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Jajouka Or Joujouka? The Conflicted Legacy Of The Master Musicians
Richie Troughton , February 10th, 2012 04:04

For decades, the music from one small village in Morocco has rung out internationally. But a long-running dispute between two separate factions of the Master Musicians of Jajouka/Joujouka has threatened to overshadow the success of both. Richie Troughton explores the legacy of the two groups and their current projects

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'Telephone Man' was a gimbri player who used to play in the village of Joujouka (just as often spelled Jajouka), decades before mobile phones finally connected the hilltop base to the outside world around ten years ago. He would visit the village from his home in nearby Tatoft, hold his ear and tell the Joujouki he was receiving a message from someone who was planning to visit. To the amazement of the other residents, more often than not, his predictions came true.

His story is one of many charming tales in the mythical folklore of Moroccan Sufi brotherhood The Master Musicians of Joujouka/Jajouka, who were described by William S. Burroughs as the "4,000-year-old rock 'n' roll band". The tiny village in the Rif Mountains of northern Morocco has attracted and enchanted many visitors over the years, including Tangier-based artist Brion Gysin and Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones, both of whom had been introduced to the Master Musicians by Tangier-based artist, Mohamed 'The Painter Of Morocco' Hamri, who hailed from the village. How many of these influential guests were foreseen by Telephone Man remains unclear, but the group's exposure to the wider world continued to grow as LSD guru Timothy Leary followed, writing of his experience in Jail Notes, and Ornette Coleman visited to make recordings with the group in 1973.

However, their recent history has been overshadowed by a row between two separate groups who both claim to represent the rich musical heritage of the village. The wealth of misinformation and conflicting reports elsewhere means there is much to discourage potential fans from their ancient, transcendental music. 

In times gone by it was not uncommon for a group of fifty-plus Musicians to line up and wail their holy truth out and over the hills from their mountaintop home. However, today two smaller groups exist to keep the music alive: the Master Musicians of Joujouka, whose leader is Ahmed El Attar, and the Master Musicians of Jajouka Led By Bachir Attar. Whereas the Joujouka Musicians continue to live in the village and do not speak English, Bachir Attar has lived in New York and was taught English as a youth by American writer Paul Bowles. Bachir's ability to speak English has enabled him to make connections in the West and he has lived in New York at various times since the 1980s, making his name as a star of the music and breaking his ties with Ahmed El Attar's group back home.

Although the two leaders are cousins, for the last two decades both groups have released their own records and played their own concerts, working independently of each other. As a result, both have been needlessly undermined by an internationally reported dispute over authenticity and royalties. 

In the last few years the internet has provided the row with a new forum, visible for all to see - the website of the Jajouka group is littered with documents that attempt to validate their own authenticity, often questioning the credibility of the Joujouka group. In a statement on the Jajouka website dated May 12, 2009, Bachir Attar dismissed the "unauthorised" Master Musicians of Joujouka festival due to be held in the village that summer. "This is a direct attempt to hurt the music of Jajouka…," it said. "By supporting and attending the events presented by these imposters under the 'Joujouka' guise you are undermining the true music and the real musicians of Jajouka." He warned fans that the Master Musicians of Jajouka would not be performing, as they would be in London with Ornette Coleman at this time. 

To address this, Joujouka group leader Ahmed El Attar explained the difference between the two groups. "He has no connection with us, the Mallimin/Masters who live in Joujouka/Jajouka," he said of Bachir in an interview on the Joujouka blog. "... Whoever wants to know more can come to Joujouka/Jajouka to see Bachir's house and where the others musicians live. We are poor and he became rich because he takes our money. In Joujouka/Jajouka no one talks with Bachir. He is alone. Who can lead people when the people are boycotting them?" 

One of the main contributing factors for the split in the early 1980s can be traced to the question of band leadership, following the death of former leader Hadj Abdeslam Attar in 1982. Bachir, his son, claimed that he was next in line to the "hereditary" role of leader of the Master Musicians of Jajouka/Joujouka.

The idea that leadership is hereditary has been upheld in the Western media thanks to endless press releases from the international major labels who signed Bachir's Jajouka group in the 1990s. However, there is no historical basis or precedent for his claim: historically, leadership of the Masters went not just from father to son, but from family to family. And leaders in the past sixty years have been uncles and cousins of Bachir Attar, indicating that primogeniture is not the natural method for selecting a leader. Since the 1950s, several branches of the Attar family have claimed leadership. They include village painter Mohamed Hamri's uncle Sherkin, both Ahmed El Attar and Bachir Attar's respective fathers, Mallim Ali El Attar (now aged 102, the last surviving Musician who played for Brian Jones), Mallim Fudal and Mohamed Attar (known as Berdouz). In the village, the medieval guild-like tradition observed by the Joujouka group is that the role of leader is decided by the Master Musicians, and they may change their leader at anytime by consensus. Following the leadership of Ali Abdeslam Attar (1983-90) and Mohamed Attar (1990-99), current leader Ahmed El Attar was elected in 1999. 

The rift between the two groups was traced back further still, to the 1970s, by Frank Rynne, the Joujouka group's manager and producer of 20 years. During that time the leadership of the Master Musicians of Joujouka/Jajouka changed, and Bachir's father Hadj Abedeslam El Attar was replaced by popular vote by Mallim Fudal. 

The row over the Joujouka or Jajouka name gets even more confusing when taking into account that both are effectively inaccurate Westernised variations of the name. The "official" Latinisation of the village name in Moroccan - Zahjoukah - although not associated with the music, is more likely to be used on a map. It seems Jajouka is more accurate phonetically, but before the split the "Joujouka" spelling was used on the first widely available recording of their music - the Brian Jones Presents the Pipes of Pan at Joujouka LP [Rolling Stones Records, 1971]. In the early 1970s the "Jajouka" spelling was also used by the group: on double LP Tribe Ahl Serif [Musical Heritage Society, 1975], The Primal Energy That Is The Music And Ritual Of Jajouka, Morocco [Adelphi, 1974], and the Ornette Coleman collaboration on his Dancing In Your Head album [1975].

The Primal Energy… LP, having been long out of print, was recently reissued on Sol Re Sol Records. Another intriguing development is also in the pipeline, as an unseen 16mm colour film was recently unearthed of the Master Musicians performing in the village around the June 1972 recordings which made up Tribe Ahl Serif. This important historical document is currently being restored and is planned for release, along with the reissue of the much sought-after Tribe Ahl Serif recordings.

Post-split records released from the 1990s onwards featured the respective Joujouka or Jajouka monikers - the former troupe affiliated with village painter Mohamed Hamri. In 1995 Philip Glass' Point label released a reissue of the Brian Jones album, but changed the spelling to 'Jajouka' and replaced Mohamed Hamri's original cover painting with a contemporary photo of Bachir Attar. Interestingly, Bachir Attar's group were listed as Groupe Jahjouka at a recent festival in Morocco, while another variation has appeared on an Arabic Facebook page dedicated to (what translates as) Group Zahjouka, promoting the Joujouka band. 

Mohamed Attar, aka Berdouz, dancing while the massed rhaitas of Joujouka play, June 1972 [Still from 1972 film Tribe Ahl Serif, copyright John Antony/Master Musicians of Joujouka]

Having read reports of the dispute, I entered the village with some trepidation when I visited the following year. I had seen the Master Musicians of Jajouka Led By Bachir Attar in 2009, supporting Ornette Coleman at his Meltdown festival in London, and for one of their daily matinee shows on the South Bank terrace outside the Royal Festival Hall. Since then I have spent two weekends in the village in the company of the Master Musicians of Joujouka, staying with their families at their annual festival in the village. While talk of the dispute between the two groups may be discouraging for some fans, nothing could have prepared me for the warm greetings and goodwill I encountered throughout my stay and subsequent visit in the tranquil environs of the village. I was reassured to find there is little sign of the bitter feud. 

If you go to the village, it is the children of Joujouka Musicians who you will see playing in the village square, their wives cooking together in the communal kitchen, and it is among their homes that guests stay during the annual Joujouka festival. This is the tight-knit community that you meet, and you are free to wander around the village and out into the surrounding countryside. Brion Gysin once said that as long as the music continued to play in the "little blue hills" of Joujouka, the world would keep turning.  

According to legend the Musicians' music was gifted to a village shepherd in a nearby cave by half-man half-goat flute player called Boujeloud. Brion Gysin likened Boujeloud to the ancient god Pan, associated with pipe music and fertility in both ancient Rome (in 'the panic of Lupercalia') and ancient Greece. If Attar, the shepherd, revealed the secret of his music to the villagers he would owe him a bride. And so when Boujeloud heard music in the village from his cave lair, Magara, he soon arrived to claim his woman. The ritual is still performed in the village as part of religious festivals to bring fertility and yield crops. Boujeloud is played by a man in goat skins, his bride-to-be, the mad 'Crazy' Aisha, by a dancing boy in drag. The dancers incite the Musicians as they play along.

A large crowd of young men turned out to see the band when we were in the village last summer. They proved there is still interest in the music as they whooped and yelled in revere at the Boujeloud spectacle. Many of them lost themselves in the music, shaking all over as they danced ecstatically, and we saw one young boy getting a lira tutorial from a Musician.  

The village's only extravagant building is the large walled compound containing the Musicians' house, built for the band with help from Brion Gysin and Mohamed Hamri, which Bachir Attar has taken ownership of. A new wall crowned with distinctly unwelcoming shards of broken wine bottle glass was built around the house in 2008. The Joujouka group has a new base about 100m away.

In recent years the Jajouka group have enjoyed more tours and high profile releases overseas, but when the Master Musicians of Joujouka were asked to perform at Glastonbury 2011, it was an opportunity for Musicians from the village to play to their largest audience to date. Prior to Glastonbury, the Joujouka group had not visited England since 1980 when the then 35-strong pre-split group visited Europe for three months on their first major tour, including a gig at Worthy Farm. Glastonbury marked a return of sorts for group leader Ahmed El Attar, who had played on that 1980 tour as a young drummer. Several other current Musicians followed in the footsteps of their relatives who had been present on that trip.

Opening the main Pyramid stage on the Friday of Glastonbury, the Master Musicians of Joujouka played a head swirling trance set, managing to do their huge repertoire justice within their allotted 40 minutes. The oldest Musician, rhaita player Mohamed Mokchan, 78, weaved up the line, teasing his bandmates with colourful notes from his pipe. Ahmed El Attar, meanwhile, stepped out to the front, banging his tebel/drum in the air, enjoying his moment of rock stardom, proselytising the group's message to a spellbound audience. A chaos call halfway through the set signalled the entrance of the dancing dervish, the goat God character himself, Boujeloud. Wrapped in goat skins (not a gorilla outfit as some commentators saw it), wearing a floppy hat and brandishing olive branches, he would rush over to onlookers at the side of the stage, swiping at them with his branches. The Musicians closed their set with a traditional Joujouka sufi Islamic prayer, wishing peace and blessings on festival organisers and everybody watching. Afterwards they led a post-gig celebration, with BB King drummer Tony 'TC' Crawford joining them for an all-drumming, all-dancing dressing room jam, followed by eating lunch backstage next to the Wu Tang Clan. Surreal scenes.

Together the Joujouka group are tight, a true brotherhood, who would do anything for each other. At Glastonbury they adjusted one another's uniform orange turbans, helped each other shave and even tucked each other in at night, huddled away side by side in their tipi. This touching intimacy was extended to the crew, as we sat in for breakfast, and shared lazy lira performances in the mornings with one or two lucky passers-by. Somehow the Musicians even found room to dance in the tiny space among the huddled bodies. As at home, the Musicians play and play, all day long.

Master Musicians of Joujouka onstage at Glastonbury 2011. Photo by Jill Furmanovsky.

In the build up to the Master Musicians of Joujouka's appearance at this year's Glastonbury festival, Frank Rynne described the group as the loudest folk band in the world. His statement is supported by the fact that there are few, if any, acoustic instruments louder than the rhaita double-reed woodwind pipes used by the Masters in their sufi trance mantras. Glastonbury provided the perfect opportunity to see just how voluble this music could be, in an experiment that would surely have delighted early champion of the group Brion Gysin.

As well as opening the Pyramid Stage, the group were to perform a series of impromptu sets over the course of the weekend in an attempt to recreate the atmosphere of the annual festival held in Joujouka. They played one particularly iconic set at the highest vantage point overlooking the whole site, lined up in front of Hollywood-style 'Glastonbury' lettering and faced with a panoramic patchwork of tents stretching as far as the eye could see. Captured by the group's exquisite harmolodic 'sonic jewellery', bystanders who had been enjoying a peaceful retreat away from the mayhem elsewhere were given no choice but to pay attention, many joining in to dance alongside the Musicians as they walked through the scattering of bodies, like the last gang in town, spreading their 'baraka' (spiritual blessings). 

"The music flows in streams to nourish and fructify the terraced fields below," wrote Gysin in his liner notes for the Brian Jones LP. High above the rest of the festival site, the Musicians did indeed fill the air with the drone tones of their sacred music, subliminally infiltrating the mass consciousness across the site. The view from up there was reminiscent of the rolling hills surrounding Joujouka, but with a temporary city of tents in place of the green valleys. When the sound travelled out and over, the effect was akin to Gysin's description: "The great wind drops out of your head and you hear the heavenly music again."

For a mesmerising half hour the group could be heard across the entire site from hill to hill, until they were abruptly stopped - for drowning out the band on the Park Stage down the hill (where Radiohead and Pulp played their 'secret' sets). Grudgingly the Musicians had to down their instruments. Or was that triumphantly? Either way, around 200,000 people had been exposed to the power of Joujouka music.

Photo by Richie Troughton

It was indicative of a remarkable turnaround in fortunes for the Joujouka group, who have not had a major label record deal since the release of the Brian Jones LP. Nor have they ever had tour support, and apart from organising the festival in the village for the last four years and this year's Glastonbury, their exposure to the outside world had been relatively low key. By way of contrast, Bachir Attar's Jajouka group toured extensively in the 1990s and have been involved in several high profile collaborations. 

Back in Morocco, aside from the odd bootleg you will rarely find the extraordinary and complex music of Joujouka/Jajouka at cassette stands, though there are other groups that play similar melodies and dress in similar djellaba outfits. At home the group play weddings and religious festivals, and the village is still a destination for those who wish to receive healing through the sacred power of the music. That said, their beat and counterculture connections are not forgotten outside of Morocco, The Master Musicians of Joujouka are set to appear on the forthcoming The Rough Guide to the Music of Morocco compilation and and the Joujouka and Jajouka groups have both recently collaborated with Western acts.

The Joujouka group appeared on last year's Jane's Addiction album The Great Escape Artist, on which they play a blast of rhaita drone, adding traditional reed tones to the track 'End To The Lies'. The Master Musicians of Joujouka also debuted their Joujouka Interzone project, in collaboration with Frank Rynne and French sound/visual artist Joachim Montessuis, at an international digital arts festival in Casablanca in October. The show, dedicated to the trio of Brian Jones, Brion Gysin and Mohamed Hamri, found the Musicians performing their traditional trance music live in front of a backdrop of archive and specially commissioned visuals, edited live in the style of Gysin's fast 'cut-up' technique. Flickering dreamachines overlap with timeless clips that cover the documented history of the group. It is a project the Musicians hope to perform elsewhere in the future and should not be missed.

While the Joujouka group have stated a desire to conserve the purity of the ancient music in its traditional form, Bachir Attar and the Jajouka group have moved the music into new directions, experimenting with electronic instrumentation. In Germany last year, Bachir created a mind boggling new direction for the music by moving into dubstep in collaboration with Brooklyn producer Dub Gabriel, under the name Jajouka Soundsystem.

For those interested in the music, it makes sense to support both groups, and claims of authenticity - or lack thereof - ought to be taken with a pinch of salt, as the chance to see either group has been rare. In January the Master Musicians of Jajouka Led By Bachir Attar toured Europe with dates in Gothenburg, Copenhagen, Aarhus, Hamburg and Prague, sating curious appetites to see this ritual music closer to home than North Africa. The seven-man touring lineup included Bachir Attar and his brother Mustapha, plus Musicians originally from the village, but who now live in the nearby town of Ksar El Kebir, and guests from a neighbouring tribe. Following a five-night run in Germany last summer, the Jajouka group's first German appearances in 20 years, Bachir said in an interview with English language Berlin magazine Exberliner that a full ten-piece lineup could not attend, as the concert promoters could not pay high enough fees to cover the larger ensemble's flight costs. Logistical difficulties mobilising so many Master Musicians ensures that any chance to see either band perform this sacred music ought to be welcomed.

At Glastonbury the Master Musicians of Joujouka lined up 11 Musicians and the village's main dancer (Boujeloud). The appearance signalled their arrival on the world stage and quashed any question over their legitimacy. In Joujouka Interzone they have a technicolour time capsule trip that unfolds, as hundreds of years of history pass before your eyes.

The Joujouka festival in the village is set for its fifth installment this June. The money it brings in provides a welcome boost to the local economy, where people have so little, but share so much more. If one wants to see the Master Musicians perform the sacred music as experienced by Gysin, Burroughs, Jones, Coleman and more, then the Joujouka festival in the village provides a perfect opportunity. For now there is no better place to hear the unmistakable tonality, voracity and intuition of the Joujouka/Jajouka players than ringing out over the Rif mountains. Inshallah, there may soon be more opportunities for a wider audience to experience the ecstatic healing music of the Master Musicians.

Header photo copyright: 2011 Hermann

Dub Gabriel
Feb 9, 2012 7:57pm

Another biased piece of crap article that only helps intensify bad relations between the two groups then bring peace.

Just like Hassan-i Sabbah said, "Nothing is True, Everything is Permitted" and is the only way to look at this article, but do yourself a favor,

don't listen to journalist, listen to the music. which ever group you like there recordings and live performance most, then support, because what is fueling

the rifts between the two groups the most is western journalism like this.

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AZ
Feb 9, 2012 8:14pm

"For those interested in the music, it makes sense to support both groups" - I think that's pretty clear and non-biased.

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Joe Hill
Feb 10, 2012 8:40am

I have been a fan of this music for 40 years, I have checked out both groups extensively and have listened to them both with open ears and wide eyes and to me, Bachir Attar and his group I feel it much superior musicianship. I feel there is a reason that people like Ornette Coleman, Talvin Singn, Bill Laswell and Dub Gabriel have decided to work with Bachir Attar and his troop, so I feel when we are talking about the word Mater Musicians, that honor should be beholden to the ones with the highest caliber of musicianship. I was very excited to hear about there collaboration with Janes Addiction with the Frank Rynne managed Joujouka troop and bought the song right away with anticipation because It was the first time I have seen a recording collaboration with this group, but was disappointed when finding out that Janes Addiction didn't really record with them, but just sampled them. Which I know Bachir's troop has been as real collaborations. I do respect both groups, but as far as who has the best musicianship to be the rightful Master Musicians, I would have to say Bachir Attar's troop.

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Skif
Feb 10, 2012 9:09am

Biased or not (and to my mind it's clearly not), I thought it was an excellent read, particularly as a primer for those of us who've not delved into this musical world before. Cheers!

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Bob Arctor
Feb 10, 2012 9:26am

Well, the bias in this article is about as thinly veiled as you can get. It is indeed obvious that you have much spent time with
the MM of Joujouka (including it would seem as their guest at Glastonbury - at least judging by your comment about the musicians "tucking each other in at night"...). Where is the interview with Bachir Attar who as you say speaks English so it shouldn't have been a problem. Why no mention of Shezad Dawood's incredible "New Dream Machine" project with the MM of Jajouka which was filmed in Tangiers last year (and which incidentally won a major art award in Dubai and toured galleries around the world)? Instead you chose to focus solely on Frank Rynne's "Interzone" project... There are so many other things that you either don't know about or, refused to inform yourself about that make this article an insult to both sides. As the first commenter said, it "journalism" such as this has created the biggest problems between both sides. As a Westerner you will NEVER know the truth and nor will any other westerners in the mix.

Most importantly, and as both other commenters have stated, the reality is so easy to discern - the indisputable truth lies in the music. I own every recording made by both bands. I love them all for what they are but there is only one group who truly have the right to call themselves Master Musicians.

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Josh
Feb 10, 2012 3:01pm

In reply to Bob Arctor:

Interesting to see Joe Hill the union balladeer executed in 1915 and Bob Arctor, the character in Philip K Dick's 1977 novel "A Scanner Darkly", commenting here with a remarkably similar message and indeed prose style. One might even assume that they are some pr wizard's solo astro turfing on The Queitus.
At least Dub Gabriel uses his own stage name, however what I dont get is why the above would irritate any of the musicians. What I also dont get is why mere westerners would not understand something occurring in North Africa. Sounds pretty simple, two groups , cousins, music, money and claims and counterclaims ....sounds like the stuff that the courts are filled with everyday.
I enjoyed the article especially the description of acoustic musicians interfering with the sound on The Park stage from the top of Glasto. That is an impressive feat.
Last minor point, I am pretty sure Hassan Ibn Sabbah neaver said "Nothing is True, Everything is Permitted". These alleged last words of his are in fact a playful fiction that William S. Burroughs utilised; proving that indignity does not truth make.

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"Bob Arctor"
Feb 10, 2012 6:39pm

In reply to Josh:

Josh,

Touché ;-) I chose not to use my "real" name as I do not want to get embroiled in the public spectacle (that and the fact that Bob is one of my favourite characters in modern fiction - perfectly suited for the ambiguity that is the internet). And no, Joe Hill and I are not one-and-the-same but, I do agree with him on the points that it's all about the music and that the Janes Addiction thing was lame (imo probably the biggest "sellout" musically-speaking in the history of the village). Anyway, I totally agree with you that it all boils down to village politics that probably go back generations... I just wish that western journalists and others with one-sided agendas would leave them alone to figure things out themselves instead of continuously fanning the flames of dissent. BTW - If you haven't read this article on the H. ibn Sabbah "quote", it's a good one imo http://old.disinfo.com/archive/pages/article/id1562/pg1/

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Josh
Feb 10, 2012 8:45pm

In reply to "Bob Arctor":

That is rather strong stuff regarding the recent Joujouka Masters and Jane's thing.
One might ask whether you feel that Bachir Attar's 2007 work with Perry Farrell of Jane's Addiction on Perry Farrell's Satellite Party "Wish Upon a Dog Star" (Mix B Remix) featuring Bachir Attar etc a sellout also or were there some extenuating circumstances :)

It all seems very pot kettle black stuff.

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"Bob Arctor"
Feb 10, 2012 9:39pm

In reply to Josh:

Well, here I am participating in the public spectacle ;-) To be honest I am not a huge fan of many of Bachir's collaborations (some are really great though imo) but, he is a standalone musician and can do whatever he wants - at least he is truly collaborating and expanding the world of music. As for the "remix, the fan lore behind the Satellite Party track as far as I know is that there very much were "extenuating circumstances" surrounding the 2007 remix - just another boring story of a Western major label co-opting someone's music without their full knowledge or approval. Listen, as an obsessive fan I have read all the threads online surrounding this controversy and to be honest it is boring - I will close out with the following: just listen to the music, close your eyes, fall into the spell. Your heart and spirit will know where the true magic lies. If you can find that magic in the music of either group, that's a beautiful thing.

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Josh
Feb 10, 2012 9:51pm

In reply to "Bob Arctor":

Ok Michael I will try :)

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"Bob Arctor"
Feb 10, 2012 10:11pm

In reply to Josh:

Dude, you've got to get over yourself. I really am just a huge fan - not part of the conspiracy. My knowledge comes from wasting countless hours reading threads, articles and bits and pieces from books/documentaries. Whats is your interest in all of this?

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Josh
Feb 10, 2012 10:42pm

In reply to "Bob Arctor":

Just a huge fan too Dude. However one who may be able to state that there are merits to all master Musicians as is the thrust of this article. Now as to your sell out comment, you rather eveaded the issue by claiming some fan lore knowledge of record companies and the like. My question was simply why was Bachir Attar's using of Jajouka music in collaboration with Perry Farrell Satellite Party not a sell out in your humble opinion whereas the other guys working with Jane's Addiction was a sell out? As to stand alone music that is rather lame as if it were the case he would not be the leader of a gropup of Master Musicians surely? Just wondering why there would be a huge difference?

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Dub Gabriel
Feb 11, 2012 2:08am

In reply to Josh:

I really don't want to get involved with this argument but since there is allot of facts that I know that most might not, but I do know who did that Re mix you are talking about and no for a fact that Bachir did not play on that track, another producer used a sample. He has always been about exploring music, he has always had a great respect for preserving the traditional music, but not afraid to take things out of the box, like most good musicians from John Coltrane to David Bowie, it is about learning to push the limits, he is about as far away of a person that will sell out then any other musician I know, he truly is always driven for the love of the music . It is just insane that people who of course I know who u are on here, so your faking job as a fan is sad, but it is really sad that you have to fan the flames with jabs and politics, don't we get enough politics from our Govt. so let the music speak and the politics be silent.

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Josh
Feb 11, 2012 2:23am

In reply to Dub Gabriel:

I thought Mike Bob Joe's " I really am just a huge fan" a bit rich too." Generally I would say that there has been no politics in my comnets Dub. Where is the politics you mention? The point I was trying to get at is one that Mike Bob Joe made about selling out and was it Bob or Joe who mentioned samples. I really like the Bill Laswell Lp which is samples but cool. I cant see what the tag team is so concerned about.. oh yeah the article that says buy records and see gigs by all Master Musicians bands.....Duh Dub you doth protest this authenticity lark too much and fail to read what the guy wrote

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Dub Gabriel
Feb 11, 2012 5:08am

In reply to Josh:

The Bill Laswell Produced Jajouka record was def not sampled, Oz Fritz, who engendered some of my last album also engendered that one, so again, I know first hand that Oz and Bill went to Morocco to record. If you are looking at it as a history project, the. Yes, check out both bands, but it is silly to think, if I like Nirvana, I have to like Pearl Jam because they are both Grunge, little silly. You have to judge music by preference, not this silly concept you speak of. And when referring to politics, it is the whole concept of journalism about these two groups riffs stoops to the same level of finding out what celebrity is getting a divorce, it is like tabloid bull shit for hipsters. I am happy to see articles about either groups music because the biggest concern is this music disappearing more then riffs between the music, but I have no interest in tabloid crap. There is allot of info I can say that isn't being said, but it has. no time or place, the only thing that matters is the music.

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Josh
Feb 11, 2012 11:34am

Yes Morocco...let us say severely edited , phrases looped, reconstructed even.
As to your concept of politics that would I suppose have to start wth the groups rather than the journalists surely esp as noited in the article
"In the last few years the internet has provided the row with a new forum, visible for all to see - the website of the Jajouka group is littered with documents that attempt to validate their own authenticity, often questioning the credibility of the Joujouka group" etc

Once one of the groups questions or trades on denouncing the other then it is noteworthy rather than tabloid-esque. I imagine the management of the groups could have done a lot to solve this public comparison rather than astro-turfing the comments on a fairly balanced article by an obvious fan of all the music and both current groups. Personally I think people should support all the musicians as it seems that one group has dwindling numbers. Maybe a joint tour "Battle of the Bands" would be fun to see.

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Dub Gabriel
Feb 11, 2012 6:59pm

In reply to Josh:

Hilarious Josh, Like I don't know who you are? ha! Why lie to the public with a fake name? Why not leave a comment in the facebook comment section above? More politics being egged on by westerners with there own interest being pushed in disguise! You can't resist the debate, just like when I tried to find peaceful resolutions a few years ago, you kept egging on the fight. The worst thing that has happened to the music of this region is your exploits to fan the flames for your own interest. I am not here using a fake name to deceive the readers who read these comments, your tactics are only crushing the life out of this music, not helping it. Let them figure there own shit out and let the music be the focus and not your quest of your own interest. Just like in our email exchanges we have had, you will always insist on having the last word, so I am sure you will have some other silly comment to help feed your lies, but unless you comment on the facebook comment section to show everyone who you are, we will all know you are full of crap and who you are! Hey did you here, Kim Kardashian got a divorce! Tabloid exploits of peoples personal life you say? Well, guess what, so is your antics!

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Josh
Feb 11, 2012 10:51pm

You are losing me. Are you one of those Americans who think that everyone else should take them as seriously as they take themselves.
Dub is your certified forename? :) DUDE
To get back to what is happening is that you attacked an article and a journalist, your sock buddy dod likewise and now you try and evade the qualifications asked for above with some man hunt?
Post your birth certification Dub, if your parents called you that I will give you my entire original Ganja Crew 12" collection ......Seen?

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Feb 12, 2012 12:06am

In reply to Josh:

Hahahahaha! Funny as hell man! I am very public and your response speaks volumes. No one is buying your racket, you can find me on all social media, what is your social media links, expose yourself, let the public see the fakery that has hurt both groups.

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Dub Gabriel
Feb 12, 2012 12:14am

In reply to :

And I don't blame the journalist, I blame the resources, since it sounds like he never interviews Bachir and since most of the musicians don't speak English, who does the public think the journalist got his information? Oh, could the journalist have gotten it from a fellow Westerner? Hmmm.
I like this Website and would encourage it to discuss either groups music, but like I said before, Tabloid crap fed and fanned by Westerners!

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Dub Gabriel
Feb 12, 2012 2:28am

Judging by your half of dozen emails you just sent to my account, it is nice to see you at least confess to me that usin the name Josh was a disguise to push your agenda, but unfortiniy I have no interest in fanning clams with your silly attempts to drag me into your Antics, any propaganda you sent, I just deleted. I have no interest in any Riffs, I will respect both groups and let them work it out between them and not have it in the hands of Westerners fanning flames for there own agenda. So save all the email you sent or will send because you have embarrassed yourself enough in a public forum, if you have any respect for the music and the future of this music, then focuse your energy in promotin this wonderful music and not use your energy to increase divides that will kill this music for future generations.

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alex
Feb 12, 2012 2:46am

In reply to Dub Gabriel:

@Dub Gabriel

"because what is fueling the rifts between the two groups the most is western journalism like this."

I never knew about this rift, I barely even knew about the Master Musicians and I wish I had sooner. After reading this article, I don't feel like the writer has been unfair. It is thanks to "western journalism like this" that I get to know about this fascinating and obviously historically important musical movement. Your very quick riposte betrays your own prejudices against what should be maintained as, what he says himself, an ancient tradition that thankfully is untainted despite the modern conflicts. Just because he has delicately tried to explore the rift between the two groups doesn't make him an authority on the matter - but it doesn't make you an authority, either.

@Bob Arctor and others who are blaming the writer for being western and who are picking sides themselves - the writer does not pretend to be a historian, he is just rightly sharing his experiences and reading this made me want to see both groups, unlike your peculiar outbursts. He wouldn't have been commissioned the article if he did not have these experiences. If you really wanted to focus on the music, stop making personal attacks.

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frank
Feb 12, 2012 3:01am

Sorry Dub but I sent you the emails. They were merely copies of correspondence. Nothing to do with other's comments on this thread where you seem a bit like Don Quixote. I noted the thread and comments and sent you some correspondence that might be of consequence as you seem to have the wrong end of the stick mate. Leave me out of your windmill shaking by illusion.
Cheers Mate Frank Manager MMOJ

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Master Musicians of Joujouka
Feb 14, 2012 12:14am

If you want to keep up to date on Master Musicians of Joujouka/Jajouka you can follow the group and related info on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Master-Musicians-of-Joujouka/105892372781794 or the Brian Jones Festival blogspot http://brianjonesjoujoukafestival.blogspot.com/
For the latest on Bachir Attar's eponymous Master Musicians of Jajouka led by Bachir Attar you can find their website on www.jajouka.com and for the official Master Musicians of Joujouka website see www.joujouka.org

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uncled
Feb 14, 2012 12:00pm

In reply to Master Musicians of Joujouka:

and that ladies and gentlemen is the best comment so far on the whole debate...
PS that Ornette Coleman Dancing In Your Head record puts these modern day collaborations to shame and makes them all sound like merely samples...

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Lime D. Zeze
Feb 14, 2012 5:17pm

I've been to the village twice, as a guest of Bachir Attar, and stayed for 3 days each time. So I may be a bit biased to the Jajouka side of things. However, when I was there in 2001 and 2002 the rift between the two groups was not mentioned nor was it apparent. To that end, I think the music should speak for itself, and while I may lean toward Jajouka, I am also open to listening to both and enjoying both. It is music like nothing else I have ever heard in my life, and should be celebrated. Hopefully the two sides can mend their differences some time in the future.

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Josh
Feb 15, 2012 10:34pm

Fine sentiments uncled and Lime. This public spectacle is not what fans of the music want. Message to all sides sort it out and get it sorted and move on there is too much at stake if you let this music die just because one New Yorker has decided that it must be her way or no way. Sadly Paul Bowles loved to see Moroccans fighting it was fuel for his novels.

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Dub Gabriel
Feb 17, 2012 1:57am

In reply to Josh:

More fakes fanning flames again, know one is buying your con game and fake Josh name, you keep putting your foot in your mouth and no one is buying it. EVERYONE WHO READS THE ARTICLE AND COMMENTS CAN TELL WHO JOSH IS AND HOW HE IS POSTING GAS FOR FIRES Sad, because you are killing the music with your nauseating public display, it is funny, you love to talk about everything, but the music. Now you moved on to dead Writers, because they are the only ones that can't come back and debunk you.

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Iraklis
Feb 21, 2012 10:20pm

Basically, when it comes to flame-fanning, IMHO Dub Gabriel does the best he can - so far he is clearly biased towards the Bachir troupe, a thing easy to understand as he works with them.
In the flow of words, sometimes a meaning is lost and a new meaning is established. According to Joe Hill, Ornette Coleman (a free jazz legend), Talvin Singh (a world music legend) and Bill Laswell (a fusion legend) are followed by Dub Gabriel? Seriously? Am I the only one to see something strange here?
Regarding the Jajouka/Joujouka schism I can only speak about seeing Bachir Attar in Athens 1995 and the Joujouka musicians in their village 2009, 2010, 2011. During all my staying in Joujouka, the door of Bachir's house stayed close so I can't have his opinion. I can understand the plea to "just listen to the music, man" but if I have this in my mind, then why all this fuss from Bachir's side? Why is it so important that there can only be one Master Musician? whereas it is clear that Bachir is a really talented musician, all his other claims and the mostly arrogant stance remind me of some European Continent guy that drives in the right zone of a London street wondering what the heck is wrong with ALL the other drivers...

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John Thomas
Feb 27, 2012 1:23am

What a cool article. Having read all the comments I decided to check out all the music I could online and found some cool pieces like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yztGrgCRLXI and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5bVR-zPYZ8&feature=related and also a musical abortion made by one of the prolific commentators here Dub Gabriel check this dead-beat shit out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cr6gPlTm9dk

All I can ask having listened to this 7 mins of pain is what is this Dub Gabriel guy actually pushing? sampled horns, lame beats and passe tones to commit suicide to.
Oh I get it now he is the successor to Ornette Coleman and Brian Jones I dont think.................

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Iraklis
Feb 27, 2012 7:58pm

In reply to John Thomas:

that's exactly my point John Thomas - mildly put, Dub Gabriel works with Bachir Attar so he protects his interest. But "protecting one's interest" can't include his stance towards everybody else who he blames as possible destroyer of the Joujoukan civilisation, fer cryin' out loud! In an interview Bachir Attar statew that he doen't see a big interest in the villagers for preserving this music so he thinks about having a school for foreigners... This is absolutely ridiculous - the real story is that you can't be anxious about the preservation of a village's culture when at the same time the village didn't see any money from this music (except the money we as festival ateenders have given them). If you are lucky enough to have the opprtunity of visiting the village and judge for yourself, please do it - the experience is unparalleled... Best wishes from Athens, GR

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JOhn Thomas
Feb 27, 2012 9:33pm

In reply to Iraklis:

Agreed on Dub Gabriel Irakilis, you Greeks are a bit more diplomatic :)
I am not sure if I follow your other points 100%. Are you sayiong that one of the groups leaders Bachir Attar has said that no one in his village is interested in preserving the music so he wants to train Westerners to play it? This seems at odds with Richie Troughton's experience in the village and I note you also visited for 3 years at the festival in June. Wgat I dont get is that there is a group in the village who seem to have headlined Glastonbury last year who dont play in Europe too often and some guy who has a record deal is saying that they dont exist and he will train Westerners instead?
This sounds like a cultural vandalism. I am glad I made that call on Dub Gabriel because it appears he is a cultural imperialist of the worst kind.
I also note form the article that Bachir Attar attacked the villagers and their festival while the village guy Ahmed Attar says Bachir is boycotted. Did you find the village divided when you were there or were things as peaceful and chill as you would expect from the rhetoric of the music and the idea of Sufi trance?

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Dub Gabriel
Feb 27, 2012 10:23pm

In reply to JOhn Thomas:

You guys are hilarious! With the fake names John Thomas, good one, old Monty Python wit, I am sorry, but not to interested in participating in juvenile tactics and Westerners trying there best to fan more flames and create more arguments for your own interest, it's pretty sad and pathetic.
Your tactics hurt both groups, the history of the music and the region far beyond any riff that exist between them with out any Western involvement. And I am sure you and your cronies will have more comments, but with each comment you are sticking your foot in your mouth more so by your continuous attempts to create more riffs. I don't need to defend or participate, your comments speak volumes to the general public that reads the article and thread. All the dirty work of exposing you and your buddies ill ways you have already done for me, Thank You!

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John Thomas
Feb 27, 2012 11:23pm

In reply to Dub Gabriel:

Dub Gabriel are you a Moroccan? You look like an overfed American in your photos and videos.
Perhaps you might consider the underfed in Morocco next time you attack Moroccan artists

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John Thomas
Feb 27, 2012 11:35pm

In reply to John Thomas:

Last time I checked both San Francisco and Brooklyn were in the "West" therefore you are a Westerner your first comment on this article was an attempt to slur both the writer of this article and indeed The Quietus..you seem to say there is some harm in exposing your one sided approach to this musical tradition. What have you done to other tahn fan the flames?
I note that a writer commenting as Brian Jones SF on another article about both groups seems to be echoing you stance....oh Dub THIS IS ENGLAN we na wear the shit locks an praten ta be Ras Man
You yanks get away with a lot of bullshitting The Uk is a different country my man. Deradlocks are dreqadlocks and shitlocks are just that ....a white man ting

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Iraklis
Feb 28, 2012 12:44am

In reply to JOhn Thomas:

Bachir Attar in his Exberliner interview : <<<<we>>>>
second quotation : <<<< Q - The musical bloodline goes back over a millennium. Are you training younger musicians to continue the traditions?

BACHIR ATTAR : No, at least not in the same way anymore. Because the kids they grow up and go to school and most of the old musicians died. And we are still only the sons of the musicians’ family. Before, it was 50 musicians in their fifties and sixties. Now we are only 10. We’re coming to Germany with only seven musicians, because we can’t afford the plane ticket and the show people won’t pay for it. This is the first time it’s happened to us. It’s very difficult to keep these things going. And too expensive. I have to rehearse with the musicians for the old things and it’s very difficult.

Q - But this couldn’t be the end of the line.

B A - You can learn some, but you can’t learn everything, no you would have to start when you are a child. My two-and-a-half year old son – he shall learn. He is learning now to play flute and drums, watching and drumming. I started to learn this music when I was four-and-a-half. I was playing the drum, because you have to start with the drum, and then I jumped to the flute. Then I play the horn. Then I play these strings called gimbri, like the lute but different, a traditional Moroccan zither. But me! I was taking that differently, not like a school student, no, I was deep in, all my life with this, with my family music, day and night. I didn’t go to school, only my school in this and my family music, this kind of music.>>>>
So, in my mind it's clear that Bachir Attar is quite open that he does think about workshops with foreigners while, on the other hand, he is unsure about the younger generation to continue... This, of course, can be fully explained by his attitude : not only he has built this high-wall around his house but he also claims that it is actually THE VILLAGE that has separated itself from him. This could be hilarious but it verges on the tragic. If the villagers would not like the Joujouka festival to take place they simply would not have allowed it to take place, let alone go on for 4 years... As always, a first hand experience is not the definite way but it is always better than everything else.

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Feb 28, 2012 12:49am

In reply to Iraklis:

first quotation from Bachir Attar is as follws :
{{We want to put for the first time a guesthouse in Jajouka. My idea, my next step in what I am thinking is to open a music school for people around the world. People can come from around the world as students if they want to learn Jajouka music and get lessons, because who knows in the future? Maybe this music is disappeared. We want to open an international guesthouse school for Europeans, Americans and Asians. A lot of people they want to come to get lessons of the music of Jajouka. This is my next idea for everybody around the world.}}

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JOhn Thomas
Feb 28, 2012 1:24am

So Bachir Attar is claiming that the only person being trained in the village is his own 2 year old son and that Bachir will train... Japanese and
Americans instead of Moroccans?
that is mind blowing stuff. Maybe Dub Gabriel will train the Japanese and Americans too in sampling and DUB .... I presume the musicians who live in the village are training their kids or do they even need training if they live in the music?
I feel a whole line of pr rubbish is being exposed here. A guy boycotted by his village is saying that his village has no interest and wants to train Japanese etc but then he does not state that his village is boycotting him and in fact have their own group and musicians who could care less what he does or says ..only wannabes who profit from the Lies would support this ...Dub Gabriel you are exposed

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Dub Gabriel
Feb 28, 2012 2:11am

Again, Bravo! Your attempts are hilarious! The sad thing is your caught up in your own misery that you don't even realized I never even attacked the other group, I only stated who I felt had a higher caliber of musicianship. I have no idea who Brian Jones SF is, but I was never a Brian Jones fan, nor unlike you, do I feel it necessary to post fake names, YOU ARE A FAKE AND IF NOT, THEN POST UNDER THE FACEBOOK COMMENT SECTION!

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Dub Gabriel
Feb 28, 2012 5:34am

I love that I am the only one that doesn't hide behind a fake identity, what are you afraid of besides everyone knowing the truth?

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Iraklis
Feb 28, 2012 3:33pm

In reply to Dub Gabriel:

Dub Gabriel, seriously?
One would have thought that all this "anonymous" or "fake name" or "fake alias" thing was over some 10 years ago but if you are feeling some sort of superiority against all the other people here JUST because some of them use an alias, you should also bear in mind that I consider myself eponymous. My name is Iraklis Renieris, I live in Greece, my nom-de-plume is DJ Bwana, I am a keen fan of dub/ world/ afro-Futurism/ Ballard/ Burroughs/ Gysin/ Sun Ra and the rest - I love the culture of Joujouka/ Jajouka and its astonishing musicians (including, YES, Mr Bachir Attar), as early as from the age of 16 and I have seen this beautiful village and it will always tear my heart that they deserve a million times more a good life and they don't have it... Now, does this finally make me an eponymous an d true fan? Do I have the right to express my opinion without being frowned upon as a dark Westerner trying to appropriate Joujoukan culture?

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Master Musicians of Joujouka
Feb 29, 2012 12:56am

Though we were almost at full capacity some bookings have returned due to family crises of the ticket holders and work commitments. Therefore there are now 14 places left of the 50 available for the Master Musicians of Joujouka Festival 2012 which takes place 8-10 June, guest will be returned to the nearest city Ksar El Kebir on the morning of 11 June. If anyone would like to attend the 3 day festival of Joujouak/Jajouka trance music they can email joujouka@gmail.com for info or book on www.joujouka.net. The three night ticket includes accommodation in the village in the homes of Master Musicians and their families, plus all food and non alcoholic drinks. The festival is a festival of music and guests will experience three days and nights of chilled out connection with the Joujouka/Jajouka community in a tranquil setting with opportunities to explore the area and chill in the blessed embrace of the Masters. Booking at www.joujouka.net

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Master Musicians of Joujouka
Feb 29, 2012 1:02am

In reply to Master Musicians of Joujouka:

Please note this is a micro festival as all guest are accomadated in the houses in the village. The ideology behind the festival is to allow a very small group of people the opportunity to hang out and live in the village for a few days with the Master Musicians as their hosts. Numbers are therefore strictly limited in order to ensure that people have a unique and personal experience in the village and with their individual and collective hosts The Master Musicians of Joujouka. There will be some people on hand who have long connections with the village who speak French, Arabic and English and any questions you have while in the village can be addressed as your comfort and enjoyment is key to the continued success of this truly unique experience.
Naturally the highlight of the festival is the three days of music and the intimate access to the Masters and their hospitality.
You will accommodated with the family of one of the Master Musicians.

Breakfast is served in the house you stay in and you will be accommodated in a room to yourself or with your friends or partner. Let us know your desired accommodation arrangements when you are contacted after your booking or email before hand if you have any queries. You will not be sharing a room with strangers.

All your personal arrangements will be worked out by email or phone with you before you arrive.
Come and see the real thing
http://brianjonesjoujoukafestival.blogspot.com/2011/11/master-musicians-of-joujouka-festival-8_6513.html

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Kevin Barrington
Mar 1, 2012 1:55am

Having had the privilege to be a guest in the village during the annual festival run by Frank Rynne for the past two summers, all I can say is the event is one of pure wonder. Too rare, too special to last.
As the masters forge sonic jewelry, they create of a space of pure aesthetic and political bliss.
It's rock n roll perfection.
Perfection that makes the above petulant, gnarly debate sound like disgruntled stamp collectors. Wading into a petty mire when you could be having the time of your life.

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Master Musicians of Joujouka
Mar 20, 2012 12:19pm

One of the many impromptu performances by Master Musicians of Joujouka at Glastonbury 2011. This is Saturday afternoon at the stone circle http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOvubZTLCkQ

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Aug 6, 2012 5:10pm

Thank you Dub Gabrielle....and Yes we use our own names when we comment. We knew this was a biased article so we did not bother to check it until now. By the way...Bill Laswell and Oz fritz came to the village bringing all equipment on donkeys in 1991. Malim Mfdal watched as he could no longer play. I have the photos to prove it and they are slides and negatives and not digital..so they tell the complete truth. As Gabe says..just listen to the difference.
Here in Morocco we are supported by our King who knows the true story. Cherie manager and photographer www.jajouka.com

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