MP3 Aisha Kandisha's Jarring Effects Feat. Bill Laswell - Shabeesation
Moroccan dub, featuring Bill Laswell
9 MP3 Songs
WORLD: Middle East Contemporary, WORLD: African- West
In Moroccan legend, Aisha Kandisha is a beautiful enchantress and voracious jinniya (she-devil) with the power to bewitch both women and men. Helpless against her wicked charms, her victims are driven beyond the brink of madness to a state of frenzied derangement. Some become paralyzed, their blood turned to ice, while others are left insane forever. The only way to lift the curse is through elaborate trance ceremonies which include heated rhythms, frenzied dancing, and occaisonal self-flagellation. These ancient rituals are the inspiration for underground Moroccan trance band Aisha Kandisha''s Jarring Effects'' album SHABEESATION.
While their music has enjoyed a substantial following in Europe, Aisha Kandisha''s Jarring Effects, or AKJE, remain virtually invisible within their own country. A Moroccan band using the name Aisha Kandisha is akin to an American band calling themselves the The Dead Kennedys. Yet much more than an act of punk-rock defiance, the invocation of the perilous she-devil has equalled commercial suicide for the band in their native land. Many Moroccans believe that to utter the name of Aisha Kandisha will summon her ill will, and the fear of her wrath remains strong enough to influence musical taste, not to mention consumer decisions. AKJE knows well the uphill struggle against musical and social tradition; "underground" means something entirely different when the critics have guns.
Under the direction of their Arabic-speaking Swiss leader and co-producer Pat Jabbar, the seven members of AKJE recorded the initial sessions for SHABEESATION in 1991 and 1992 in Casablanca. A shabee (Morrocan dance-pop) band at its core, the group''s Indian and Arab melodies and rhythms were embellished in the initial mixing process with "found sounds" recorded to DAT by Jabbar. These atmospheric snippets of life in Marrakech include the thud of a knife being slapped across the back of a neck (on "Dunya"), samples of Soussi Berber musicians (also on "Dunya"), and the blasts of a gunshot (on "Nbrik"). Throughout the album''s nine tracks, electric guitars and synthesizers mix with traditional Moroccan instruments including the kmenja, a violin instrument played vertically, the guimbri, a West African bass-stringed instrument, and aouuda, a small wooden flute.
The band''s already complex sound was further transformed at Bill Laswell''s Brooklyn studio in 1993. As co-producer, he invited Umar Bin Hassan of the Last Poets to lend his booming vocals to "Fin Roh," while Laswell himself picked up his fabled bass for several tracks. P-Funk keyboardist Bernie Worrell and rest of the groove-heavy Greenpoint Posse round out the funk. The already hypnotic fusion of Moroccan dance-pop and modern sampling technology were taken to a higher plane under Laswell''s direction, and the resulting trancelike melange is positively rapturous.
Thanks to its modern, bi-continental production and ceaseless rhythms, SHABEESATION dives headfirst into the fraja -- wild group dancing that is inspired by religious fervor or sheer delight. During the group''s recent sold-out Europe-tour, clubgoers responded with ardor to what may best be called "electro-trance-dance-techno-dub." "With this record and the live shows," explains Jabbar El Shaheed, "we want people to let themselves be free to forget everything in their lives and trance to the music."