1/  Gabahay                                    (Hadj Attar)                  6.02
  2/  A Habibi Ouajee T'Allel Allaiya            (Hadj Attar)                  4.12
  3/  El Medahey                                 (Hadj Attar)                  7.05
  4/  Bujloudia "Bujloudia Dancing               (Hadj Attar)                  5.46
         with Aisha Qandisha"         
  5/  Alalilla "About the Night"                 (Hadj Attar)                  5.02
  6/  The Middle of the Night                    (Hadj Attar)                  5.52
  7/  Bujloudia                                  (Hadj Attar)                  6.26
  8/  Jajouka Between the Mountains              (Hadj Attar)                  5.55
  9/  Memories of my Father                      (Bachir Attar)                7.17
  10/ Mohamed Diha Utalla Fiha (Take             (Hadj Attar)                  3.27
        Care of Her or Leave Her)				
  11/ Sbar Yagelbi Sbar                          (Hadj Attar)                  3.33
  12/ On Horseback                               (Hadj Attar)                  5.14
  13/ Talaha L'badro Alaina                      (Hadj Attar)                  3.00

          Recorded at Jajouka in the foothills of the Rif Mountains of Morocco on
            November 8,9 & 10, 1991
          Engineered by Oz Fritz
          Produced by Bill Laswell
Bachir Attar (Leader), Mohamed Bacari & Ali Nachat: ghaita, gimbri, lira, vocals; Larbi Hlalli Attar, Abdellah Sandaoui Attar & Ali Mojdoubi: ghaita, lira, tarija, vocals; Mohammed El Hammadi: ghaita, gimbri, tebel, vocals; Tahir Bokzar: ghaita, violin, lira, vocals; Abdellah Attar: ghaita, tebel, vocals; Lahesen Brital: violin, tarija, vocals; Abdeslam Bokzar & Abdellah Shirioui: tarija, vocals; Mokhtar Jaghdal, Mostapha Attar, Ahmed El Himdi & Abdellah Bokzar: tebel, vocals; WOMENS GROUP - Rahama Attar: bendir, vocals; Menana Attar, Rahama Attar, Hadoush Attar, Rahama Attar & Yamna Attar: tarija, vocals.

          1992 - Axiom/Island (USA), 314-510 857-2 (CD)
          2016 - Bill Laswell Bandcamp (digital)
Note: Bill Laswell does not play on this album.


The recording is a phenomenon; as dense, sonically diverse (diverted?) and pure as anything to come across my desk in many months. What has probably kept me away from writing about it is that it falls so far outside of what one is used to describing. I could reiterate history and musicology from the exhaustive notes that are included. I could relate the instruments and their sounds; raspy, percussive, droning and almost alien. I could go on endlessly about the enchantment of the group vocals and the mesmerizing quality of their call and response. I could tell you to go see the film "Naked Lunch" and if you can absorb and understand that, then you will understand the music of Jajouka. (I fear my keyboard will bleed or sprout wings as I type this.) I want to hear Burroughs (Bill or Edgar R.) sing one of these songs. I want to play this record all night, but there must be a law against that in America. You will not "like" this record. It is far beyond such a simple thing. It will inhale you as you breathe its aura. It will consume you as you drink in its wonder. A record like this not owned, it possesses. There, I have filled up an obligatory space on the page. Now you must do what you must do.

Cliff Furnald (courtesy of the Rootsworld website)


Although they'd recorded for the Rolling Stones' Brian Jones and played with jazz supremo Ornette Coleman, Morocco's Master Musicians had never really been caught in true sonic clarity until producer Bill Laswell visited them in their village of Jajouka to document their music. And clear it is; the interplay of instruments, drums, and voices is captured with stunning fidelity, bringing their particular brand of trance music right into your living room. The musicians, under the leadership of Bachir Attar, are in superb form, doing what's been done for almost as long as history itself. They feel the music, making for a natural flow on Attar's compositions, which sound as old as the Rif Mountains where they're performed. If you want to hear the Master Musicians as they really are, this is the record to buy.

editorial review by Chris Nickson (courtesy of the website)