of the following words:
    Congratulations + Retarded + Gradual. Just felt like self-coining it babe fer that 'special' occasion of you, having finally knew what was wrong with your ahem... Cunt-Puta.

    Have fun. All the time (even Hamma Time!).