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Chama'a
     

Chama'a

by Bnet Marrakech
 
Apart from a few superstars, women's roles in Arabic music are relegated to dancing and similar entertainments, right? Wrong. The exception to many rules is Morocco's Bnet Marrakech, a fiery, eclectic voice-and-drums ensemble that turns many of the region's stereotypes on their heads. Let's start with the head, specifically the ancient Berber dance style that

Overview

Apart from a few superstars, women's roles in Arabic music are relegated to dancing and similar entertainments, right? Wrong. The exception to many rules is Morocco's Bnet Marrakech, a fiery, eclectic voice-and-drums ensemble that turns many of the region's stereotypes on their heads. Let's start with the head, specifically the ancient Berber dance style that involves balancing a candlelit, tea-and-flower-laden tray on the head, just one of Bnet Marrakech's hallmarks. Easier to appreciate from Chama'a is their range, incorporating Berber melodies (from the mountain tribes who predated the Arabs in North Africa), contemporary rai and chaabi, and the mystic trance percussion of the Gnawa. It's the music of this black Moroccan brotherhood that Bnet Marrakech's sound will most closely resemble to the ears of the casual listener, as the insistent percussion, finger cymbals, clapping, and wails conjure up similar rites of ecstatic devotion. But these "Girls from Marrakech" actually represent a combination of regional traditions, each given play on Chama'a. On the pop styles, oud and kemancheh, the Persian spike fiddle, add a raspy counterpart, and an oud solo by Aziza Ait Zouin provides a perfect desert intermezzo between courses of impassioned vocals and drums. Needless to say, performing these songs, on these instruments, before international audiences, the women of Bnet Marrakech occupy a very special place in Islamic society. Chama'a argues eloquently for that space, and for similar expression for their silent sisters.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/09/2002
Label:
L'empreinte Digitale
UPC:
0742495314421
catalogNumber:
13144

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