Limited LP : Blue Vinyl
Moroccan-French power quartet, Bab L’Bluz, reclaim the blues for North Africa.
Fronted by an African-Moroccan woman in a traditionally male role, Bab L’Bluz are devoted to a revolution in attitude which dovetails with Morocco’s ‘nayda’ youth movement – a new wave of artists and musicians taking their cues from local heritage, singing words of freedom in the Moroccan-Arabic dialect of darija.
“More than anything we’re a rock band,” declares frontwoman Yousra, who sings, ululates and fires riffs from her goatskin-covered awicha [small guembri] like some Berber warrior goddess.
“We use the awicha as a guitar and the guembri as a bass, both at different tunings. We channel our huge range of influences into music that crosses borders and travels through time.”
Think old-school Gnawa meets funk. Moroccan chaabi meets trance. The sung poetry of Mauritania meets the deep spiritual cry of the blues. Imagine ninja-style flute, propulsive drums and percussion including spiralling metal qraqeb castanets. Wrap it all up in the turned-on-tuned-in psych rock grooves of such countercultural heroes as Santana, Jefferson Airplane and Nass El Ghiwane, Morocco’s very own Rolling Stones.
Bab L’ Bluz