Friday, November 9, 2018

100+ Women Elected to US Congress, So Enjoy These Awesome Âouniyat Ladies from Marrakech

US voters elected over 100 women to Congress in this week's midterm election. May they be as fierce as these awesome âouiniyat ladies out of Marrakech!

Âouniyat Ladies of Safi Disque
Safi Disque cassette
circa 2001

1) Wa Lalla Fatima / Aw ya L-Hajj
2) Ândi bniya wahda / Âjebtini a bniti
3) Rani halfa / Ha hiya jatek ya loulid
4) Feen jellaba elli bghit ana / Wa kanet jaya jaya malha wellat / Âjbatu w bghaha
5) Ghadi âref a ya siri fouti  / Had rajel ârfali fâylu / Ha w feen saken

Get it all HERE.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Khalid Bennani - Fes-Style Chaâbi, Saxophone included

Salaams, good people! Sorry for the long dry spell. All's fine here at Moroccan Tape Stash, despite the generally befuddling times.

If you’ve visited Moroccan Tape Stash before, you know that your humble curator loves chaâbi tapes from the days of drum kits and electric guitars. How about we add some saxophone to that mix! Here’s a vintage gem from the stash - an early tape by Khalid Bennani, picked up on my first trip to Morocco in 1992.

According to his biography at Ournia, Bennani performs primarily for “private parties such as weddings and engagement ceremonies”. I have the greatest respect for a good wedding band - being able to satisfy folks old and young, from near and far, is not always easy. And if we’re talking about Moroccan weddings, that means having a fresh, diverse, and extensive repertoire that will give rhythm to a party for hours, often deep, deep into the night.

In addition to wedding work, Bennani continues to record prolifically and to give concerts outside of Morocco. (Apparently he performed some dates in Texas earlier this year!)

Bennani is based in Casablanca but is a native of Taza (between Fes and Oujda) and plays a Fessi repertoire, including melodies reminiscent of the Arab Andalusian and melhun repertoire, devotional strains from the Aïssaoua brotherhood, and tunes evoking the Jbala region of northwestern Morocco.

Fessi chaâbi is usually too smooth for my tastes. I prefer things more raucous, à la Casablanca or Marrakech style. This album, though, manages to achieve a texture that is somehow both smooth and raucous! Maybe it's those snare drum punctuations from the drum set along with the syncopated electric rhythm guitar, a darbuka prominent in the mix.


Khalid Bennani خالد بناني
Oscariphone (اسكارفون) cassette 11
ca 1992
1) Lhwa Bia - Ma Ândi Zhar  لهوى بيا - معندي زهر
2) Yom l-Miâd - A Latif  يوم الميعاد - ألطيف
3) Ana f-Ârek - Daba Tendem Âliya   انا فعارك ‪-‬ دابا تندم عليا
4) Goulou l-Hbibi  قولو لحبيبي

Get it all HERE.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Mustapha Baqbou Upgrade (best ever gnawa tape!)

Here's an upgrade of my all-time favorite Gnawa tape! This is a great recording of Marrakech's Mustapha Baqbou, solo with a guinbi, singing and masterfully strumming a few songs, mainly from the Black repertoire (the Ouled al-Ghaba). Without qarqaba-s and choral responses, this is an intimate session where the guinbri is on display. And nobody rivals the virtuosic touch and subtlety that Mâalem Baqbou brings to the instrument. I estimate a late 80s or early 90s date to the recording.

Double big thanks to Mr. Tear: first for the original upload at the Snap, Crackle & Pop blog, and then for finding another copy of it and sending it to me! The sound is a little better on this copy than on his. However, it's about 8 minutes shorter - so I digitized this one and patched the remaining minutes from the other copy. I think it's an upgrade to the earlier upload, though that one is still available here if you want it.

Disco-Graphic notes: I used to have a copy of this years ago - the photo of Mâalem Baqbou was the same, but the background was different. I think my copy was on the widely-distributed Fassiphone label (out of Fez), as was Mr. Tear's copy. The j-card of this one, however, indicates that it was issued by the Marrakech label Sawt el-Haouz. My guess would be that it was originally recorded for the Marrakech label, then licensed to Fassiphone. But I could be wrong. Also, the cassette shell for this copy gives yet another production house: Disco Phone, way over in Oujda.

Also, the identities of Side A and Side B are not clear. Mr. Tear's copy (and I believe my old lost copy) began with Kubaily Mama/Mamaryo. However the j-card and this copy have Balini/Allah ya Rebbi ya Moulay as the first track. The latter order makes more sense from the running order of these songs during the lila. But I really got used to having Kubaily Mama at the beginning of the album, so I'm leading with that here. You are welcome to retag if you like :)

Sawt el Haouz presents صوت الحوز يقدم
Mustapha Baqbou مصطفى باقبو
Sawt el Haouz cassette S.H.57
(cassette shell reads Disco Phone)

1‫(‬ Kubaily Mama - Mamaryo ممريا
2‫(‬ Fulani فولان
3‫(‬ Balini - Allah ya Rebbi ya Moulay الله يا ربي يا مولاي
4‫(‬ Bouchama - Mekkawi بوشامة

Get it all HERE.