Bass-heavy amplification of Moroccan gnawa music
“That feeling of being outside of yourself, but totally within yourself at the same time. That’s what all of us, collectively, are striving for.” Electric Jalaba’skeys player Henry Keen might be describing the immersive experience of being part of this six-piece, but his words also apply to the experience of anyone listening in, so intense is their updating of centuries-old gnawa music. As their name suggests, thisis no acoustic affair. Fronted by Moroccan master musician Simo Lagnawi on vocals and the three-stringed guembri, they’re plugged into the mains, an energy surge that propels the gnawa sound to new heights. The Electric Jalaba sound is bassy, dubby and psychedelic, but its adventurousness never slips the tethers of tradition. It’s time to do what Henry says and get both outside and inside yourself.